Bicycle accidents may not be as common as other traffic-related collisions, but they do tend to cause a disproportionate number of fatalities and injuries. According to the Crash Dashboard operated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are almost 6,700 total bicycle accidents statewide every year; in 95% of them, at least one person is killed or injured. It does not take a degree in physics to know that the person on the bike will typically suffer the most devastating harm. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you may wonder about your legal options versus the at-fault motorist.
Fortunately, you do have remedies for recovering compensation, and they fall under state auto insurance laws. Florida is a no-fault jurisdiction, so motorists are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own injury-related losses. These requirements impact your rights as a victim, and a Miami bicycle accidents lawyer can explain the details. Answers to common questions about Florida PIP insurance in bike collisions may also be useful.
What Does “No Fault” Mean?
There are two different approaches to traffic-related accidents, and one of the most common in the US is the “at-fault” concept. After a collision, an injured victim can seek compensation by filing an insurance claim through the driver whose negligence led to the crash. In a no-fault state like Florida, you file a claim with your own insurance company to obtain monetary damages. You do not need to prove that the other motorist was negligent.
Is PIP Required in Florida?
All owners of motorized vehicles registered in the state must carry PIP insurance because of the no-fault rules for auto crashes. However, the coverage extends to many accident scenarios involving motorized vehicles – even when the victim is not an occupant of one. Pedestrians and bicycle riders would qualify for amounts under PIP policies, which cover:
- 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical costs for treatment; and,
- 60% of your lost wages if you were unable to work because of your bicycle accident injuries.
What if I Do Not Have PIP Coverage?
Especially in a big city like Miami, there are plenty of people who rely on bicycles for transportation and do NOT own a motor vehicle. Without PIP coverage, you might have concerns about your legal remedies after being injured in a bike accident. There are additional options to recover compensation for your losses, as you can still pursue your rights through the at-fault driver’s insurer.
However, in such a case, you DO need to prove that the other motorist was negligent in causing the incident. The upside is that you can pursue monetary damages for pain and suffering, which is not available under PIP.
Our Miami Bicycle Accidents Attorney Can Answer Additional Questions
To learn more about PIP and coverage after a bike crash, please contact the offices of Gerson & Schwartz, PA in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can schedule a free case review to learn more about your unique circumstances.