Insurance Coverage for Florida Pedestrian Accidents
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Miami you may wonder what financial resources are available to compensate for your injuries. First, there are the physical harms such as pain, suffering, psychological and emotional trauma. Then there are medical bills and costs of future medical care and wage loss claims. In the event of a death, there may be a loss of financial support or services. For these reasons, car accidents and serious injuries to pedestrians usually leave injured clients wondering how this is going to be paid?
At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our pedestrian accident attorneys serve clients in serious and catastrophic injury claims in Miami and other areas of South Florida. If you or a loved one were injured in one of these unfortunate cases, you need to know what insurance and financial resources are available to compensate you for harms and losses?
Gerson & Schwartz PA, pedestrian injury lawyers will explore all areas of legal and financial responsibility. Our goal is to help each of our client's receive maximum financial compensation. We deal with insurance company adjusters and other bill collection companies so you don’t have to. It also means that we will help you and or your loved ones investigate the complex process of insurance claims on your behalf. This allows injury victims to focus on healing and getting better. All consultations are free. So don't wait and contact us for a case consultation at (305) 371-6000.Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Miami, Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports an average of 1,560 people are injured and 85 die in Miami-Dade pedestrian accidents every year – a significant portion of the 7,600 injuries and 630 deaths reported statewide. In most pedestrian negligence claims in Miami, we analyze all potential insurance benefits available. This can come in the form of your own insurance policy to insurance policies for employers, agents, and other undisclosed or unknown third parties. As part of our investigation into sources of financial responsibility including insurance coverage that may be available, we also utilize resources and conduct comprehensive background checks to uncover the financial resources of a negligent or at fault party.
Some potential sources of financial responsibility and insurance coverage that may be available for injured pedestrians may include:
- Florida No-Fault Benefits. Also known as PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (from the at-fault driver and/or vehicle owner and/or employer)
- Umbrella or Excess Insurance Coverage
- Med Pay
- Commercial Insurance Liability Coverage
- UM/ UIM (uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage).
- Workers’ compensation benefits (if you were on-the-job at the time)
- Health Insurance
- Personal Assets from negligent parties.
Identifying all sources of insurance coverage and financial responsibility after a pedestrian accident is just the first step. Many accident and injury victims think that they can deal with insurance companies on their own. We do not recommend that you do so. Accident and personal injury claims with serious or catastrophic injuries are often subject to a complex maze of insurance policy exclusions and detailed policy language.
Despite many insurers’ promises to be, “On your side,” and, “Like a good neighbor,” or act in good faith they don’t. The reality is that insurance companies are always trying to find ways to minimize payouts to negligence victims whenever possible. Insurance companies have lawyers and you should too. Obtaining a fair settlement requires working closely with experienced PI lawyers. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA we only handle serious injury and death claims including, seriously injured pedestrians in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale and other areas of South Florida.We can help you too.
Our pedestrian accident attorneys specialize in dealing with personal injury and insurance coverage claims. Only a qualified lawyer that is familiar with relevant Florida law, statutes, and Florida case law can explain how the law is appliedto the facts of a particular set of case facts.
Some pedestrian accident claims in Miami can be resolved out-of-court. Others who are seriously injured may need to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Our Miami, Florida law firm specializes in pedestrian accident claims, lawsuits, and litigation.Florida Insurance Laws and Insurance Claims for Pedestrian Crash Cases in Miami
Part XI of Ch. 627 of Florida statutes, Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accident injuries and auto insurance. That means no matter who is at-fault, a person injured in a Miami car accident must use their own car accident insurance benefits from their own insurance coverage first. This only covers a portion of medical bills and wage loss. The legal requirements are that all registered vehicle owners in Florida carry 10,000.00 of personal injury protection.
This does not mean that a negligent or at fault party's insurance is overlooked. It just means that there are some benefits that you must use under your own insurance policy. You pay for it, so you should use it.
However, Florida’s no fault insurance benefits may only pay a portion of certain personal injury damages. In order to understand how these benefits apply to you case, we suggest consulting with an qualified accident lawyer. Gerson & Schwartz, PA always offers free case consultations. So if you or a love done were seriously injured don't wait and contact us today. All members of our staff are bilingual too.Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in Miami to discuss your case by calling (305) 371-6000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.More About Insurance That May be Available for Your Injured Pedestrians
PIP benefits are unique to Florida accident victims. Some other states use a similar system but not all. PIP is generally available to compensate negligence victims for a percentage portion or up to 80 percent of qualified medical bills and expenses and up to 60 percent of wage loss. If you or a loved one have an insurance policy from another state or the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident has a registered vehicle from another state these benefits may not apply.
Under the Florida's Financial Responsibility Laws, under Florida Statutes 324, Florida vehicle owners are required to:
- Carry Personal Injury Protection (Up to 10,000, per person or 20,000 per accident)
- Obtain Property Damage Liability Protection, minimum $10,000
- Leased Vehicles are required to carry bodily insurance coverage of 100,000 per person and 300,000 per accident
- Rental Cars – Rental Car companies are only required to carry $10,000 per accident. Rental car drivers can purchase more coverage but are not legally required to do so.
- After a DUI Conviction- Drivers can also be required to carry $300,000 in per-crash bodily injury liability coverage for three years after a DUI conviction.
Another source of coverage may include uninsured/ underinsured motorist (UM/ UIM) benefits. UM or UIM benefits provide coverage in the event another driver is uninsured, or under insured or unknown (i.e., hit-and-run). UIM benefits cover an insured when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover the damages. Under Florida law, insurance companies are legally required to offer it to consumers. We recommend that all Florida drivers and purchase UM coverage. Another reason is that UM benefits will protect injured pedestrians, family members, even bicycle accident victims.Personal Injury Protection for Pedestrians
Personal injury protection benefits, per Florida Statute 627.736, must provide a minimum of $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits to:
- Named insureds;
- Relatives residing in the same household of the insured;
- Passengers in the motor vehicle if they don’t own a motor vehicle;
- Other persons (pedestrians and cyclists) struck by a motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle.
What this means is there are three ways an injured Miami pedestrian could obtain PIP benefits.
Access to PIP benefits he/she secured in their own name through their own auto insurance policy. These benefits can be paid even though they weren’t inside a vehicle at the time of the collision.
Through a resident relative with PIP coverage so long as they do not own a motor vehicle.
A claim for PIP benefits through the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Of course, $10,000 in PIP benefits only applies to medical bills and expenses and wage loss. Injury victims in car accident claims must prove they suffered an emergent medical condition otherwise their compensation of PIP benefits may be limited to $2,500.They do not cover damages for non-economic losses. Gerson & Schwartz lawyers will explore all additional avenues of isnurance coverage.Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Coverage for Pedestrians
Bodily injury coverage pays for serious injury and death claims to others caused by another in a motor vehicle collision. Someone with bodily injury coverage could expect their insurer to pay for injuries the owner or driver caused up to the limits of the insurance policy and may also provide legal representation in the event they are sued in Miami, Florida. This coverage may extend to other persons in a household such as “resident relatives,” even if those individuals were driving someone else’s vehicle. Bodily injury coverage may also cover negligent driver of an insured’s vehicle so long as the vehicle was operated with his or her permission.
Although bodily injury liability coverage is not required under Florida law, most standard insurance policies include it. An alternative in cases where bodily injury coverage is not available following a car vs. pedestrian accident cases in Miami would be to hold the driver personally responsible. This assumes that the negligent individual has personal assets worth pursuing. Over the years, our law firm has been successful in cases where bodily injury coverage may not be available. Using legal creativity and resources have allowed us to uncover others ways to compensate our injured clients for serious harms and losses.Who is required to Carry Bodily Insurance Coverage in Florida?
While Florida law does not require registered vehicle owners to carry Bodily Injury Insurance there are some exceptions to the rule:
Florida Statute 324.023 requires motorists convicted of a DUI in the last three years to carry $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage. Additionally, our Miami, Fl. pedestrian accident attorneys can explain that commercial vehicles must carry additional liability insurance coverage, given the fact that they have the potential to cause much greater damage.
Florida Statute 627.742 requires non-public sector buses to carry at least $100,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage.
Florida Statute 627.7415 also requires commercial vehicles between 26,000 and 35,000 pounds to carry $50,000 in bodily injury coverage. Vehicles 35,000 pounds to 44,000 pounds must carry $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per occurrence and vehicles more than 44,000 pounds must carry at least $300,000 per occurrence.
Taxi cabs owners are required to carry a minimum $125,000 in bodily injury insurance.
In other cases, umbrella insurance may be available. This is coverage intended to supplement other third party liability coverage. Miami pedestrian personal injury victims can make a legal claim for compensation through umbrella insurance policy company if auto insurance coverage is insufficient. This insurance coverage is usually applied in serious or catastrophic pedestrian accident and death cases.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is another type of insurance potentially available for serious injuries to Miami pedestrians. UM/or under-insured coverage is legally required to be offered as part of auto insurance in Florida. It’s available as an additional source of protection for consumers injured due to negligent drivers. It’s intended use is to protect innocent victims from individuals who have no insurance or do not have enough to compensate victims for their injuries.
Florida Statute 627.727 requires every auto insurance policy providing bodily injury liability coverage must also include an equal amount of uninsured motorist coverage, unless the customer specifically rejects UM coverage in writing.
UM coverage allows an insured the same recovery he or she would have been entitled to had the at-fault driver been insured to the same extent. As outlined in the 2003 ruling of Fla. 2nd DCA in Varro v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., UM benefits are intended to protect injured people, not insurance companies or negligent drivers. Protections aren’t to be chipped away by exclusions or exceptions.
UM coverage is especially important for pedestrians, who suffer disproportionately in hit-and-run crashes, accounting for 1 in 5 victims nationally (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Under insured motor vehicle coverage can also be applied in cases where a driver may have some insurance but that coverage isn’t sufficient to cover the serious injuries stemming from a pedestrian accident. For example, if a person suffers $250,000 in damages, but the at fault driver has $10,000 in bodily injury protection, a pedestrian accident victim may file a claim for UM and UIM benefits from their personal insurance policy.
For a free consultation call (305) 371-6000 or contact us online.Policy Language and Exclusions
All insurers seek to minimize their financial responsibility to pay. That’s why many write their policies with numerous exclusions that prohibit coverage in certain circumstances. Insurers have a legal right to do so, but not all insurance policy exclusions say what exactly what an insurance company representative claims . Other insurance clauses can be deemed unenforceable under Florida law if the language is against public policy or is otherwise vague or ambiguous.
Gerson & Schwartz, PA pedestrian accident attorneys in Miami can help interpret insurance policy language and advise if your legal claim is subject to an policy exclusion that ma affect your legal claim.
Per Florida Statute 627.736(2), authorized exclusions for PIP benefits include:
- Injury sustained by insured and resident relatives while occupying another vehicle owned by named insured, but not insured under the policy;
- Injury sustained by any person in insured vehicle without express or implied consent of insured;
- Injury to person who intentionally caused it or was committing a felony.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Policy exclusions are common, and must be carefully navigated by your attorney. It should be noted that when insurance policy language is ambiguous, it is to be construed liberally in favor of insured and strictly against the insurer, as noted in the Florida Supreme Court’s 2002 ruling in Flores v. Allstate Insurance Co.
Finally, it’s important to warn you may be approached by the at-fault driver’s insurer about signing any documents such as a release. Personal injury settlements should be evaluated by a qualified lawyer.
We recommend that if you are considering entering into a settlement or signing a legal document, to first consult with one a pedestrian injury lawyer in Miami.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicular or pedestrian accident, then please contact a pedestrian injury attorney in Miami, Florida at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A by calling (305) 371-6000. Or, you can email us at email@example.com. Se Habla Español.