Who Pays For A Victim’s Medical Bills After A Florida Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian who was struck by a car could sustain potentially life-threatening injuries and, even after receiving treatment, could suffer from permanent disability. In fact, this occurs in the majority of pedestrian-vehicle cases, where pedestrians, unlike motorists, have little protection from impact. This can result in catastrophic injuries and hefty medical bills.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
The kinds of injuries that a pedestrian can sustain in a collision with a vehicle are wide ranging and vary in seriousness. The most common, however, include:
- Shattered, crushed, and broken bones;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Lacerations and amputations; and
- Road rash.
Some of these injuries are considered catastrophic and can leave victims with mounting medical debt and expensive bills for long-term care. This can be especially frustrating for injured parties who weren’t at fault for their accidents, but were the victims of someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, these individuals are not without legal recourse and have a few different options for seeking compensation for their accident-related medical bills.
Pedestrians are Covered by PIP Insurance
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of no-fault insurance that pays for a covered individual’s accident-related medical bills regardless of who was at fault. All drivers in Florida are required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. Fortunately, those who have PIP coverage for their vehicles are also covered in the event of a pedestrian accident. These policies cover up to 80 percent of an injured claimant’s medical bills for an emergency medical condition. However, this coverage is limited to $10,000, unless the injuries don’t qualify as an emergency condition, in which case, coverage is capped at $2,500. Unfortunately, this coverage is often only a drop in the bucket for injured pedestrians, whose injuries can be life-threatening. In these cases, an injured pedestrian could attempt to seek coverage from his or her health insurance provider for the remainder of his or her losses, or could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused the crash.
Filing a Lawsuit
Generally, accident victims in Florida aren’t allowed to file civil lawsuits against the person who caused their accidents, but must instead file claims with their own PIP insurance providers. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Claimants whose injuries qualify as severe, for instance, can step outside the no-fault insurance system and file a claim directly against the at-fault party in court. To qualify as serious, an injury must involve a permanent impairment, significant scarring, or disfigurement. Unfortunately, pedestrians rarely sustain minor injuries. This means, however, that they rarely face any difficulty when meeting the threshold for filing a personal injury claim in Florida. If successful, injured pedestrians could recover compensation for their past, as well as future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Boone & Davis for Legal Help
To speak with one of the experienced Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis about coverage of your own medical bills following a pedestrian accident, call us at 954-566-9919 today. You can also set up a free consultation by completing one of our brief online contact forms.