It's a typical sunny day in the great state of Florida. You decide to leave the keys at home and take the dog for a walk. As you are walking down the sidewalk on a busy road, a car comes flying off the road and strikes you. As a result of the driver's negligence, you are now overwhelmed with expensive medical bills and forced to take time off of work. What are your options?
As in most cases, you always have the option of seeking coverage for your loss through the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy. However, far too often the at-fault driver either has no insurance or an insufficient amount to cover your loss. In any event, you should always attempt to seek coverage through the at-fault driver's insurance policy.
If the at-fault driver's insurance policy is insufficient, then you should turn to your own insurance policy to determine your options. Some drivers carry an uninsured motorist policy, which acts as more of a supplement to your auto insurance. In the event the at-fault driver's policy is too low to cover your medical bills, your uninsured motorist policy, if you have one, will kick in to cover the deficiency.
Injured pedestrians may also seek coverage through their own PIP policy. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is Florida's no-fault law. Florida requires that every registered driver in the state must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits. The beauty of PIP is that you may seek payment from your own PIP policy regardless of who is at fault. Furthermore, Florida's PIP statute extends coverage to anyone listed on the policy and any relatives of the insured who live under the same household.
It is important to note that even if you are injured while not actually operating a motor vehicle, your PIP policy may still cover your loss. Under Florida's PIP statute, the insurer of the owner of a motor vehicle shall pay personal injury protection benefits for accidental bodily injury sustained in this state while not an occupant of a self-propelled vehicle if the injury is caused by physical contact with a motor vehicle. See Fla. Stat. 627.736(4)(e)(1). What that provision of the statute is saying is that even if you are not actually driving your car, you may still recover under your PIP policy if your injury was caused by physical contact with another a motor vehicle. Using my original example, if you are hit by a car while lawfully walking on a sidewalk, you have the right to put a claim in under your own PIP policy.
Another great aspect of PIP to remember is that you may also recover disability benefits under your PIP policy. This is often an over-looked part of the PIP statute. The statute reads in part, “sixty percent of any loss of gross income and loss of earning capacity per individual from inability to work proximately caused by the injury sustained by the injured person, plus all expenses reasonably incurred in obtaining from others ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, but for the injury, the injured person would have performed without income for the benefit of his or her household.” Thus, under Florida law, you have the ability to put a claim in under your own PIP policy for disability benefits in the event your injury has forced you to take time off of work.
Contact the Tampa Bay Area Personal Injury Firm Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Unfortunately, handling an insurance claim after you have been involved in an accident can be stressful. The Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has a team of highly qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys who aggressively pursue compensation on behalf of their injured clients. Contact us for a free consultation of your case at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 N. Belcher Road Clearwater, Florida 33765