Florida is a no-fault state. This means, regardless of who is at fault, you turn to your own insurance company to pay your medical expenses. But, will they help you after a bicycle accident? What’s your next step?
Auto Insurance and PIP
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, which is in your automobile insurance policy. You will instruct the hospital to bill your car insurance first. They will pay 80% of your medical expenses up to $10,000. They should use your health care insurance as a second insurance company and send the medical bills to them.
Your insurance policy should include Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist that will pay if the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance. However, if you rejected that coverage in writing, you may be out of luck. If you have collision insurance, that may pay the additional expenses. However, you will have a deductible to meet.
Suing for negligence
In Florida, one person is rarely found to be 100% at fault. Even if you are found to be at fault to some degree, your attorney can still go after that percentage. Your lawyer can file a suit for negligence and help you seek the compensation you deserve after an accident.
What to do and when
Your health is the number one priority. The first thing you should do is go to the hospital. If you can, get the automobile driver’s insurance and personal information. If you cannot write it down,then record it on your phone. Take pictures and video. If you cannot take the photos,then ask someone else to take pictures from every angle.
Include road signs and other items that will verify where you were. Moving a mangled bike is easy. You need photographs that show exactly how the bike was positioned when you were hit. Take a photo of the license plate, the car, and the driver of the vehicle, if possible.
Give the hospital this information to secure your coverage. Then, call your insurance company advising them of the accident. Next,consult with an attorney. Give your lawyer the information you collected. Include the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the crash. Do not make any statements to the driver or their insurance company. A simple statement like, “I am so sorry” can be used against you, do not say things that sound like you are admitting fault. Do not speak (in person or on the phone) to the driver’s insurance company. Do not let them ask you questions and do not give them a recorded statement. Tell them to speak to your attorney.
Your attorney will know what to do to help you recover the damages you need for any pain and suffering or lost wages. Focus on your recovery and let your lawyer concentrate on handling the case.
Finally, do not discuss your accident or the case on social media. Any photos or videos of you could affect the outcome in court. An attorney can use your social media accounts against you after the accident. Until your case is settled, consult your attorney before taking the next step.