In the state of Florida, if a pedestrian (which includes bicycle riders) gets hit by a vehicle, they first turn to their own insurance company. Your automobile insurance has PIP “Personal Injury Protection.” It pays up to $10,000 toward your medical bills. Your next step is to contact your medical insurance carrier. They should pick up where PIP leaves off.
If by some chance you do not have insurance, then you can look to the at-fault driver. Their PIP may pick up the required minimum. If they are uninsured, but a person is living with them is insured, even their insurance may pay out PIP. In any case, you could have someone cover up to $10,000 in medical cost.
What if my bills are much more and I have permanent injuries?
At this point, you must contact an attorney. You will have damages and a long recovery process. This is where your attorney will probably file a negligence suit against the driver. If the driver is uninsured, you may find out they cannot pay you out of pocket. Your attorney will help guide you through the best options for your case.
What you should be doing
First, your health is the priority, so you must get to a hospital immediately after an accident. Collect copies of your medical bills and give them to your attorney. Let your lawyer deal with the insurance companies and the driver. Your focus should be your recovery.
Your attorney may find out that the driver was lying, and they had insurance all along. Or, the driver could be from another state. If that is the case, their insurance will probably pick up the Florida PIP mandate and pay it.
You should only discuss the case with your lawyer and the insurance company. Do not speak to anyone else about the accident. Do not apologize or make any statements that could be used against you later. If someone contacts you about the crash, take their number and have your attorney call them.
Turn off the social media
It is very common for an attorney to have someone monitor your social media accounts. People think their privacy settings will protect them. There are ways around that. It would be in your best interest not to use social media until your action is over. If you are posting photos or videos that could harm your case, it may be used to show a judge that you are not as injured as you claim. Discussing your action on social media is also not allowed. What you say online could be used to discredit you in court. Do not let an attorney use social media against you.
It takes time to recover
When a bicyclist is hit by a 5,000-pound machine traveling at 20+ miles per hour, they could sustain severe injuries. An accident with an automobile can cause significant trauma, and it may take months of therapy to get better. In fact, some injuries can last a lifetime. Your attorney must work with your doctors to know what the future holds. Be patient. Bicycles, cars, fences, and riding gear can be replaced, but your life is irreplaceable.