When most people think about car accidents, the image that tends to come to mind is that of two or more motor vehicles crashing into each other. And, while those types of accidents do occur regularly, there are also incidents where a driver accidentally hits a pedestrian. Due to the nature of such accidents, the pedestrian is left in a vulnerable position — often with serious physical injuries. If you’ve been involved in such a case, you’re probably wondering how insurance factors into it. Who pays for the pedestrian’s damages? And, if the pedestrian was partly at fault and the driver was injured as well, who will cover for those losses?
Who pays a pedestrian’s medical bills if they are hit by a car?
There are several ways to cover for injuries sustained by a pedestrian in a car accident. Which ones you can use will depend on your type of insurance coverage. Some are required, while others are discretionary add-ons. The most common ones include:
Personal Injury Protection
Florida Statutes Section 627.736 establishes the requirement for all car insurance policies in the Sunshine State to provide personal injury protection (PIP). PIP will cover up to 80% of medical bills, and up to 60% of lost wages of a person involved in an accident regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This coverage provides relief to any of the following individuals:
- The named insured
- Relatives who reside in your household
- Anyone operating your insured motor vehicle
- Passengers in the motor vehicles
- Anyone struck by your motor vehicle — which covers pedestrians
You can file a PIP claim with your own insurance company — whether you were the driver of the car or the pedestrian who was injured. Your company will not be able to increase your premiums unless they can make a good faith determination that you were at fault for the accident.
Medical Payment Coverage
Now, while PIP offers a good amount of relief for relatively minor injuries, you may still be wondering, what about the remaining 20% of medical injuries? What about the remaining 40% of lost wages? While personal injury protection offers some relief, you could still be left facing losses. This is where Medical Payment Coverage (Med-Pay) comes in. While PIP is mandatory in Florida, car insurance policies offer optional coverage for the remaining portions of the losses.
Let’s say you were hit by a car while crossing the street at a crosswalk. You sustain $10,000 in medical bills. Either you or the driver can file a PIP claim — you would do it with your own insurance company, and they with theirs. You would only get coverage for $8,000. Med-Pay would then kick in and cover the remaining $2,000.
What if one of the parties is uninsured?
Florida Statutes Section 627.727 establishes the applicable law when a driver is uninsured or underinsured. Specifically, car insurance policies are required to offer optional uninsured/underinsured coverage to be used in the event that you get into an accident with someone who:
- Only has minimum insurance, and such coverage is not enough to cover losses
- The person is insolvent
- The person has no car insurance
The default is for insurance policies to provide uninsured/underinsured coverage. For you to opt-out of it, you must decline it in writing.
In summary, if your damages exceed $10,000, you would then have to file a lawsuit against the driver to get them to pay the remaining balance. The same applies if the party who hit you doesn’t have Med-Pay or if you don’t have uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Call Us at Clark Law for a Consultation
There are many factors that affect the outcome of a case. If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. We’ll consider all circumstances to determine your best next step. We can also ensure that you receive proper compensation for any present as well as future medical expenses relating to your neck injuries.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.