Driving can give you a sense of freedom. But, in some situations — such as after an evening of drinking — having a friend drive or calling a rideshare service can be just as liberating. But, you never think about what happens if you’re involved in an accident as a passenger. If you get hurt during the incident, will you still be covered? How does PIP work for you?
What is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?
The state of Florida requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP covers 80% of the medical bills of certain individuals, as well as 60% of lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. All you have to do is file a claim within 14 days of the accident.
If your damages are more than $10,000, then you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties for anything more than the $10,000 amount. This could also include claims for pain and suffering.
If your friend or family member was partly at fault, you could file a claim against them as well as filing a claim against the other driver. Or, you could file a claim against the other driver alone and pay the difference out of your pocket.
Are passengers covered by PIP?
PIP covers certain passengers in the event of an accident, paying up to $10,000 in medical expenses per passenger and up to $5,000 in death benefits to any surviving family members of a passenger. However, to receive PIP benefits, you as a passenger cannot own a vehicle that already provides PIP coverage. Regardless if you have your own insurance or not, PIP covers:
- The named insured person (you)
- Biological or adoptive family members who live in your home
- Anyone driving your vehicle
- Anyone hit by your vehicle
What happens if the accident happens in a taxi or rideshare?
Florida Statutes section 627.748 requires drivers of ridesharing services such as a taxi, Uber, and Lyft — referred to as transportation network companies or TNCs — to have car insurance with a minimum coverage of $50,000 for death and bodily injury, per person, and $100,000 per incident. In addition, the driver must also carry minimum coverage of $25,000 for property damage.
These amounts are specifically mandated to cover damages sustained by passengers who hired the service. This includes the Florida state-required $10,000 PIP. If your damages are more than $10,000, you’ll have to file a lawsuit against the driver and their insurance company.
What happens if there’s a disability?
In some cases, an accident may result in a passenger sustaining injuries that prevent them from the quality of life they had before the incident. Florida PIP covers any passengers unable to return to work immediately following a car accident. This includes situations where you sustain injuries that require significant time to heal. As with other instances, PIP may cover your injuries up to the maximum PIP coverage of $10,000.
How an Attorney Can Help
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through all of this alone. Whether you were the driver or the passenger in a car accident, an attorney can ensure you receive the best payout possible. During the discovery process, they’ll schedule depositions of opposing parties, witnesses, and applicable experts to determine fault. This is used to get a good visual of how the accident happened and who is responsible.
Once everything starts coming together, the parties can begin settlement negotiations. If there’s no settlement agreement, the case moves on to trial. Your attorney will present all the evidence they’ve collected during the discovery process to help you receive the maximum payout possible.
Call Clark Law for a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident as a passenger and you don’t know how to move forward, let us help you. Our legal experts will ensure you have the best outcome possible. Call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.