More than 9,500 pedestrian crashes occurred in Florida in 2021, of which 7,332 resulted in injury and 831 were fatal. If you are a loved one involved in a car accident as a pedestrian, what should you expect?
Florida’s no-fault law
Florida is one of the few no-fault states in the United States. This means that in direct sunlight, drivers involved in an accident must cover their own damages and losses with their own insurance. Every motorist is therefore required by law to take out bodily injury protection insurance of at least
A motorist can only file a liability claim against the other driver if their damage exceeds their coverage and/or if they believe the other driver is responsible for the accident. In such a case, Florida’s comparative negligence law comes into effect and the court investigates and decides how much fault should be attributed to each party. The percentage of fault will then determine how much they will pay the other driver or the victim.
And the pedestrians?
You may have noticed that these laws relate to motorists. If you were a pedestrian, what can you expect?
First, let’s clarify who counts as pedestrian. You are considered a pedestrian if you are walking; status; sit; on a trailer; or ride a bike, skateboard, inline skates or scooter.
If you were involved in a car accident even though you were not driving a motor vehicle, you can expect these laws to apply to you as a pedestrian as well. In fact, if you look back in your PIP policy, you will find that there is a section that relates to coverage when you are injured in a car accident as a pedestrian.
If you wear PIP, your insurance will pay for your damages even if you were a pedestrian in the car accident. As long as you have been hit by a motor vehicle, even if you were not inside a motor vehicle yourself, your PIP will still trigger.
However, if you don’t have PIP, for example if you don’t drive at all, you probably won’t have PIP coverage to help you. Don’t lose hope yet. If you live with a relative who has PIP coverage, their PIP may cover your damages. This however will not apply to a pedestrian who is licensed in Florida or who owns a vehicle but does not have the legally required PIP coverage.
Another way to get compensation if you were hit by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian is to get driver PIP insurance to cover your damages. If so, you will need to submit an affidavit form to the driver’s PIP provider stating that you were injured by the driver and that you do not own a motor vehicle. The driver’s PIP insurance provider should begin the process to provide you with the appropriate amount to pay your medical bills.
Can a pedestrian be compensated by the driver?
Obtaining compensation from the driver whose vehicle hit you is of course possible. This process can be more difficult and longer and often involves going to court. For this, you will need to file a lawsuit against the driver claiming that he was responsible for the car accident that involved you. For this, the assistance of a lawyer specializing in road accidents is essential because he will help you gather evidence and build a solid case. The lawsuit can either end in a settlement or go to court where a jury will decide who is at fault and, given Florida’s sheer comparative negligence, how much of the fault should be attributed to the people involved.
Were you involved in a car accident in Parrish, Florida? Contact us today.
Attorney Danny Murphy serves Manatee County