Not only is Florida the most dangerous place to ride a bicycle, but Miami ranks in the top four most dangerous cities in Florida. Miami experiences a death rate from bicycle accidents at 5.6 per capita.
With all of these accidents, who covers the cost? Without auto insurance, these expenses could cripple the at-fault party.
Thankfully, Florida auto insurance includes coverage for bicycle accidents.
Does Auto Insurance Cover West Palm Bicycle Accidents?
The short answer is yes, it does. But the real question you should ask is, whose insurance covers the accident?
Your Own Auto Insurance
The PIP or personal injury protection travels with you, the driver, not the car. Florida also treats bicycles the same as a car. So your PIP insurance covers your injuries from a bicycle accident.
This insurance covers no matter who is ultimately at fault for the accident. This is because Florida is a no-fault insurance state. You need to seek coverage from your own insurance company first.
PIP insurance covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. You just need to prove that these losses are a direct result of your bicycle accident.
To be eligible for this coverage, you need to seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident.
The Other Driver’s Insurance
You need to prove that you suffered a severe injury to make a claim against the other at-fault driver. If you file a claim, it’ll be under the other driver’s bodily injury liability coverage.
Keep in mind that this coverage isn’t required in Florida. If you find out they don’t have this coverage, you’ll need to work with an experienced attorney to make a claim against the driver’s personal assets.
To prove that you have a serious injury, you need to qualify under one of the four requirements, as defined by Florida law.
- Permanent or significant scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent or significant loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
If you’ve suffered any of these, then your next step should be to speak with a personal injury attorney. They’ll help you calculate your losses and pursue compensation.
What If You’re at Fault?
Florida follows the comparative negligence rule. This means that you can still recover from the other driver’s insurance even if you’re 99% at-fault for the accident.
The amount you can recover will decrease as the percentage of your fault increases. To ensure you can recover the maximum amount, never admit or accept fault at the scene of the accident.
Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
If you’ve been involved in an accident while riding your bicycle in West Palm Beach, then your auto insurance will cover your injuries. If the other driver is at fault, then their insurance should cover some of the damages.
If you have any doubts about your legal rights, it’s best to seek the advice of an attorney. The insurance companies aren’t looking out for your best interest; your attorney will.
Contact our office today if you’ve been involved in an accident while riding your bicycle in West Palm Beach.