Melbourne Bicycle Accident Lawyer
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while bicycle trips make up just 1 percent of all trips in the United States, bicyclists account for over 2 percent of people injured in fatal crashes involving motor vehicles. And Florida has long been the deadliest state in the country when it comes to riding a bicycle.
Even a non-fatal accident can leave a bicyclist with serious, long-term injuries that affect not only their health but their ability to earn a living. So if an accident is the result of a negligent or reckless motorist, the injured bicyclist and their families have a right to seek compensation. A qualified Melbourne bicycle accident lawyer can help. At the Pendas Law Firm, we represent accident victims throughout Brevard County who have been harmed by the thoughtless and careless acts of others.
How Does My Florida PIP Coverage Affect My Compensation from a Bicycle Accident?
One of the most common questions we get from bicycle accident victims is, “Whose insurance covers my losses?” If you own a motor vehicle in Florida you know that you are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. PIP coverage is designed to provide certain “no-fault” benefits in the event of an auto accident. This means that you normally must seek coverage from your own insurance company first even if the other driver was at-fault.
So how does this work when a motorist hits a bicycle? If the bicyclist has auto insurance with PIP coverage, their policy will cover a bicycle accident. You do not actually need to be in your own car when an accident occurs. What matters is that you were hit by a car.
Unfortunately, PIP coverage is often quite limited. Legally a motorist only needs to carry $10,000 in coverage for medical expenses. And the insurer only has to cover 80 percent of “reasonable” medical costs and 60 percent of lost income and earning capacity. This is often far below the actual damages sustained by a bicycle accident victim.
Fortunately, it is possible to still file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver–and their insurance company–after exhausting any PIP coverage. Florida law permits such lawsuits if a bicycle accident victim’s injuries exceed the $10,000 limit on medical expenses or their injuries were disfiguring and/or likely to cause permanent disability. And in a personal injury lawsuit, an accident victim can also seek the full measure of their damages, including their pain and suffering.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
Motorists are often reckless when it comes to sharing the road with bicycles–and it is often the bicyclist who pays the price. If you or someone that you love has been injured in such an accident, you should not hesitate to take prompt action to assert your rights under the law. The experienced Melbourne bicycle accident lawyers at the Pendas Law Firm are ready and willing to advise you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.