Who Pays for Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident?
When a car or truck strikes a pedestrian, it should come as no surprise that the injuries are generally very serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 137,000 people wind up in the hospital due to pedestrian accidents each year. In fact, the CDC estimated that in 2017 alone, someone died every 88 minutes.
If you or a loved one are seriously hurt by a careless driver, you deserve to have your injuries compensated. This means getting your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering compensated. But who pays for all of that? Your best option is always to start with a free consultation with a skilled Kissimmee personal injury lawyer.
No-Fault Exceptions in a Pedestrian Crash
First, it is worth noting that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Now, this does not mean that no one is at fault. It means that when someone is hurt in a car accident, they typically have to file a claim with their own insurance company first. Under Fla. Stat. 627.736, all motorists are required to carry personal injury protection coverage (PIP). Pedestrians, however, are not required to carry PIP or file a claim with their own insurance if hit by a negligent driver. And this makes sense, because not all pedestrians will carry auto insurance, and indeed, they are not required to. Therefore, a pedestrian can immediately pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
Hit and Run Injuries
Many pedestrians who are hurt by drivers suffer a second injury when the driver flees the scene. This simply adds insult to injury, because now the victim must live with the catastrophic damages, but the at-fault driver may get away with it and never face consequences. While this is very unfortunate, if the pedestrian happens to be a vehicle owner who also carries optional uninsured motorist insurance, that pedestrian can still make a claim for compensation under his or her own insurance policy. This can sometimes result in a financial recovery comparable to what they may have gotten from the negligent hit and run driver.
Medical Payments and PIP
In addition to liability insurance and uninsured motorist insurance, sometimes an injured pedestrian may need to take advantage of their own personal injury protection coverage or medical payment coverage. These are considered ‘no-fault’ benefits, because the pedestrian does not need to prove that the driver was at fault. But these benefits are generally limited.
What to Do if Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
If you are struck by a vehicle in Davenport, Kissimmee or other neighboring communities of central Florida, you should do what you can to identify the driver of the vehicle. Call the police and make a report. Get medical care right away. Once you are safe and able to do so, call Draper Law Office to discuss your options. Do not speak with insurance adjusters without first talking to a lawyer about your rights.