1 Jun

What Insurance Covers Florida Bicycle Accidents?

Car Accidents, General, Personal Injury, Tips

Florida bicycle accidents

In 2021, 160 bicyclists were killed in the state of Florida, making it the deadliest state to ride a bicycle in for multiple years in a row. Infrastructure, distracted driving, road rage, drivers refusing to share the road, and many other factors contribute to the number of Florida bicycle accidents that occur each year. Being injured in bicycle accidents can take a tremendous emotional and physical toll on victims, but the impact is financial as well; the CDC estimates that the total costs of bicycle injuries and deaths from crashes exceeds $23 billion in the U.S. every single year.

Bicycle accidents are expensive. If you’ve been injured in a Florida bicycle accident, you may incur costs for items related to:

  • ambulatory or air transport
  • emergency room care
  • imaging tests like CTs, MRIs, X-rays, etc.
  • blood work/transfusions
  • surgeries
  • emergency dental work
  • hospitalization
  • medications
  • medical devices
  • specialized care
  • physical therapy
  • chiropractic care
  • copays
  • deductibles
  • lost wages (from time spent recovering out of work)
  • lost future earning potential (if the accident caused a disability)

When the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay those costs out of your own pocket, but bicycle accidents aren’t the same as car accidents where you have a policy to cover damages. What type of insurance are you supposed to go through if someone else collided with your bicycle and left you seriously injured?

Types Of Insurance That Can Cover Injuries/Damage

Health insurance

Personal health insurance will cover some of the costs of your injury treatment, but even if you have really great health insurance, you’ll still need to pay a significant deductible and many other costs of care that may not be covered. If you don’t have great health insurance, or if you don’t have health insurance at all, the costs of your accident could still be astronomical. You can negotiate with your health insurance company to try to decrease the amount you pay out of pocket, but at the end of the day, health insurance will probably not provide adequate coverage.

PIP coverage/Car insurance

Florida is a “no-fault” state; this doesn’t mean that no one was at fault for your Florida bicycle accident, but it does mean that all drivers are required to carry something known as personal injury protection (PIP), and injured accident victims must go through their own PIP insurance first before making additional claims. The law requires all Florida drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. Insurance companies pay out PIP benefits for those who are hit by vehicles as long as they are not occupants of a self-propelled vehicle, and bicycles fall under this umbrella. If you’re on a bicycle when you are hit and injured, your PIP coverage extends.

However, just like health insurance, PIP doesn’t cover all of the costs of your accident. It actually only covers 80% of medical costs for injuries that are considered an “emergency”; for non-emergent injuries, it only covers $2,500. It also will only pay for 60% of your lost wages, and remember, it only covers up to $10,000 total. If you have serious injuries and incur medical bills that are over that amount (which is likely – one surgery alone can easily amount to $10,000), you will have to pay for those costs that your health insurance doesn’t cover another way.

The driver’s insurance via a personal injury lawsuit

From our experience as Florida personal injury lawyers, we’ve seen that the best way bicycle accident victims can ensure that they get paid maximum compensation is to file a claim or lawsuit against the insurance company of the driver who hit them. You have to go through your PIP coverage first, but you don’t have to stop there; especially if your injuries were severe and your bills are amounting to thousands of dollars, it is only right that the at-fault party’s insurance company should pay. Insurance companies may not want to settle for the amount you deserve, which is why it’s in your best interest to retain a personal injury lawyer who is on your side and who can advocate for a fair settlement.

Uninsured motorist coverage

More than 1 in 5 Florida drivers drive illegally without insurance. While the law requires drivers to carry insurance, and to stop when an accident occurs and report it to the police, sometimes neither rules are obeyed. You can’t file a claim/lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company if they weren’t insured or if you don’t know who they are (unfortunately, many Florida bicyclists are victims of hit and run incidents). If this was the case in your accident, you may be able to seek compensation through your own insurance company’s uninsured motorist coverage policy. How much you are able to recover depends on your coverage limit and other factors.

Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover some of the costs of your bicycle accident, but it won’t cover your injuries; it can only cover physical damage to the bicycle, it may have a deductible, and therefore it isn’t extremely helpful. However, if you were partially at fault for the accident and the other party incurred injuries, this type of insurance could protect you.

Steps You Should Take After A Bicycle Accident

    1. Contact the police to get an official police report.

      Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, or the other driver seems to be cooperating, some injuries may not present themselves right away, and without an official record, the other driver could change the story or you could hurt your chances at recovering compensation via an insurance claim. The police can gather evidence and take pictures at the scene that could make a difference when it comes to getting paid the amount you deserve for the accident.

    2. Get a medical examination right away.

      Again, adrenaline may be preventing you from being able to feel the full extent of your injuries immediately following a bicycle accident. You need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This step could save your life! Medical documentation also proves valuable in communicating/negotiating with insurance companies about how much your injuries are worth.

    3. Call a Florida bicycle accident attorney.

      Before you contact any insurance company, call a lawyer first. A lawyer can tell you the best way to tell the insurance companies about the accident and strengthen the chances of your claim being accepted; they can handle paperwork for you and answer any of your questions.

Badly Injured In A Bicycle Accident? Call The Florida Law Group!

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, before you make any type of insurance claim, call The Florida Law Group first. Our aggressive, knowledgeable personal injury lawyers will explain your options in terms of what insurance covers Florida bicycle accidents and advise you on the best course of action! We can help you file the claim, communicate with the insurance company, and pursue a legal recourse if the insurance company is unwilling to pay you the maximum compensation you deserve.

Being injured isn’t fair, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it; our job is to stand up for your rights and get you paid. We’ve been fighting for justice for injured bicyclists across the state of Florida since 1984, and to date, we’ve recovered over $1 billion for our clients. Our lawyers offer all legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t pay us unless and until we win, and we also offer free consultations so you can get to know our team and get your questions answered! Call today to schedule your free consultation at any of our 11 Florida locations and get started.