Who Pays Medical Bills After A Pedestrian Accident In Orlando
Orlando is one of the most dangerous cities in the entire United States for pedestrians (a recent study only bumped Orlando to the 8th spot, down from its 1st position, because several other cities increased in the number of fatalities). If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Orlando that wasn’t your fault, the incident could severely affect not only your physical and mental health, but also your finances. You may incur many medical bills, including the costs of:
- Ambulance transport
- Diagnostic procedures (X-rays, bloodwork)
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- And more.
Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries, these could add up to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t panic – if the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket! Let’s take a closer look at who does have to pay your medical bills.
First, Health Insurance Pays
If you have health insurance, that policy will be the first to pay for your medical bills, or at least a portion of them. However, depending on your coverage, you may still be left with a large percentage of the costs, or forced to pay an exorbitant deductible and many copays. When someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you should be compensated for those costs; health insurance isn’t the only party that pays! (If you don’t have health insurance, you do have other options for getting your medical bills covered).
Then, Your PIP May Apply
Florida is a unique state because it has “no-fault” insurance laws, meaning that your insurance should cover at least part of the accident costs, regardless of who was actually at fault for the accident. Florida law requires all drivers to have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance (commonly referred to as PIP coverage). If you own a car, you’re required by law to have this kind of coverage! PIP does cover pedestrian and bicycle accidents as well. If you get hit by a vehicle by walking, jogging, or running, and you have PIP coverage, you have to submit a claim for compensation through this avenue first.
Your PIP policy can pay up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, but only for “emergency medical conditions”. Most pedestrian accidents do fall under this category. However, say that you were only tapped slightly and knocked down, and you are able to walk away from the scene without any visible injuries; later, if it turns out that you have any disk issues and are suffering neck or back pain, your PIP policy will only pay you $2,500, and only if you receive medical care within 14 days of the accident. Physical therapy alone can cost much more than that! You’ll need to find another party to pay your remaining medical bills after being injured in a pedestrian accident in Orlando that was caused by another driver.
If you aren’t a vehicle owner, and don’t have PIP coverage, then your insurance will not not be the first party to pay your medical bills, and you’ll need to seek out other avenues for compensation.
But If Not, You Can File A Lawsuit
For most injured pedestrians, health insurance and PIP coverage won’t be enough to cover all of your medical bills. That’s why filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be the best solution!
If The Driver Had Insurance…
Insurance companies lose money when they pay out claims, especially to those they don’t insure, so they are financially incentivized to deny or undervalue your claim. That’s why it’s extremely important to have an Orlando pedestrian accident injury lawyer on your side who can force them to take your claim seriously, represent you in negotiations, and even take your case to trial if necessary.
If The Driver Didn’t Have Insurance…
Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 5 Florida drivers are on the roads illegally without insurance. If the driver who hit you is in this group, your most effective course of action is likely going to be to appeal to your own insurance company for coverage beyond your PIP limit. You may have an uninsured motorist policy for this very type of scenario, but even if not, you still may be able to recover damages.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Filing a PIP claim or a lawsuit can be a complex, exhausting process, especially if you are recovering from your injuries after being hurt in a pedestrian accident in Orlando. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate insurance rules and the legal landscape around personal injury claims. More specifically, a personal injury attorney can:
- Gather evidence at the scene of the accident
- Obtain witness testimony
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Send demand letters
- Compile medical documentation and bills
- Represent you in court
- Appeal a court decision
Hiring an attorney can take a significant burden off your shoulders and ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Working with a knowledgeable attorney could mean the difference between you paying all of your medical bills out of pocket or someone else paying them for you!
Pedestrian Accident Statute Of Limitations In Florida
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Orlando, don’t wait to contact an attorney! Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for pedestrian accident cases. That means you must take legal action within two years of the date of the accident. If you wait too long, you will lose your chance to pursue compensation. Even if you are within the two year deadline, the longer you wait to file, the harder it will be to prove your claim in court. Your best option is to hire an experienced law firm as soon as possible.
Call Our Pedestrian Injury Lawyers In Orlando
If you have been in a pedestrian accident in Orlando, call The Florida Law Group today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your next steps! We’ll take the time to listen to your story, answer your questions, explain how much your case is really worth, and help you understand your legal rights. Since 1984, our prestigious firm has recovered over $1 million dollars for injured plaintiffs, and we have over 100 years of combined experience on our team. Our knowledge, experience, and winning track record can give you an important advantage in negotiations or in the courtroom. You can trust us to fight for you and get the justice you deserve!