Florida Personal Injury Law: Pedestrian Struck by Motor Vehicle

city-zone-945513-m.jpgA pedestrian struck and injured by a motor vehicle may be covered by some, all or none of the following types of motor vehicle insurance:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is no-fault insurance, meaning that covered individuals receive the benefit without regard to fault. Put another way, at-fault individuals may recover under this type of insurance. This coverage does not compensate for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and the limit for what it does cover — medical and lost wages — is typically capped at $10,000 combined. It is also subject to deductibles and does not pay 100% of the medical benefits or lost wages. It is not always easy figuring out whose insurance coverage applies.

  • If the pedestrian owns a vehicle and has PIP coverage on the vehicle, a requirement under Florida law for operational vehicles registered in the state, the pedestrian’s own policy applies. F.S. 627.736(4)(e)1.
  • If the pedestrian does not own a vehicle that must be insured, but resides with a relative who does, the resident relative’s policy provides coverage. F.S. 627.736(4)(e)3. (If there is more than one resident relative with coverage, each carrier must pay its pro-rata share. Regardless of the number of carriers, PIP coverage is limited to $10,000 unless a policy has a higher coverage limit. F.S. 627.736(f)).
  • If neither the pedestrian nor a resident relative has PIP, the at-fault vehicle owner’s and/or operator’s carrier provides coverage. F.S. 627.736(4)(e)4.

CAVEAT: None of these PIP provisions apply if the accident occurs outside of Florida.

Bodily Injury (BI). This so-called third party insurance compensates the injured pedestrian for economic (medical expenses and lost wages) and non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering). Subject to a policy’s coverage limits and the damage caps of F.S. 324.021, as it applies to vehicle owners, it is the BI coverage belonging to the vehicle owner and or at-fault driver that applies. The pedestrian’s own BI does not apply. Unfortunately, unlike PIP and Property Damage Liability, BI is not mandatory in Florida. For this reason, it is not unusual that neither the owner nor the at-fault operator have BI coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured. This coverage applies when the owner and/or operator do not have BI coverage — UM — or not enough BI coverage to compensate the pedestrian fully — UIM. It covers the same damage elements as BI, but the pedestrian is the insured. Like BI, it is not a mandatory coverage. It is frequently rejected by the policyholder.

Med Pay. Med Pay is a distinct, optional, supplemental coverage which, when purchased for an additional premium, pays the 20% of medical bills not covered by PIP. Med Pay is a separate coverage for which a separate premium is paid and is completely distinct from PIP. Med Pay does not compensate for lost wages. Unlike PIP, Med Pay has a right of subrogation. This means that BI and or UM/UIM money must reimburse Med Pay.

*********************************************************
Contact us toll free at 866-785-GALE or by email (jeffgalelaw@bellsouth.net) for a free, confidential consultation to learn your legal rights.

Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

While prompt resolution of your legal matter is our goal, our approach is fundamentally different. Our clients are “people” and not “cases” or “files.” We take the time to build a relationship with our clients, realizing that only through meaningful interaction can we best serve their needs. In this manner, we have been able to best help those requiring legal representation.