Settling a Pedestrian Accident Can Be Tricky When You Don't Own a Car

people walking and riding bikes at night

That’s right. Although you have personal injury protection as an injured pedestrian who registered a vehicle in Florida, other injured walkers who need medical attention may have to seek compensation from their own health insurance policy or bring a claim against the at-fault’s insurance carrier. When an injured pedestrian owns a car in Florida, the medical bills are paid from the pedestrian’s personal injury protection (PIP) auto policy. This is true even though the pedestrian was not in that vehicle at the time the accident occurred. If a resident pedestrian does not own a car (or live with a Florida relative who has auto insurance), PIP insurance on the vehicle that hit the pedestrian may be responsible for paying for the medical costs. Although this explanation is relatively easy to comprehend, settling some pedestrian accident claims can be tricky.

Unfortunately, being struck as a pedestrian in Florida is not that uncommon, especially in bustling areas like Gainesville with numerous intersections and pedestrian crosswalks. As someone appropriately said, “There is an exception to every rule”; and such is the case with liability coverage for pedestrian accidents. If a motor vehicle hits you while you are considered a visitor (or non-resident), the personal injury protection coverage of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance will not pay for your medical expenses. Instead, the health insurance policy of the injured out-of-state or foreign pedestrian would likely pay for their medical bills. Moreover, in pedestrian accident cases where the driver was not at fault, his or her auto insurance will not compensate any injured pedestrian for damages he or she incurred.

Since pedestrian accidents can be life-changing with greater needs, multiple categories of damages may result, such as compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and future medical expenses. At times, it is necessary for a pedestrian to seek legal counsel for guidance in determining negligence following a vehicular accident. A pedestrian can make a claim as a non-insured Florida resident or non-resident under the bodily injury liability section with the driver’s auto insurance carrier, but only if the driver of the vehicle was negligent. That said, statistical data suggests the pedestrian is often deemed responsible for a collision by failing to walk in a designated lane or by crossing a roadway outside a marked crosswalk (jaywalking). Whether you were the driver or the pedestrian, it is prudent to contact Schackow & Mercadante to speak with an experienced accident attorney about your legal options.