You were recently injured in a bicycle accident. Who will pay for your injuries? How about the damage to your bike? What types of insurance cover a Florida bike accident?
The answers to these questions depend on the facts of your case, but in many instances, your own car insurance will pay for your medical bills and lost wages. In other words, you do not have to sustain injuries while in a motor vehicle to recover accident-related compensation from your car insurance company if there is another car involved in the accident.
Let’s take a common Florida bike accident scenario where a car hits a bicycle. Just like in cases involving two cars, the bicyclist will be covered by his or her own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as long as he or she carries car insurance. If the bicyclist suffers damages beyond what is covered by PIP, he or she can bring a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company. In addition, the cyclist’s own UM coverage will apply if they purchased UM coverage — a critically important coverage for any cyclist.
What If the Bicyclist Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
It is not uncommon for bicycle commuters to rely on their bicycles and public transportation for all of their transportation needs. Such individuals may have no reason to purchase car insurance. In this scenario, bicyclists may be able to recover compensation from a relative’s PIP insurance if they live with that relative. If they live alone, or otherwise don’t have a “resident relative” who has a vehicle, they would be covered by the PIP insurance provided by the insurer for the car that hit them.
What Happens When a Bicyclist Is Injured By a Dog?
Unfortunately, bike accidents caused by unleashed dogs are also fairly common. These accidents are not covered by car insurance. Rather, they fall under municipal law and a Florida statute governing injuries caused by the dangerous propensities of dogs (such as a loose dog chasing a cyclist). Marion County, for example, has a leash law that requires dogs to be on a leash at all times when off their owner’s property. If an owner fails to keep his or her dog on a leash and the dog injures a bicyclist or causes him or her to fall over, the owner is liable for the injuries and other damages suffered by the bicyclist.
As you can see, the insurance issues involved in bike accidents are not intuitive. A Florida bicycle accident attorney can help you determine what law applies to your accident and help you recover compensation for your medical bills, bike, lost wages and more.