If you were a passenger in a car accident in Florida, you have several options for financial recovery including:
- Pursuing the at-fault driver and his insurance company
- Pursuing the driver of the car in which you were you were riding and his insurer
- Pursuing your own insurance policy’s PIP protection
You should have your accident-related expenses paid. A lawyer in your area can help you understand your financial compensation options.
What You Need to Know About PIP Insurance Coverage
Every registered vehicle owner in the state of Florida is required to carry PIP insurance coverage under Florida Statute § 627.736. If you are a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision, PIP coverage will cover your expenses up to its maximum coverage limit. In Florida, PIP’s minimum $10,000 limit will cover:
- Accident-related medical bills
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
- Disability benefits
- Death benefits
PIP has certain timelines that must be met in order to qualify for coverage for your accident-related expenses. To receive compensation from your PIP insurance coverage, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of your injuries and request compensation within 35 days—under Florida Statute § 627.736(1)(a) and Florida Statute § 627.736(2)(c), respectively.
Pursuing the At-Fault Driver for Your Injury Expenses
If you were the passenger in a vehicle collision, the driver who caused the accident (or his insurance company) can be held financially responsible for your injuries. The injuries you can collect compensation for include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Like all registered vehicle owners in Florida, the at-fault driver should have PIP insurance coverage. If your expenses exceed their PIP coverage maximum, you may be able to recover your remaining expenses from the at-fault driver.
Collecting Compensation From Your Driver’s Insurer as a Passenger
What happens when you are a passenger in a car accident can vary depending on who was driving the car in which you were riding. If you are riding in a car with a friend or family member, you can have your medical expenses paid by the vehicle owner’s PIP insurance—even if someone else was driving the car at the time of the collision.
If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, the rideshare company will have insurance protection that covers your accident-related expenses and losses (under certain circumstances).
- Lyft’s coverage provides up to $100,000 of coverage from the time your ride is accepted
- Uber’s insurance protection will cover up to $100,000 of expenses during your ride
As a passenger who is involved in a car accident, knowing where to assign liability can be confusing. A lawyer in your area can help you determine the right party to pursue if you were injured while riding in someone else’s car.
Pursuing PIP Protection From Your Insurance Company
If you own a vehicle that is registered in Florida, you are required to have PIP insurance coverage. If you are enjoying a road trip with a friend, family member, or colleague, and you have PIP coverage in place, your insurance carrier may cover your injuries. Each of the other drivers will be covered by their PIP insurance.
Collect Documents to Support Your Injury Claim
If you were injured in the car accident, a crash report is mandatory under Florida Statute § 316.065(1). In addition to a copy of the crash report (after you are injured in a car accident), you can collect and compile documents and other evidence that support your injury claim. These documents can include:
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical records and bills
- Crash report
If possible, take pictures of the vehicle damage—especially the damage to the side of the car on where you were sitting. Collect important documents, then contact a law firm as soon as possible because your time to file a claim in Florida is generally limited to four years from the date of the accident under Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(b).
You Have Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you or a family member were a passenger in a car accident, you have many of the same rights as the driver you were riding with. That means you may also be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and injury-related expenses. Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 to speak to a member of our intake team to discuss your passenger rights, where to assign liability, and your financial recovery options.