If I’m a Pedestrian, Who Pays for My Medical Bills After I Was Hit by a Car?
Bill Allen | June 1, 2022 | Car Accidents
Pedestrians have a high risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries and life-threatening conditions when hit by a car. A pedestrian has no protection from an impact with a motor vehicle. The pedestrian’s body receives the full blow from the collision.
Therefore, the pedestrian can sustain multiple injuries from being struck by a car. Examples of injuries a pedestrian might sustain include:
- Multiple broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures and head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Damage to internal organs and internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Crushing injuries
The medical bills to treat pedestrian injuries can total thousands of dollars. Who pays for the pedestrian’s medical bills after a pedestrian accident?
Florida’s PIP Insurance Coverage and Pedestrian Accidents
Florida law requires all motor vehicle owners to maintain $10,000 in PIP (personal injury protection) insurance coverage. PIP is a type of no-fault insurance. It pays benefits to the covered individual regardless of who caused a traffic accident.
Your PIP insurance coverage pays your medical bills if a motorist hits you. If you did not have PIP coverage, the motorist’s PIP insurance coverage should pay your medical bills.
It is important to remember that while you cannot waive PIP insurance coverage, you can increase the insurance deductible to save money. In some cases, a person might exclude people from their household from coverage. Therefore, you need to review the terms of the PIP policy to ensure your medical bills from a pedestrian accident are covered by the policy.
Medical Bills for a Pedestrian Accident Paid by No-Fault Insurance Coverage
PIP insurance only covers 80% of your medical bills, up to a total of $10,000. Unfortunately, pedestrians may incur substantial medical bills because of their injuries. A pedestrian may require multiple surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and other medical treatment. They might require long-term nursing and/or personal care.
Therefore, if you were hit by a car, you may need to look for other ways to pay your medical bills. If you have health insurance, your health insurance might cover the medical costs for treating your injuries. You may also have a claim for damages against the driver who struck you with their car.
Suing the Driver After a Pedestrian Accident in Gainesville
Florida’s insurance laws allow accident victims to sue the at-fault driver when the victim sustains serious injuries because of an accident. You would need to prove the elements of negligence to hold the driver liable for your damages:
- Duty – The driver owed you a duty of care to operate the vehicle safely to avoid an accident
- Breach of Duty – The driver’s conduct fell short of the level of care a reasonable person would have used in the same situation
- Causation – The driver’s actions were a direct and proximate cause of your injuries
- Damages – You sustained damages because of the driver’s breach of duty
Generally, pedestrians have the right of way at designated crosswalks unless they cross against the light or pedestrian signal. Additionally, drivers have a duty of care to stop for pedestrians in the roadway.
However, the driver may claim that you violated pedestrian traffic laws or that you otherwise contributed to the cause of the accident. The reason for accusing you of contributing to the cause of your injury is to reduce the amount of money the driver must pay you for your claim under Florida’s contributory fault laws.
Shifting the blame to the pedestrian is a common tactic insurance companies use. Before talking to an insurance adjuster, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice from a lawyer. A lawyer analyzes your case and advises you of your rights and the damages you could receive by filing a personal injury claim.
What Damages Can a Pedestrian Receive From an At-Fault Driver?
If you prove the driver was responsible for causing the accident, you can receive compensation for your damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities and permanent impairments
- Past and future lost wages, including diminished earning potential
- Cost of long-term nursing care
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Personal care and household services
- Mental anguish
- Decrease in quality of life
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by distracted, speeding, or impaired drivers. The drivers should be held liable for the damages they cause. Filing a personal injury claim can get you the money you need for medical bills. I can also compensate you for the other damages caused by a pedestrian accident.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
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