A vehicle driver’s negligence may cause your injury while you’re on a bike in Florida. If so, you may be entitled to money for pain and suffering. Whether you can get paid for your lost wages, medical expenses paid or get the $5,000 PIP death benefit is outside the scope of this article.
If any tort lawsuit against the owner, registrant, operator, or occupant of a motor vehicle…or any organization legally responsible for his acts…the injured person may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience…only if the injury consists…of:
(a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
(b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
The requirement that you need one of the injuries listed above in “a” through “d” to recover pain and suffering damages is known as the “tort threshold.”
Don’t listen to adjusters who say you’re injuries aren’t permanent
Don’t listen to the adjuster if he or she tells you that you are not permanently injured! Some insurance claims adjusters are very persuasive.
It is his or her job to settle cases for the least amount possible.
Does a bicyclist always need a permanent injury to be entitled to money for pain and suffering?
No. If a driver’s negligence causes a bike rider’s injury, then there are a few situations where the bicyclist doesn’t have to meet the tort threshold in order to be entitled to pain and suffering damages.
The exceptions are if a bike rider is hit by:
- Taxi or Limousine
- Nonresident, who owns a motor vehicle not required to be registered in Florida, not subject to “90-of 365-day rule”
- Public bus (e.g. Miami-Dade County Bus)
- Golf Cart
There are other exceptions but I am not mentioning them because they involve situations where the tortfeasor does not have enough insurance and the your chance of actually getting money for pain and suffering is small.
In the above two exceptions, all you need to show is that you have some pain – even if it goes away – caused by the accident and the jury would be allowed to award you money for pain and suffering.
If the motor vehicle driver is at fault, the amount of any award that you may get for pain and suffering is reduced by your comparative fault. So if you were 50% at fault, your pain and suffering award would be cut in half.
If you were 75% at fault, you would be entitled to 25% of the amount that a jury awards for pain and suffering.
Below are the forms of insurance that may cover you for your personal injury from a bicycle accident.
Bodily Injury (BI) Liability Insurance
In order to try to get your out of pocket medical bills paid, you will need to make a claim against the tortfeasor driver. You should also make a claim against the owner of the careless driver’s vehicle and any other responsible parties.
Your claim, if valid, will likely be paid by their BI liability insurer.
To get them to pay, you have to show that the driver was at fault. If the driver was at fault, hopefully the driver and/or owner – or his or her employer – has bodily injury (BI) liability insurance.
Are cars, trucks and other vehicles required to have BI liability insurance in Florida?
Learn if Florida motor vehicle owners are required to have bodily injury (BI) liability insurance on their auto policies. See which trucks in Florida are required to have bodily injury (BI) liability insurance coverage. See different examples.
If you were hit by a driver who was working for a large company, such as Walmart, you do not need there to be bodily injury liability insurance because they are self-insured and have plenty of money to pay for your injuries.
But if you are dealing with a smaller company and there is no bodily injury liability available, you can make an uninsured motorist insurance claim (UM) if this insurance is available.
There may be more than 11 parties against whom you can make a claim for pain and suffering and other damages.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Let’s assume you were riding a bike and were hit by a motor vehicle (car, truck, etc.) and your medical bills were over $10,000. The other driver – and/or owner – does not have bodily injury insurance.
The driver was not working at the time of the crash so you cannot get bodily injury liability insurance from the policy of the driver’s employer.
If you are an insured under a policy providing uninsured (UM) coverage, you can make a claim for damages against the UM insurer. UM covers is pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and other damages.
Let’s assume that you own a car but did not purchase UM on that car. If you live with a resident relative who owns a car that has UM coverage, then you could make a claim through your resident relative’s UM.
More information about Florida bike accident claims
Learn more about bike accident and injury claim compensation in Florida.
Check out some actual Florida bike accident cases and settlements
- Lady Hit by Truck in Cooper City, Florida Gets $100,000 for Face Fracture
- My Florida bike accident settlements
Were you injured in a bicycle accident in Florida or other type of accident?
I want to represent you if someone’s carelessness in a Florida accident caused your injury, or if a family member was killed.
Call us now at (888) 594-3577 to Get a Free Consultation. There are No Fees or Costs Unless We Recover Money. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. We speak Spanish. We invite you to learn more about us.