In the State of Florida, victims of bicycle accidents can often recover compensation for the pain and suffering of any related injuries in addition to compensation for the medical costs of the injuries themselves.
To collect compensation, an accident victim must first solicit their personal injury protection (PIP) policy. If they live in a household with a relative who has PIP coverage, they may be eligible under that policy. PIP generally provides a limited amount of pain and suffering coverage.
If your medical costs, disability benefits, pain and suffering exceeds your coverage limit, you may be able to claim compensation from the accident-causing party’s Bodily Injury (BI) Liability policy. First, the other party must be proven to have acted negligently. Comparative negligence laws allow for compensation in the proportion to the plaintiff’s level of fault. So, if a bicycle rider endured $45,000 in pain and suffering, but they were determined 25% at-fault for the incident, they could only claim the remaining 75% of the amount, or $33,750.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage may also be able to compensate you if the negligent party was uninsured and certain conditions are met.
Injury victims should note that the State of Florida generally requires a minimum level of injury in order to pursue pain and suffering damages against another party. According to Florida Statutes § 627.7373, damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience are limited to injuries that cause one of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Permanent, significant scarring or disfigurement
An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to determine options in lieu of the above for your rightful compensation of pain and suffering damages, such as if the accident-causing vehicle was a commercial vehicle.