If you were a passenger in a Florida car accident, follow many of the same steps as if you were driving your own vehicle. These would include seeking medical attention, filing a police report (or asking for a copy), retaining records from health care providers, following through with doctor recommendations, filing a claim with your insurance, and gathering evidence. Last but not least, contact a lawyer to ensure all your damages are covered.
At Kogan & DiSalvo, we have a stellar reputation throughout South Florida as a car accident law firm. We are known for our dedication to clients and our ethical practice. If you or a loved one was in a collision as a passenger, a dedicated Florida car accident attorney could vigorously fight for you to obtain the maximum recovery allowable under the law.
What Insurance Do I Use As a Passenger After an Accident?
Florida drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection, also called PIP or no-fault car insurance. If you own a vehicle, first file a claim under your insurance, even though the accident happened in someone else’s car. You are also covered by the PIP of household members. If you or your family doesn’t have this coverage, you may file a claim under the policy carried by the driver of the car you were riding in. Alternatively, you may seek coverage from the insurance of the other vehicle involved in the crash.
Can I Bring a Legal Claim if I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident?
As a passenger in a car accident, you have the right in Florida to bring a legal claim for your injuries and pain and suffering. In addition, if a loved one died in the accident and you are their representative, you may have a claim for wrongful death.
Generally, your time is limited to two years from the accident date to bring a claim for your injuries. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is also usually two years from the date of death. Therefore, seeking legal counsel as early as possible after the accident is advisable to preserve your rights.
What Does PIP Cover for a Passenger?
PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills up to the policy limits as a passenger. Florida law requires drivers to carry at least the minimum PIP coverage, which includes:
- $10,000 bodily injury for one person injured per accident
- $20,000 bodily injury for two or more people injured per accident
PIP also covers 60% of lost wages up to a limit of $10,000. Don’t delay seeking medical treatment after an accident if you intend to seek PIP reimbursement. If you don’t seek medical treatment within 14 days, you may not have any PIP coverage.
Do I Need to Gather Information Even Though It’s Not My Car?
Gather as much information about the accident as you can, including:
- A copy of the police report
- Insurance information from both drivers
- Contact information for passengers and drivers in both cars
- Contact information for witnesses
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene. Include road conditions, the weather, street signs, and local businesses, as they may have security cameras that captured the accident.
What If I Was Riding in an Uber?
If you were using a ridesharing app, the driver’s personal PIP insurance covers passengers in Uber and Lyft in Florida. However, Uber doesn’t provide it, and Lyft provides a policy for pedestrian accidents. Similarly, Uber and Lyft drivers don’t work for those companies; they are independent contractors and may prove uncooperative after the accident. The complexities of a car accident with Uber and Lyft are best dealt with by an attorney.
Call Kogan & Di-Salvo for a Free Consultation
You face a complex situation when you’re injured as a passenger in someone’s car. Our car accident attorneys will sort out the insurance and legal issues for you so that you can focus on healing. Call now for a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us afterward. And since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries.
We look forward to hearing from you.