Passenger Rights in a Florida Accident

On August 12, 2013, a car traveling on Interstate 75 veered off-road and rolled over multiple times. The driver had abruptly changed lanes, losing control of the vehicle and eventually coming to full stop in a canal. All vehicle occupants were treated at an area hospital and miraculously avoided major injuries. The driver was cited for careless driving.

Insurance that covers passengers

Florida law mandates that every car owner carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage at a minimum of $10,000. Injured passengers may obtain coverage for their injuries from a few PIP sources:

  • Their car insurance policies
  • Relatives’ policies, if they reside with an adult relative who owns a car
  • The insurance policy of the driver in whose car they were riding at the time of the accident
  • Benefits from the other vehicle driver’s policy if another vehicle was involved in the accident

Regardless of whose policy you use to cover your damages, Florida law only requires insurers to compensate you up to 60 percent of your lost wages and 80 percent of your medical expenses. However, your medical expenses and lost wages damages may collectively exceed the coverage in a bad accident.

Recent changes to Florida law

Under recent changes to insurance law, if your injuries do not require emergency treatment, your PIP payment is capped at $2,500. The new law requires injured passengers to obtain health treatment from a medical professional within two weeks of the accident. Only if a specialist diagnoses you with a condition requiring emergency treatment will coverage for your medical expenses exceed $2,500.

An experienced Florida attorney familiar with insurance law can advise you of all means of getting adequate compensation if you are injured as a passenger in a car accident.

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