Getting into a car accident in Miami’s busy traffic is distressing, especially when you suffer serious injuries. As a passenger, you might wonder about your rights after a collision and whether you can seek a settlement to help you pay for medical bills or lost pay from missed work during your recovery.
Miami law entitles you to compensation for injuries, regardless of who’s at the wheel—whether it’s a family member, friend, or another driver.
Understanding your rights and working with a Miami car accident lawyer from Aigen Injury Law to file an insurance claim can help you get the restitution you deserve as an injured passenger.
Do You Have a Right to Compensation as an Injured Passenger?
In Florida, passengers injured in vehicle accidents have rights similar to drivers. If you’re hurt while riding in a car in Miami, you can typically receive compensation through the driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
PIP insurance is required in Florida and covers up to 80% of necessary medical expenses due to a car crash—up to $10,000—regardless of which party caused the accident. A vehicle’s PIP insurance extends to the passengers riding in it, allowing them to recover insurance benefits for their injuries.
If another driver is at fault, you can seek compensation from their liability insurance policy, especially if your injuries are severe. Although Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance (BIL), many motorists still purchase this coverage when choosing an insurance policy. If the driver who caused the accident has BIL, you can seek compensation up to their policy limits.
How to File for Damages if Your Loved One was Behind the Wheel
If you’re a passenger injured in a vehicle crash where the driver you were with was at fault, navigating compensation can be complicated. You may worry that filing will cause tension with your friend or loved one.
However, it’s important to remember that your loved one won’t be paying out-of-pocket. Their insurance should cover your damages, rather than their bank account, ensuring you receive compensation for your injuries without harming your relationship.
To file a claim, take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention: Prioritize your health by seeking medical attention promptly. Even injuries that appear minor can develop into serious conditions without diagnosis and treatment. A thorough medical evaluation ensures your well-being and provides official documentation, which can be instrumental when pursuing a compensation claim.
- Report the incident: Report the crash to the police per Florida law. An official report objectively captures the details of the accident and can be vital in establishing fault and backing your claims.
- Insurance claim with the driver’s PIP: Work with an attorney to help you file a claim with the driver’s PIP insurance. This may include completing the required paperwork with their insurance company and submitting evidence of injuries and other damages.
- Use your PIP insurance: If the driver’s PIP is exhausted or exclusions prevent you from using it, speak with your attorney about filing a claim with your own PIP insurance. Common exclusions in PIP policies include driving without a license or operating a vehicle as an unauthorized driver.
- Seek compensation through liability insurance: When injuries or damages go beyond the PIP coverage limit, you may be able to pursue a claim with the driver’s bodily injury liability coverage. This will depend on whether they carry BIL and the policy limits.
- Uninsured/Underinsured coverage: In cases where insurance coverage is inadequate or non-existent, you might turn to your own uninsured or underinsured motorist Although it is not required to have under law, if you do have this coverage, it can act as a backup, covering expenses when primary insurance options are unavailable or insufficient.
Filing for Compensation from a Third-Party Driver
If you were injured in a crash where a driver other than the driver of the vehicle you were riding in is at fault, you have several options for receiving compensation. You will still want to seek medical attention and report the incident to the police before taking your next steps.
- Identifying the at-fault driver: When the accident occurs, obtain the other driver’s information, including name, contact details, and insurance information. You will need it to file a claim with their liability insurer.
- Notifying the third-party insurer: Inform the at-fault driver’s insurance company of your intent to file a claim. This doesn’t mean you’ll discuss all the specifics immediately; it’s simply a notification. However, you may want to work with a qualified attorney to file this notice to protect your rights and prevent aggressive tactics from insurance adjusters.
- Gathering evidence: If possible, gather evidence of the crash. This can include photographs of the accident scene, witness testimonies, and dashcam footage to bolster your claim against the other driver.
- Rideshare complications: The compensation process can be more complex if the accident involves a rideshare vehicle like Uber or Lyft. These companies have their own insurance policies, which may cover your injuries, depending on the driver’s status during the crash. An attorney can help you navigate liability in this scenario and file with the appropriate insurer.
- Getting legal representation: Seeking legal advice or representation can help protect your rights as a passenger. It can be challenging to know how and whether to file a claim, and whether it will affect your relationship if the driver of the car you were in is at fault. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate these issues and receive fair compensation from the available insurance policies.
Protect Your Rights as a Passenger with Help from Aigen Injury Law
Getting injured in an accident while riding in another person’s vehicle can be devastating and leave you feeling powerless. Our Miami car accident lawyers at Aigen Injury Law can provide legal support after a crash.
We can help you understand your options for compensation, including the driver’s insurance, a third-party policy, or your own coverage. This can help you get a fair settlement for your injuries.
Our team will listen to your story, fight to safeguard your rights, and help you receive the compensation you deserve from all responsible parties. Contact us today for a free consultation.