Car insurance generally covers accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. However, whether that is the case depends on the type of car insurance and the circumstances of the accident. This blog will explore how PIP and liability insurance coverage applies to Tampa bicycle accidents.

PIP Claims for Bicycle Accidents

Florida drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance is no-fault insurance that pays a portion of your medical bills and lost wages if you are involved in a car accident, regardless of who caused the crash. You file the claim with your PIP insurance provider.

PIP is not mandatory for bicyclists in Florida. However, that does not mean PIP insurance will not apply in a Tampa bicycle accident. If a cyclist is struck by a vehicle and they have PIP coverage, that insurance could apply depending on the facts of the case. They may receive reimbursement for up to 80% of their medical bills and 60% of their lost wages from their insurance company.

Filing a Lawsuit or Third-Party Insurance Claim After a Bicycle Accident in Tampa, FL

If a driver is at fault for causing a bicycle accident, the driver could be liable for the cyclist’s injuries and damages. The bicyclist may sue or file a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver if the cyclist meets the serious injury threshold for filing a third-party claim (or if another exception to the no-fault system applies). Because riders have very little protection from the impact of a car, bicycle accidents often cause serious injuries.

Unlike a PIP claim, the cyclist must prove the driver caused the bicycle accident. Negligence is a common cause of many bicycle accidents. Reasons drivers hit bicycles include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failing to follow traffic laws
  • Impaired driving
  • Drowsy and fatigued driving
  • Tailgating
  • Driving in a bicycle lane

If the bicyclist can prove that the driver caused the accident, the cyclist could receive a much larger settlement than they would receive from a PIP claim.

What Damages Are Available for a Bicycle Accident in Tampa, FL?

Liability insurance coverage is a form of at-fault insurance coverage. It pays accident victims for losses and injuries if a covered driver causes an accident. The bicyclist could receive compensation for their economic and non-economic damages, including:

Unfortunately, drivers are not required to purchase liability insurance coverage in Florida. Therefore, a bicyclist may need to sue the driver for damages if they do not have liability insurance.

A Tampa bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine whether filing a personal injury lawsuit is wise. They can also explore other sources of compensation for a bicycle accident that could be available depending on the facts of the case.

What Happens if the Bicyclist Is Partially at Fault for Causing the Crash?

If the bicyclist has PIP coverage, it does not matter whether they are to blame for causing the accident. PIP coverage applies regardless of fault.

However, third-party claims are different. Florida’s contributory fault laws could bar riders from receiving compensation if they are more than 50% to blame for causing the accident. If the bicyclist is less than 51% to blame, they can receive some money for their claim. A judge would reduce the damages awarded by a jury by the cyclist’s percentage of fault.

How Long Do I Have To Sue an At-Fault Driver for a Florida Bicycle Accident?

If you have a third-party claim for a bicycle accident, the Florida statute of limitations limits your time to sue the other driver. In most cases, the time limit is two years from the date of the accident. 

However, exceptions and the facts of the bicycle crash could change your deadline to file a bicycle accident lawsuit. The best way to protect your rights and determine whether you have a third-party claim is to talk with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney will review your case during a free consultation and advise you of your legal options. 

Contact the Tampa Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.

We serve throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and its surrounding areas:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442