Mark Roman | May 5, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can cause physical and mental trauma. After a manual or electric bike accident, you could face injuries ranging from road rash to paralysis.
The steps you take after an e-bike accident could determine your right to recover compensation for your injuries. Yet most bike riders do not know what to do after a bicycle accident.
Below are some steps to take after an electric bike accident in Clearwater, FL.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System
Unlike most other states in the country, Florida uses a no-fault insurance system.
Under Florida law, the personal injury protection (PIP) offered in your no-fault policy must cover:
- The customer who bought the policy
- Relatives of the customer who live in the same household
- Drivers operating the insured vehicle
- Passengers in the insured vehicle
- Pedestrians and bicyclists struck by the insured vehicle
If you own a vehicle, you can file a claim for your e-bicycle accident injuries under your PIP coverage even though you were not in your vehicle when you got hit.
Suppose that you do not own a vehicle but live with a family member who does. You can file a claim for your e-bicycle accident injuries under their policy.
Finally, you may be entitled to file a claim against the PIP policy of the driver who hit you. This claim falls under the no-fault provisions of the driver’s policy. You do not need to prove that the driver acted negligently in hitting you. And the insurer cannot deny your claim if you contributed to the cause of the accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
If you suffer a significant, permanent injury or your medical expenses exceed the PIP coverage limits, you can generally pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
The categories of significant, permanent injuries used by Florida include:
- Loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
If you suffer any of these injuries, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver to recover economic and non-economic damages. However, you must prove fault in this type of action.
What to Do After an E-Bike Accident in Florida
With this background, you must proceed carefully after an e-bike accident in Clearwater, FL. Things you say or do after the accident can jeopardize your injury claim. Some steps you should take include:
Report the Accident
In Florida, a vehicle driver, including e-bike riders, must report to the police all crashes that cause:
- At least $500 in damage
If you do not report the accident, the insurer can deny your claim. Under its logic, you failed to call the police, so you must not have gotten injured.
Seek Medical Attention
Your injury claim relies on the fact that you suffered physical and mental injuries. You must have diagnoses to support your claim. Without diagnoses, the insurer or at-fault party could deny your claim, asserting that you faked or exaggerated your injuries.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Your PIP coverage will pay a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages.
But the insurer can reduce your claim if you worsened your injuries by:
- Not receiving treatment
- Skipping physical therapy
- Resuming activities too soon
You should follow your doctor’s advice to avoid worsening your injuries and receiving a claim denial.
Document Your Losses
Keep copies of your medical bills and wage statements to prove your losses.
Also, retain receipts for other expenses caused by your injuries, such as:
- Taxis or rideshares
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Medical equipment rentals
- Modifications to your home, such as ramps and grab bars
- Childcare, cleaning, or cooking services
You may or may not get reimbursed for these expenses. But to claim them, you must keep records of them.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company Without a Lawyer
Insurers have an incentive to deny claims. They will use anything you say or do to support a claim denial.
Your personal injury lawyer will likely recommend against talking to the insurer. If you do decide to speak with an adjuster, your lawyer should sit with you to review any trick questions. Without a lawyer, you risk giving the insurer ammunition to deny your claim. Plus, having attorney representation generally results in more compensation recovered from your claim or lawsuit.
Contact the Clearwater Bicycle Accident 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 bicycle accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655