Yes, if a motorcycle strikes a pedestrian, the walker usually can file an insurance claim. The injured person might have the option to file a claim for damages against more than one insurer. However, before you do any of that, be sure to get medical attention immediately following the accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage of the Pedestrian
If a motorcycle injured you when you were walking, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage might pay your medical bills and lost wages. Regardless of who caused the collision, PIP coverage can apply to injuries from a motor vehicle incident, even if you were not in a car at the time.
Let’s say that you have PIP coverage on your car. When you were out for a walk, a motorcycle rider lost control, rolled up on the sidewalk, and ran into you. Your PIP coverage might pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages.
The Motorcyclist’s Insurance
You might be able to file a claim against the motorcycle rider’s liability insurance, but both of these facts must be true:
- The motorcyclist caused the wreck through negligence, and
- Your injuries satisfy the threshold requirement to allow you to escape Florida’s “no-fault” insurance law.
Negligence: The Key Factor in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
You can only file a claim for damages against someone if that person’s carelessness caused the accident and your injuries. The elements of negligence are:
Legal duty of care. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle (including motorcycles) must operate the object with caution, keep a proper lookout, and follow the rules of the road.
Breach of the duty of care. When a person does not live up to the applicable standard of care, it is negligence. Let’s say that the motorcycle rider was filming a video of himself on his cell phone while riding. His failure to operate the motorcycle with caution, keep a proper lookout, and follow the rules of the road constitute negligence.
Causation. Because of the motorcycle rider’s inattention to the road, he left the street and drove up on the sidewalk, where his motorcycle crashed into you as you were walking. The cyclist’s negligence caused the wreck.
Measurable damages. If you suffered physical injuries, you have quantifiable damages. In the situation of a motorcycle hitting a pedestrian, your injuries could be from the motorcycle striking you or from you trying to get out of the path of the motorcycle.
Threshold Damages to Sue the Motorcyclist
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that you might have to rely on your own insurance coverage to pay for your injuries, even when someone else hurt you because of their carelessness unless you meet the requirements of the Permanent Injury Threshold. These four situations satisfy the Permanent Injury Threshold:
- Permanent and significant scarring and disfigurement, or
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function, or
- An injury that is likely to be permanent, with a reasonable degree of medical probability
If your facts fall into one of these four categories, you can sue the at-fault motorcycle rider for your injuries and other losses.
If a motorcycle injured you while you were on foot, you can talk with the Montero Law Center. Call us today at 954-767-6500, to line up your free consultation.