I was injured in an auto accident in someone else’s car!

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Aisha WhiteI was injured in an auto accident in someone else’s car.  I don’t own a vehicle, so who is going to pay for my medical treatment?

By: Aisha White

In Florida, those of us who own vehicles know that Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a coverage that we are required to purchase.  This coverage is a very important coverage because it provides insurance coverage for medical treatment, loss of income/services, and death benefits due to an auto accident (see Florida Statute 627.736).  This coverage is extremely important for people injured in auto accidents, because it provides coverage for medical treatment, loss of income, and death benefits too (subject to specific statutory and policy requirements.) Read more click here.However, what about injured people who were passengers in someone else’s vehicle?  How do they get the medical attention that they need?  Well, thankfully this type of scenario has been addressed in the PIP statute as well. Per F.S. 627.736 (1), the insurance company must provide PIP coverage to the named insured, residents in the same household, people operating the insured’s vehicle, passengers in the insured vehicle, and people injured when struck by the insured vehicle.

In other words, if you live with a relative who owns a vehicle and has the required PIP insurance, you could qualify for PIP coverage under their policy if you are hurt in an auto accident, even though you do not own a vehicle. Also, if you were an injured passenger in someone else’s vehicle, but you don’t own a vehicle and do not reside with a relative who has PIP, then you may qualify for PIP coverage under the policy of the vehicle that you were occupying.   I have heard from several clients (who do not own vehicles but were injured in someone else’s car) that they were either misled or erroneously told that they do not qualify for PIP benefits, when the statute says otherwise.

The Florida PIP Statute does list reasons for which you may be excluded from (PIP) coverage, such as if you are injured due to your committing a felony or you intentionally injured yourself.  However, barring those very fact specific exclusions, some insurance carriers will unfairly and improperly deny PIP coverage to passengers in their insured’s vehicles.  There also may be policy specific exclusions that apply to your situation as well.  Each case is different, so you may need an attorney to assist you in a situation such as this.  If you need assistance with an auto accident injury, please call Aisha White or another DKN Legal attorney at (321) 329-5449.   We offer free consultations for personal injury cases.

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