Medical Bills for the Injured Bicyclist - Who is Responsible for Payment?
In the State of Florida, there are a number of challenges facing th injured bicyclist following a bicycle accident. One such challenge is payment of medical bills associated with the bicycle crash. There may be a variety of payment sources for the injuries related to the bicycle crash. Many people believe that the medical bills will automatically be paid by the at-fault driver's automobile insurance. In the State of Florida this is not the case. Here are potential sources of payment of medical bills:PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
Even though the bicyclist was not occupying his or her own vehicle OR a vehicle owned by a resident relative, the bicyclist may be able to have the medical bills covered by PIP. Florida has a set of laws referred to as No-Fault laws that apply in part to the payment of medical bills. If a bicyclist owns a vehicle with automobile insurance OR lives with the resident relative who owns a car with automobile insurance in place, then the medical bills may be covered by the available PIP or Personal Injury Protection.Medical Payment / Med Pay
In the State of Florida, there is another type of insurance that is optional under an automobile insurance policy called Medical Payment Insurance or Med Pay insurance. Like PIP, Medical Payment insurance covers medical bills associated with an automobile accident or a bicycle accident. Unlike PIP, Med Pay coverage is optional. As such fewer people have Med Pay insurance in the State of Florida as compared to PIP which is mandatory for registered owners of automobiles / motor vehicles.Health Insurance
If an injured bicyclist has health insurance, then the medical bills may be processed under the health insurance for the bicyclist. Many believe that this is unfair to have to use one's own health insurance when the bicycle accident is the fault of another person. Many people do not want to use their available health insurance plan to pay for medical bills associated with a bicycle accident that is caused by the negligence or fault of another person. It should be noted that in most cases health insurance secondary coverage under available PIP and / or Med Pay coverage.Personal Injury Protection for The At Fault Driver
If the injured bicyclist does not own an automobile / motor vehicle AND does not live with a resident relative who owns a vehicle with available automobile insurance, then the injured bicyclist may qualify for coverage under the Personal Injury Protection coverage for the at fault party. If the injured bicyclist owned vehicle and failed to have PIP insurance on his or her own vehicle, then injured bicyclist would be disqualified for PIP coverage under the at fault person’s automobile insurance policy.Letter of Protection
If there are no other sources of payment as outlined above, there may be a way to get medical care under what is called a Letter of Protection. The Letter of Protection is a promise to pay for medical care at a later date for medical care provided associated with a bicycle accident, automobile accident, or similar incident. A medical provider is not required to accept a Letter of Protection or even treat an injured bicyclist. There is an exception to this general rule for emergency rooms which have a duty to treat patients who enter their doors under most emergency and urgent care situations.Liability Insurance for At Fault Driver and Owner of At Fault Vehicle
Many people believe that the medical bills should be paid up front from the at fault driver's liability insurance which is often referred to as Bodily Injury. In most cases, Bodily Injury insurance will cover medical bills for the injured bicyclist but only those that are not otherwise covered by Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payment, and / or Health Insurance. It should also be noted that Bodily Injury typically does not pay for medical bills as they are incurred.
For example, let's say a person gets medical care and treatment for a fractured leg associated with the bicycle accident. The injury victim obtains medical care from alocal emergency room, orthopedic surgeon, and physical therapy group. Let's say that the total medical bills are $25,000. Th injured bicyclist had PIP coverage in the amount of $10,000 and had Medical Payment Insurance in the amount of $5,000. The injured bicyclist did not have health insurance. Let's further assume that PIP paid out all its benefits in the amount of $10,000 and Med Pay paid out benefits in the amount of $5,000. With with with these payments, there is a balance of $10,000 in medical bills incurred by the injured cyclist. The injured cyclist treats for approximately four months and his discharged from treatment. Bodily Injury insurance will not pay the balance of the bills are they are incurred; however, there should be a one time settlement by the Bodily Injury insurance carrier at the conclusion of treatment.
As noted above, there can be a variety of sources for the payment of medical bills associated with a bicycle accident. It can be quite confusing as to how bills are paid, when bills are paid, and who pays the bills. Because of these and other complexities associated with a bicycle accident, it is important for an injured bicyclist to seek out and obtain advice, guidance, and legal representation from a Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney. David Wolf has over 30 years of experience representing injury victims and their families. He is the author of the book titled - Bikes, Trikes & Automobiles - Legal Rights of the Injured Cyclist. Get this book for free by contacting David Wolf. Get D Wolf - On Your Side - At Your Side.