Laws for a passenger in a car accident.

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Laws for a passenger in a car accident.

I was a passenger in a car accident in Orange County, Florida. My friend was the driver. I have hired an attorney but do not believe that they are doing the best job. I had to have surgery due to a puncture in my small intestine. I also fractured a vertebra in my lower back. My medical bills are around $60,000. My lawyer has received $20,000 from the driver’s vehicle insurance, and my vehicle insurance paid $10,000. Now my laywer is saying that I will have to pay the rest. Should I seek another lawyer or does this sound right? I do not want to sue to get more than what my bills are. I just want my medical bills to be covered.

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I assume your friend who drove the vehicle was at fault for the auto accident.  Florida, however, is a no fault state and has very minimal insurance requirements. Whether your friend was at fault or not, he should have PIP coverage (personal injury protection) which must be a minimum of $10K. It sounds like he had $20K and you had $10K.  Liability insurance for injuries does not appear to be mandatory in Florida and it doesn't look like your friend carries it.  Now, you say you have an auto policy.  If you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, you can make a claim for the balance of your bills plus pain and suffering and any lost wages you have.  If you do not have that coverage, the only other option would be to sue your friend for the balance of the bills.


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