What If My Child Is Injured as a Passenger in Another Person’s Vehicle?

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Children are often the unfortunate victims of automobile and trucking accidents in the State of Florida. In some instances, the child is a passenger in another person’s vehicle. The vehicle may be owned or driven by a friend, non-resident relative, neighbor, coach, or another person. If so, the child may be entitled to compensation from a variety of sources. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of the accident, the extent of the injuries, and the amount and availability of automobile insurance coverage. Here are the sources of compensation that may apply to an accident if the child is a passenger in a vehicle owned / driven by another person.

Personal Injury Protection. Generally, the injured child will qualify for Personal Injury Protection coverage under his or her parent’s policy even if the child is injured as a passenger in a vehicle owned and / or operated by a person other than the parent. If the parent does not own a vehicle and / or does not have PIP coverage in place, then the child may end up qualifying for PIP coverage under the insurance policy for the vehicle occupied by the child passenger. PIP covers 80 % of medical bills reasonably related to the automobile accident. There are limits to insurance coverage under PIP. In many instances, the amount of medical bills exceed the available PIP coverage.

Medical Payment Coverage. Medical Payment coverage otherwise known as Med Pay coverage is optional coverage in the State of Florida. Med Pay coverage will pay for medical bills reasonably related to the automobile accident that are not otherwise paid for by the PIP coverage. Often times, Med Pay is in the amount of $5,000 or more.

Bodily Injury Insurance of At Fault Driver and / or Owner. In the State of Florida, bodily injury insurance is optional. If the driver or owner of the at fault vehicle has BI (Bodily Injury) coverage, the injured child as a passenger may qualify for benefits or insurance under the bodily injury insurance coverage. Bodily Injury covers injuries / damages not otherwise covered by PIP and Medical Payment coverage. In order to qualify for pain and suffering damages in the State of Florida, it must be shown that the injured child passenger suffered a permanent injury and / or scarring resulting from the Florida automobile accident.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Benefits. Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist Benefits are often time referred to as UM coverage. The injured child passenger may qualify for UM coverage under one or more insurance policies. Like Bodily Injury coverage, UM coverage is optional and is taken out in varying amounts beginning at $10,000 and can run as high as $1,000,000 or more. UM coverage may be obtained for the injured child if there is no BI coverage for the at fault driver or owner OR in the alternative if the available BI coverage is insufficient to properly compensate the injured child passenger. The injured child may qualify for UM benefits under the parent’s UM coverage. Furthermore, the injured child may qualify for UM benefits under the policy of the vehicle occupied by the child.

When a child is injured as a passenger in a vehicle, there often times are many complexities to the personal injury case or claim. Because of this, it is often helpful to hire a personal injury attorney for advice, consultation, and legal advice. The attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. have been represented injury victims for over 50 years. At Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., the attorneys are On Your Side – At Your Side. Cases are handled by the law firm throughout the State of Florida and are taken on a contingency basis which means No Recovery – No Attorney Fees.

David Wolf, a partner with the law firm of Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., has dedicated his entire legal career to the protection and enforcement of the legal rights of children including those injured as a result of Florida automobile and trucking accidents. He is the author of the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. The book has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Medical Bills / Medical Treatment, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.