Claims for a Bicycle Accident with PIP or Med Pay

A collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle can result in devastating injuries. As a bicyclist, you are vulnerable due to the lack of a protective framework to absorb the force of the collision. You are also typically at a disadvantage in terms of weight and velocity compared to an automobile.

In addition to the physical injuries, a bicycle accident can also cause confusion when it comes to recovering damages. If you live in a tort liability state, you can make a claim with the driver’s insurance company, just as you would if you were driving a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. However, if you live in a no-fault state, you may not be sure where to turn to recover damages.

When Can You Make a PIP Claim for a Bike Accident?

Personal injury protection is auto insurance coverage that you purchase to cover your medical expenses if you are injured in a car accident. It is a requirement for all 12 no-fault states, as well as three tort states. If two conditions are met, you can make a PIP claim with your own insurance company for a bicycle accident:

  1. You must have been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle while on your bicycle.
  2. You must own a vehicle on which you have valid PIP coverage.

If these two conditions are met, you can make a PIP claim in regard to your bicycle accident.

People who don’t own their own cars may nevertheless be able to make a PIP claim for a bike accident under a family member’s policy. For example, a teenager who is injured on a bike in a crash with a car may be covered by the PIP insurance that a parent has on the family vehicle.

What Is the Difference Between Med Pay and PIP Coverage?

Med Pay is similar to personal injury protection in that they both cover medical expenses in the event that you are injured in a collision with someone else, regardless of who is at fault. In all but two states, Med Pay is completely optional. Med Pay is designed to work with your traditional health insurance coverage so that when one reaches its limit, the other one can kick in to cover whatever expenses remain. For example, Med Pay may cover copayments or deductibles not covered by your health insurance. This is different from PIP coverage for which co-pays and deductibles may apply.

Even if you have PIP and/or Med Pay, there are some damages that are not covered, such as pain and suffering. A bicycle injury lawyer in Canoga Park, CA, such as from Unidos Legales, may be able to help you recover such damages. Contact a law office for a consultation.

Jury Trials 101: What is Remittitur? What Court Reporters Need to Know

 

Skilled court reporters know the ins and outs of trials, so they can navigate situations that might otherwise be confusing with ease. Even when a court reporter isn’t directly reporting on a matter, understanding the context surrounding an issue is extremely helpful.

Did you know that in most states there are mechanisms in the law that allow a trial judge, in certain cases, to change a jury’s verdict?  In this post, we’ll discuss one of those: Remittitur.  This procedure allows a trial judge to decrease the amount of damages a jury awards to a plaintiff. If you are the plaintiff in a lawsuit, you certainly don’t want this to happen. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you’ll want a slip and fall lawyer Memphis TN trusts to prepare your case for trial. While remittitur is not always avoidable, we know how to present cases at trial to increase the chances that favorable jury verdicts for our clients will stand.

The trial judge, charged with ensuring a fair trial, serves as a check on a jury’s discretion to award damages.  One way the trial judge does this is by serving as what is referred to as “the thirteenth juror.”  As “the thirteenth juror,” the judge must independently weigh and review the evidence presented at trial to determine whether it preponderates in favor of the verdict and decide whether he or she agrees with and is satisfied with the jury’s verdict. No verdict is valid unless approved by the trial judge.

Generally, if the trial judge is not satisfied with the jury’s verdict, the judge must set aside the verdict and order a new trial. If the trial judge’s dissatisfaction, however, is based only upon the jury’s award of damages, the trial judge may suggest a remittitur, which, if accepted by the plaintiff, would reduce the award to an amount the judge deems appropriate. Remittiturs were designed to correct excessive jury verdicts as an alternative to the more expensive and less efficient solution of granting of a whole new trial.

Trial judges may suggest adjustments to a jury’s verdict even if the verdict is within the range of reasonableness. The range of reasonableness is determined by establishing the upper and lower limits of an award of damages that can be supported by material proof. To decide whether a verdict is within the range of reasonableness, the  judge must consider the credible proof at trial regarding the nature and extent of the injuries, pain and suffering, economic losses including past and future medical bills, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, age, and life expectancy.

In a personal injury case, the question is whether the amount of money awarded to the injured person is excessive, which requires ascertainment of a figure that represents the point at which excessiveness begins. This will establish the upper limit of the range of reasonableness. An excessive verdict may be cured by remitting the sum by which the award exceeds that figure.  The judge may consider the amount awarded in similar cases in determining whether a verdict is excessive.

When the trial judge suggests a remittitur, the plaintiff has three options: accept the remittitur, refuse the remittitur and opt for a new trial, or accept the remittitur under protest and seek relief from a higher court.

If you need help with a personal injury case or are a court reporter looking to understand more about the trial process, please contact us today.

wisemanbray attorneys at lawThanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC for their insight into jury trials and remittitur.