I was seriously injured when a car failed to stop at a stop sign and ran into me on my bicycle. The car left the scene. I need surgery on my knee and and may need surgery on my ankle, too. Who will pay for my medical expenses and for my pain and suffering?

When a car causes an accident and leaves the scene, it is generally referred to as a “phantom vehicle.” In your situation, where you’ve been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, and do not know the identity of the driver of the car or their insurance company, you must look to your own insurance company for help.

The No-Fault coverage on your auto policy, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), will pay up to its limit (typically $10,000) for your medical bills and lost wages, as required by law. For your Bodily Injury claim (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life) you would look to the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. If you have this valuable coverage, it will pay up to the coverage limit depending on how seriously you are injured. — a very good reason to carry uninsured motorist coverage— and one I often stress to my clients.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.