In the case of an automobile accident in Florida, no-fault insurance laws are in effect. This means that as a driver, you will first look to your own car insurance coverage to get payment for any related medical expenses or income lost as a result of an accident. However, there are certain limits that apply. Depending on the type of policy that the driver has, it may also pay for “replacement benefits” such as the cost of hiring someone to help perform routine household chores. This is the case regardless of which driver was responsible for causing the accident. In simple terms, this means that the driver’s insurance pays for damages related to any injuries, while the other driver’s insurance takes financial responsible for their injuries.
In Florida, drivers are required to include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of their automobile insurance policy. In the event of an accident, no-fault insurance pays the medical bills of the insured up to the limit of the insurance policy. Florida drivers who who own a vehicle with 4 or more wheels must carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP benefits and $10,000 in property damage liability benefits. This is often mistakenly referred to as “full coverage”. In addition to covering you as the driver, PIP covers children, other members of your household, and some passengers depending on whether they have their own PIP insurance. Passengers of your vehicle who suffer injuries will be covered by their own PIP insurance. Likewise, your PIP insurance will cover you if you are injured while riding in someone else’s vehicle. Furthermore, your PIP insurance will provide legal representation if you are sued as a result of the accident. Driving without PIP insurance comes with consequences. One such consequence is that an uninsured driver could have their license suspended.
Florida no-fault insurance law does allow for an injured person to file a legal claim against an at-fault driver in certain situations. This includes injuries related to an accident that would be considered permanent, such as the loss of certain bodily functions, disfigurement, and significant scarring.
There are several benefits of no-fault insurance including improved access to medical care, increased access to automobile insurance, and guaranteed payment. As a result of PIP coverage, drivers receive any necessary medical treatment without question after an accident. This eliminates the need to fight with another individual’s insurance company to get the type of medical attention that is needed. Moreover, because insurance companies only need to pay the driver’s medical bills and vehicle damage, they are more likely to take a chance on drivers with less than stellar driving records. Lastly, regardless of what caused the accident, you can be certain that you will receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
Whether you are a Florida native or have just recently relocated, you are required to have no-fault coverage on your vehicles. At Wittmer|Linehan, we understand that dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be frustrating. We have experience in negotiating and litigating against insurance companies. We will aggressively protect your right to the full benefit of coverage you bought and paid for under your insurance policy.