The Sunshine State consistently ranks among the country’s most dangerous states for road users. There are more than 250,000 annual injuries from car accidents in Florida, according to recent data from the FLHSMV.
Florida is a “no-fault” jurisdiction. Meaning all motorists must be covered by PIP insurance to pay for their medical bills and other losses incurred as a result of an accident, irrespective of fault.
The no-fault statute also limits the circumstances under which you can seek compensation from another party. If you are involved in a car accident, a seasoned Florida accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Read on to understand more about the no-fault laws in Florida.
What Is a No-Fault State?
Florida is a “No Fault” state since it has a law that requires car insurance to pay for damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. No-fault insurance, often known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, is a form of insurance that covers accidents regardless of fault.
The Sunshine State is among 12 states in the United States with no-fault statutes. You must comply with both aspects of Florida’s no-fault legislation to have a valid claim. One is that, regardless of who was at fault, the injured party would receive total compensation from their insurance company. The other part is that various laws limit how much money an injured person can sue for or what kinds of injuries can be claimed in court.
No fault vehicle insurance rules were passed after growing public dissatisfaction with the difficulty of recouping financial losses following motor vehicle collisions. A no-fault system was proposed to lower insurance premiums and judicial costs.
These laws were also designed to reduce premiums. However, this has not worked out because car insurance rates in no-fault states are significantly higher.
Several issues have contributed to the inability of Florida’s no fault system to accomplish its goals. They include:
- No fault laws limit driver responsibility for poor or dangerous driving. With PIP coverage, the injured party is compensated regardless of who was at fault.
- These statutes encourage fraud. Some doctors and fake hospitals submit false claims to motor insurers for PIP benefits.
- Since property damage is excluded from coverage under Florida’s no fault laws, these rules do not help keep legal fees and insurance premiums down.
- Florida’s no fault laws usually double the coverage needed in case of a crash. If there is an accident, the coverage costs are split between the at-fault driver and the other party.
What Does PIP Insurance Cover?
No fault car insurance or PIP policies are designed to compensate motor vehicle accident victims through insurance swiftly. PIP policies usually cover a part of the costs for damages, including:
Personal injury protection insurance in Florida will pay up to 80 percent of the cost of emergency medical care, up to the policy maximum, so long as the patient is treated by a doctor, dentist, hospital, or facility controlled by the hospital. The coverage provides up to $2,500 in benefits for injuries that are not life-threatening.
Accident victims who cannot work due to their injuries or who must miss time from work to attend medical appointments or recover from their injuries will have a portion of their lost wages reimbursed by their PIP policy. PIP insurance in Florida must pay up to 60% of a person’s lost wages, calculated using their average weekly salary in the 13 weeks before the injury.
Death benefits cover burial and funeral costs. Death benefits under Florida’s PIP insurance can reach $5,000 for eligible beneficiaries.
Damages Not Covered by PIP Insurance
While PIP policies typically cover medical expenses and lost wages, they do not cover other common damages incurred in car accidents. The following are not covered by most no fault auto insurance policies:
- Property damage
- Physical injuries sustained by occupants in the other car
- Physical injuries sustained by non-insured adults who are passengers in your automobile or who borrow your vehicle
- Claims for pain and suffering
Exceptions to No-Fault Insurance Coverage
All reckless drivers do not get off scot-free under no-fault policies. To launch a liability claim or personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, injured motorists in no-fault states must meet specific requirements.
You may only be able to file a case if your losses exceed a specific threshold. According to Florida’s “severe injury threshold,” the nature and extent of your injuries will determine whether you can bring a liability claim outside the state’s no-fault system.
Car accidents in Florida that leave the victim with severe scarring or deformity are grounds for a non-economic claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Your PIP insurance will cover 80% of your medical costs, but the at fault person will have to pay the remaining 20% and 40% of your lost wages if the injuries aren’t permanent.
Comparative Fault or Comparative Negligence Laws
If you were partially at fault for an accident but still suffered losses, you may be able to recover compensation under Florida’s comparative fault statute.
Under Florida law, you may be held accountable for a percentage of the losses you incur due to your injuries if you were partially at fault for car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, and other accidents.
Because of Florida’s comparative fault law, any compensation you receive for injuries sustained in an accident will be lowered by the percentage of blame you bear for the incident.
Florida follows a “pure” comparative fault system, so you can submit a claim regardless of how much responsibility you bear. For example, you can claim 10% of your losses even though you were 90% at fault for the accident. An experienced Miramar car accident lawyer can help you get fair compensation.
Contact an Accident Lawyer in Miramar, Florida, Today
Florida’s no-fault statute may help you recover financial compensation if you sustain significant or permanent injuries in an accident. However, the PIP policy limits may be considerably lower than your total expenses after an accident.
After a car accident, you should always talk to an attorney about your rights and options. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer examine the specifics of your situation and advise you on how to proceed is a great first step.
So that you can focus on getting better rather than on how you’ll pay for it, an attorney may assist you in getting the money you need to pay all of your bills.
The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have years of experience helping accident victims get fair compensation. Our team understands the inner workings of insurance firms and is equipped with the necessary resources to represent your interests.
We offer free consultations, so call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 or fill in the online contact form on our website to schedule a consultation.