If you live in Florida, you may have questions about how the no-fault insurance laws impact accident claims. In this article, we will discuss how Florida’s no-fault law affects car insurance premiums and what will happen if you’re involved in a car accident.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
The words “no-fault” in Florida sometimes confuse drivers. No-fault does not mean that no one in a car crash has liability for the accident. This means both or all parties involved in a vehicle accident go to their individual insurance policies to submit claims. All drivers in Florida must buy Personal Protection Insurance (PIP) with their auto insurance policy.
Florida passed no-fault laws to simplify the process of getting medical treatment after a collision. However, the law also has some restrictions. Because PIP limits the number of medical expenses, there is a cap on the amount it can pay.
PIP insurance is designed to cover lost wages and medical treatment of injured drivers. It may also cover other accident-related items, like child care costs. PIP also covers these expenses for other people injured in a car or truck accident.
If you or someone you care about is seriously in Florida – and they meet the state’s legal injury threshold by exceeding the PIP allowance – you can elect to file a lawsuit against the other party.
No-Fault Accident Claims in Florida
If you’re involved in a Florida car crash, health care and some other costs are covered by PIP. Record as much information about the collision as you can, including the following:
The other driver’s contact information, including name, insurance policy information, and driver’s license number. Take pictures, if possible, of the other driver’s license and insurance policy registration.
Your license plates (both yours and the other driver). Again, take pictures of the license plates with your phone camera.
Take accident scene photos.
Describe and take pictures of your visible injuries (your own and any passengers in the vehicle).
Copies of tickets issued, police reports, or any other official documents.
If you or anyone in your party is injured in a Florida car accident, consider filing a personal injury or liability insurance claim as soon as possible. You’re allowed to seek immediate medical attention; you don’t have to wait for any insurance company to determine who was at fault.
It doesn’t matter who’s to blame in a Florida car accident. You have the right to collect lost wages from PIP up to the capped amount. If your damages are higher than PIP’s limits, you may have questions about where to turn for compensation. A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney can offer further guidance on securing compensation.
Car Insurance in Florida
Every state is permitted to decide its required insurance laws. In some states, tort liability applies while states like Florida elect no-fault insurance laws. No-fault car insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP), is required in Florida.
It’s intended to help car accident victims get compensated quickly via their personal car insurance policies. Every victim can request compensation whether or not they are at fault. The goal of PIP is to reduce personal injury claims filed by vehicle accident victims.
PIP insurance policies cover part of the injured party’s costs, including:
PIP policies cover a maximum of 80 percent of the accident victim’s costs for urgent medical care up to the policy limits. Victims may get care from a licensed hospital, hospital-owned physician, doctor, or dentist. The policy provides up to $2,500 in coverage.
Lost Wages and Income
PIP policies also cover some of the wages lost by the accident victim if they were too sick to work or missed work because of injury-related medical procedures and appointments. PIP covers up to 60 percent of the victim’s lost wages calculated on their income for the previous 13 weeks before the accident.
Funeral and Burial Costs
PIP covers up to $5,000 of the insured’s funeral and burial costs to the insured’s survivors.
What Is Not Covered by PIP
While the above costs are typically covered by PIP, some car accident costs are not. Items that aren’t covered by PIP no-fault car insurance include:
Property damage, including your car and/or property or another party’s car and/or property
Physical injuries of passengers in the other driver’s vehicle
Injuries of any adults riding in your car or truck or any who borrowed your vehicle. These adult passengers are required to have their own PIP policy. They aren’t named on your car insurance policy.
Damages for pain and suffering
If you live in Florida and you’re injured in a vehicle accident, you’re required to submit your claims to PIP. Within 30 days, the insurer can accept or deny the claim.
When you’re denied by the insurer, it must state in writing why the claim was denied. You have the right to appeal. A knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer can help you to enter the appeal.
The Bottom Line
Some vehicles are exempt from no-fault coverage in Florida, like specialty off-road vehicles, motorcycles, and business/commercial vehicles. If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident – or you’re injured as a cyclist or pedestrian – your Florida PIP policy might cover these injuries.
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