Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Florida has a set of rules that every driver must follow in order to remain in compliance with state auto insurance law. One of these rules, Florida’s “No-Fault” insurance statute, requires drivers in a car accident to carry a minimum amount of coverage in case serious injuries occur. This coverage can help pay for hospitalization, property damage, medication costs, and more.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Mean?
In terms of automobile liability insurance, Florida is a No-Fault insurance state. This term means that every driver must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage. When a motorist gets into an accident, he or she can use this coverage to pay for losses sustained in an accident.
Either driver involved in an accident can use Personal Injury Protection coverage. No matter who caused the injuries in the first place, both are eligible. When an accident occurs, drivers can turn to their own insurance companies for support instead of filing claims with a different entity. In contrast, “At-Fault” states require drivers involved in crashes to choose between filing a claim with their own insurance company, the insurance company of the other driver, or file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
What Does PIP Coverage Include?
Personal Injury Protection helps pay for significant losses that a person may sustain in a serious car crash. However, the $10,000 standard coverage may not be sufficient to cover all possible injuries. Unless they have higher policy limits, drivers who sustain serious injuries should look into pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Protection coverage typically compensates drivers for the following costs related to injuries sustained in an accident:
- Lost income
- Hospitalization costs
- Medical bills
Additional Florida Coverage Requirements
In addition to Personal Injury Protection, drivers must also purchase a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability coverage. This coverage pays for damages related to property damage sustained in a car accident. Usually, the at-fault driver in these situations has to pay for property damage costs.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance is another coverage option from Florida insurance companies. This coverage helps pay for serious, permanent injuries or deaths involved in car accidents. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying Bodily Injury Liability costs. The insurance company will pay for injuries up to policy limits and legal representation in if the driver goes to trial.
Florida Insurance Exceptions
Florida law contains a set of exceptions that allow motorists to sue other drivers who caused the accident. A driver can bring a lawsuit against another motorist for severe and expensive injuries not covered completely by insurance.
- If a person suffers a permanent injury as the result of an accident, he or she can sue the other driver. Permanent injuries include permanent loss of an important bodily function, death, scarring and disfigurement, or another permanent injury “within a reasonable degree of medical probability.”
- If a person’s medical bills total more than the $10,000 Personal Injury Protection requirement, he or she can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to properly compensate for his or her losses.
Many drivers incorrectly assume that a “No-Fault” insurance state means that they cannot face consequences for car accidents. However, these drivers can still face personal injury lawsuits from victims of car accidents. Through a personal injury lawsuit, Florida car accident victims can recover compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization costs, medication, surgeries, check-ups, physical therapy, and mobility devices
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
A Tampa personal injury attorney can assist victims of car accidents in Florida navigate both the insurance claims process and the personal injury litigation. Personal injury lawsuits allow victims to claim necessary compensation to fully recover from their injuries without facing policy restrictions from insurance companies. Through these actions, Florida residents severely injured by reckless or negligent drivers can experience a full recovery with limited financial stress.