Posted on July 18, 2019 in General
To operate a vehicle in Florida, you first must purchase enough automobile insurance. Under state law, you must obtain at least the minimum amount of coverage in certain insurance categories. Driving without enough coverage – including the required personal injury protection insurance – could result in traffic infractions and fines, as well as personal liability for auto accidents you cause.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Only 12 states abide by no-fault auto insurance laws. Florida is one of them. If you get into a car accident in Florida, it does not matter who is at fault – you will seek financial recovery from your insurance provider. Call your insurance company to report the accident and seek compensation for your injuries and vehicle damages. You may need to contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney for assistance with insurance settlement negotiations, especially if you suffered serious or catastrophic injuries.
You may only file a lawsuit beyond Florida’s no-fault insurance rules if your injuries are serious enough to qualify as an exception. Serious injuries are those that significantly or permanently maim the victim. These may include spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations, vision or hearing damage, significant scarring, loss of a bodily function and death. Filing an injury lawsuit could lead to a better compensation award than an insurance claim alone in Florida.
About Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Under Florida’s no-fault laws, personal injury protection insurance is mandatory. The minimum PIP coverage is $10,000. Drivers must also carry $10,000 in property damage liability insurance, $10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage and the same amount in uninsured motorist coverage. Together, these insurance amounts will cover some or all of the policyholder’s damages after a car accident, no matter who was at fault.
As a covered driver, personal injury protection insurance will provide financial relief for your personal losses after an at-fault or not-at-fault accident. These losses often include the costs of medical treatments and lost wages. If you also have health insurance and coverage for lost income through your employer, $10,000 in PIP insurance may be enough for your needs. Otherwise, you may wish to purchase more than the minimum amount of coverage. You do not want to end up being personally liable for your losses.
PIP insurance can cover medical treatments, surgeries, medical devices, medications, supplies, prosthetics, ambulatory fees, specialized services and live-in nursing care. In some cases, personal injury protection insurance can also pay for accident-related services. These may include the costs of hiring a housekeeper while you recover from serious injuries. Finally, PIP could cover the costs of a funeral or burial service if the car accident caused a covered individual’s death.
What If the Other Driver Does Not Have PIP Insurance?
Although Florida’s laws prohibit driving without insurance, many drivers break these rules. If you get into an accident with a driver without PIP insurance, it should not make a difference thanks to Florida’s no-fault laws. You will still qualify for recovery through your personal injury protection whether you or someone else caused the crash.
Your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance could provide additional coverage if your PIP is not enough. It will only matter if the other driver does not have PIP insurance if you plan on filing a lawsuit against the driver. A car accident lawsuit requires you or your attorney to prove that you suffered serious injuries as a direct result of the other driver’s negligence.
If you have the elements of a personal injury claim and your lawyer wins your case, the other driver will typically pay you through his or her insurance policy. Working with a Florida accident attorney to settle your car accident case can help you fight for fair compensation through all available outlets in Florida.