Florida is one of 12 U.S. states that is a no-fault state for personal injury if there is a car accident. No-fault insurance is compulsory in most, but not all, no-fault states. It has advantages and disadvantages compared to the situation in an at-fault state.
The main advantage of no-fault insurance is that if you are injured in a car accident, you can turn to your own insurer for compensation and get it, regardless of who was at fault. You don’t have to go through all the complicated and unguaranteed process of suing someone. The main disadvantage is that you cannot get non monetary compensation unless your medical expenses pass a threshold (usually because of serious injuries) and in Florida, at least you can only recover a percentage of medical costs and lost wages.
Florida’s Auto Liability Insurance Rules
In Florida, every driver must hold two types of insurance cover by law:
1. PIP (personal injury protection) insurance of at least $10,000.
2. PDL (property damage liability) insurance in the event that you damage another driver’s vehicle or other property. The minimum cover is $10,000.
Apart from the mandatory insurance cover which every vehicle owner must have, there are other insurance packages which can be taken out. These include:
- BDL or bodily damage liability in the event that you are sued by another driver because you injured them in an auto accident;
- Uninsured driver insurance, which kicks in if your medical expenses pass the threshold, but you cannot claim compensation from the at-fault driver because he / she was not insured;
- Underinsured driver insurance, similar to uninsured driver insurance but is designed to provide cover when hit by an underinsured driver.
PIP Insurance Provisions in Florida
Every driver must have PIP insurance of at least $10,000 in Florida, but if you are injured, you don’t necessarily get all the cost back of being injured. You are entitled to claim 80% only of the total medical costs and 60% of lost wages.
You will also lose your deductible, whatever that is. PIP insurance costs depend on the minimum insurance cap you negotiate together with the deductible you wish to choose.
You can only resort to filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, in which you claim compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurer if your total monetary expenses are greater than $10,000 or whatever you have settled with your own insurer. You can then sue the at-fault driver for bit monetary costs (such as medical expenses and lost earnings) as well as non monetary cost such as pain and suffering and punitive damages.
You may also file a personal injury lawsuit and side step the no-fault insurance if you suffer a permanent injury or permanent disfigurement or if your injuries are severe. Note that PIP insurance does not cover you for damage to your car or other property. You must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer for compensation for these.
How a PI Lawyer Can Help if Hit in Florida
A PI attorney can help you with advice if you are unsure whether your circumstances allow you to sue an at-fault driver for damages. If your car has been damaged, you will certainly be considering claiming compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer, but may decide to add the cost of injuries if Florida no-fault laws allow.
If you do go ahead with a PI claim you will have a better chance of success if you let an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf. Complete the Free Case Evaluation today!