Does Florida's No-Fault Law Affect My Accident?
When you are in a car accident in Florida, you may hear the insurance company or other people mention Florida as a “no-fault state.” And if you’re like most people, you may not know what the term means and how it can affect you following your accident.
Indeed, Florida is a no-fault state and as such, your insurance company may ask you to submit medical bills to them. There’s a lot more to it, however, so we thought it would be worthwhile to create this quick guide to help you understand how Florida’s no-fault law may affect your accident.
What Does the No-Fault Law Mean?
Florida law requires drivers to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, including $5,000 in death benefits.
If you’re injured in Boca Raton or anywhere in Florida, you will submit your claim to your auto insurer. Car occupants must submit claims for PIP benefits through their own auto insurance company unless they do not have auto insurance, in which case they will submit claims to the driver’s auto insurer. Pedestrians without car insurance are to file claims with the insurance company of the driver who struck them.
No-fault PIP insurance provides coverage for many expenses, including:
- Professional medical care
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Ambulance transportation
- Prosthetic devices
- Lost wages
It’s important to note that your PIP insurance does not cover all of your expenses. For example, the insurance only covers 80% of your medical care and 60% of lost wages up to $10,000. You can purchase additional coverage if you seek higher benefit amounts.
How Does No-Fault Law Affect My Accident?
As you can see, PIP insurance covers a lot, but not 100 percent coverage. As medical expenses typically are quite expensive, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars of bills for your treatment.
Florida law recognizes the coverage may not be enough to pay for damages. To this end, the law permits accident victims with serious and permanent injuries to pursue compensation via the legal system if their damages cost more than their PIP coverage limits.
To be eligible to file an injury claim, an accident victim’s injuries must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Wrongful death
- Permanent or significant loss of a vital bodily function
- Injury a doctor deems to be permanent
- Permanent or significant scarring or disfigurement
If your injury meets the state’s threshold, you may be able to pursue financial recovery of damages for the following:
- Current and future medical expenses that exceed the limits of your PIP policy.
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Cost of services needed to perform functions you are no longer able to do, such as household chores.
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Let a Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney Help You
Do you have questions regarding your accident and your ability to recover compensation for damages? We want to help. Our skilled attorneys at Demand the Limits will answer all of your questions and give you the information you need to go forward. Call (561) 600-3555 or contact us online for a free initial case review.