According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, approximately 40% of accidents in Florida result in an injury. Living in Florida, you may have heard of the term ‘no-fault’ when it comes to these car accidents. What does it mean to be a ‘no-fault’ state?
What is a No-Fault State?
The ‘no-fault’ law provides that in the event of a car accident, individuals will file a claim with their insurance instead of the ‘at-fault’ driver’s insurance. Essentially, regardless of who was at fault, the parties will turn to their own personal injury protection insurance to compensate them for their injuries.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance varies depending on the state in which you are covered. In Florida, PIP Insurance covers medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits. In Florida, PIP Insurance will cover 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000, following your claim. This can also go to the costs of paying for caretaker services. Additionally, PIP Insurance will pay up to $5,000 in benefits if the policyholder passed due to the accident.
It is important to note that in Florida, PIP insurance only covers 80% of your medical costs. This means that if your injuries total $10,000, your insurance will only cover $8,000 of that. However, if your injury is not considered an emergency, your insurance will only distribute $2,500 in benefits. It may prove beneficial for one also to have comprehensive medical insurance.
Damages Not Covered by PIP Insurance
1. Personal Injury Protection Insurance does not cover damages to your vehicle.
To protect your vehicle from any damages, you need to have collision coverage, which covers accidents involving stationary objects or other vehicles. Additionally, you may wish to have comprehensive coverage which protects your vehicle from damages caused in a non-collision event.
2. Passengers with their own PIP Insurance
For a passenger to be covered by your PIP Insurance, you would have to add that coverage when selecting your insurance plan. In this case, an injured passenger (who is most likely family and does not have their own insurance) would be able to claim damages from your insurance.
However, if the passenger has their own PIP Insurance, they will request damages from their own insurance. This also includes any adult drivers who may have borrowed your insured vehicle. Drivers who have borrowed your car or passengers who are not named on your policy are not covered under your Personal Injury Protection Insurance.
3. Pain and Suffering Claims
As a survivor of a car accident, one may be left to cope with both physical and mental pain. One may even suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can permanently change one’s abilities and quality of life. Unfortunately, PIP Insurance does not cover noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. This is why it is in one’s best interest to speak to an attorney on how to receive compensation for those damages.
Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Yes, Florida is one of the 12 no-fault states in the United States. Florida became a no-fault state in the 1970s due to irritation with the processes of receiving compensation for injuries after car accidents. This law was thought to make it easier for those suffering injuries to seek medical treatment. Every Florida resident who owns a vehicle is required to carry PIP insurance.
Nonetheless, this law does not mean that an injured party cannot sue. In Florida, parties can sue when their injuries meet the law’s “injury threshold.” This threshold refers to any injury which significantly alters or results in the permanent loss of an important bodily function. This law also includes permanent injuries within a reasonable degree of medical probability, significant scarring or disfigurement, as well as death. 627.707(2), Florida Statutes
Contact an Experienced Attorney at Jones Law Group
Recovering from a car accident is hard enough; let an experienced Jones Law Group attorney help you get the compensation you deserve. We will work passionately on your behalf to help you obtain full and fair compensation. Our firm has a team of experts who will your questions and provide the aggressive representation it will take to ensure you get every dollar you are entitled to. Schedule a free case review by calling (727) 571-1333 or using our online contact form.