What Is A Serious Injury Under Florida Law
As mentioned above, in order to pursue a liability claim against the person who caused your car accident in Florida , your car accident injuries must qualify as “serious” as that term is defined by state law. That means, you must have experienced at least one of the following as a result of the accident:
- significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- permanent injury, within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or
If your injuries meet this definition, you’re not limited to making a PIP claim under your own policy. You can hold the at-fault driver responsible for the accident via a third-party car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, and you can pursue compensation for all categories of non-economic losses, like pain and suffering .
Now that you understand how no-fault car insurance works in Florida, let’s look at the state’s requirements for car insurance coverage.
What Is Pip Coverage In Florida
PIP coverage is a type of insurance that will cover the medical bills and lost wages of a car accident victim, regardless of who caused the accident. Each person who is injured in a car accident will use his or her PIP insurance policy to pay the cost of medical care and other losses. In an at-fault insurance state, drivers have the option of filing a claim with the at-fault drivers insurance company, their own insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
In other words, drivers in an at-fault State have more options to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. In Florida, drivers must turn to their PIP insurance protection to cover the first $10,000 of their medical expenses and lost income.
What Happens If Im Involved In A Car Accident In Florida
If you are involved in a car crash in Florida that causes injury, death, or at least $500 in property damage, you are required by law to stop and call 911 or *FHP to report the accident. If anyone is hurt, you must get help immediately such as calling for an ambulance.
You should exchange vehicle registration and drivers license information with others involved in the accident. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident.
Use your camera to take photos of the crash scene showing the location of the vehicles.
You should seek medical treatment for your injuries. If you do not require emergency treatment at the accident scene, then you should go to the doctor and seek a medical evaluation. Having a doctor report documenting your injuries is essential if you need to file a claim later.
If the crash is minor and your vehicle is blocking an active traffic lane, you must move the vehicle or have it moved out of the road.
A law enforcement officer will fill out a written report if the accident involves an injury or death or any vehicle is damaged to the extent that it must be towed.
You should notify your insurance carrier of the accident. PIP claims must be filed within 14 days of the accident, so dont delay notifying your insurance company.
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Desantis Vetoes Proposed No Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Law In Florida
TAMPA, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected a bill that would have revised motor vehicle insurance coverages in the state. The bill would have required every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in Florida to have personal injury protection coverage to drive.
Senate Bill 54, simply titled Motor Vehicle Insurance would have mandated drivers have coverage for bodily injury or death coverage in a crash, with a $25,000 coverage cost, and also subjected that limit for one person to $50,000 if two or more people were injured or killed in a crash.
Had SB 54 passed, Florida drivers would have had a minimum $10,000 financial responsibility for property damage that resulted from a car crash, and would have increased the coverage requirements for garage liability and commercial motor vehicle insurance.
Cash deposits would have also been increased and required a certificate of self-insurance to establish financial responsibility for owners and operators of vehicles that are not for-hire.
Now vetoed, Florida drivers will not be required to have medical payment or personal protection injury coverage, nor will they have a mandatory death benefit if they kill someone while operating a motor vehicle.
When You Are At Fault For A Car Accident
If you cause a car accident and you suffer an injury, you can generally file a claim under your PIP policy with your insurance company. If you drove while impaired at the time of the accident or you intentionally caused the accident, your insurance company may not allow you to file a claim. In Florida, you must seek medical treatment within fourteen days in order to be eligible for compensation through your PIP policy.
If the other driver or the occupants of the other car also suffer an injury, their own PIP policy will cover their injuries, up to the limits of the policy. However, if their expenses exceed the limits of their policy, they may make a third-party claim against your insurance. If the injuries are serious or permanent, they may file a personal injury lawsuit against you.
In addition to a no-fault car accident insurance system, Florida also has a system of pure comparative negligence that applies to personal injury lawsuits. What this means is that even if the other driver had some blame for the accident, they can still seek compensation from you in the event of serious and permanent injuries. However, any award they receive will be reduced by the percentage of blame that is theirs.
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What Is Florida No Fault Car Insurance
The basic definition of the no-fault law is that the policyholder’s insurer will pay for their injuries and property damage regardless of who is found to be responsible for causing the accident. This is intended to keep traffic accident cases outside of courtrooms and avoid the excessive costs in order to determine responsibility for the collision and provide speedy compensation to those involved.
Although this can be beneficial to the insured, in most cases they will not be able to sue the other party if the injuries exceed the limits of their policy unless there has been a death, disfigurement, dismemberment, or a fracture. The minimum Florida auto insurance requirements for personal injury protection and property damage are $10,000 per each coverage. It may be wise to raise these limits in case the result of the accident causes expenses greater than what the minimum required will cover.
A beneficial coverage that should be taken into consideration for purchase is Bodily Injury Liability . This can pay for serious injuries or death if the case is able to go to court and protect the insured from incurring severe expenses if found liable. The insurer will provide legal representation and pay for injuries caused by the policyholder, household family members, the insured while driving someone else’s automobile and may even cover those who were operating the insured’s vehicle with their permission.
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Is No Fault Coverage Mandatory In Florida
Yes. Florida car accident laws require every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle to have no fault coverage. The law is called the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law
The statue does not include motorcycles in its definition of motor vehicle. So motorcycles are not required to have PIP coverage. The statute also requires nonresident owners of vehicles to have no-fault coverage if the vehicle is physically present in Florida for more than 90 days of the preceding 365 days.
As with some of the other auto insurance requirements, Florida technically gives another option to buying a PIP insurance policy. Most people dont make use of this option since it is usually more difficult and costly than just buying the insurance coverage. The other option is to provide security in the form of a surety bond or by furnishing a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety.
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Are There Exceptions To No
While the no-fault insurance system reduces the number of personal injury lawsuits, it isnt perfect. There are some situations when someone’s insurance won’t be enough to cover the full extent of his or her injuries. In some cases, the insurance laws may not apply to one or both drivers involved in a crash. Its important for drivers to know the limitations and exceptions to insurance laws in order to get fair payment for their injuries.
For example, the rules of Floridas no-fault insurance system may not apply if the accident:
If you pursue a claim against an at-fault driver, you might be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, and other losses. Contact us today to have an attorney help you determine the best way for you to get compensation after your injury.
How Florida No Fault Coverage Fits In With Your Auto Policy
No Fault coverage is one part of your auto policy. Auto policies in Florida are quite complicated. Various types of coverage all have different ways of covering you. Some cover injuries to you. Some cover injuries to other people. Some cover injury to your car or to other peoples cars. There are also issues of deductibles and limits.
Your required No Fault coverage is considered primary in Florida. That means its the coverage that starts paying first, before other coverages kick in. You must notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident in order to get your PIP benefits. Your insurance company will often ask you to fill out an application for PIP benefits, which is a short form.
Its critical that you see a doctor within 14 days of your auto accident in order to receive your full $10,000 in PIP benefits. You must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition in the first 14 days by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, dentist, physicians assistant, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner in order to be eligible to receive the full $10,0000 No Fault benefits. Otherwise, you would only be able to receive $2,500.
After you notify your insurer of your PIP claim, the doctors will send their bills directly to your insurance company. The insurance company is supposed to pay the doctors within 30 days of their bills. The insurance company will also keep a log of all charges it pays through PIP.
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A Look At The Florida Deadline For Filing A Car Accident Lawsuit The State’s Rules On Shared Fault For A Crash And Drivers’ Legal Duties To Report A Car Accident In Florida
By David Goguen, J.D.
If you’ve been injured and/or incurred significant damage to your vehicle in any kind of traffic accident in Florida, there are a few state laws that could have a big impact on any claim you decide to make, including:
- the four-year deadline for filing most car accident lawsuits in Florida’s civil court system, and
- Florida’s claimant-friendly “pure comparative fault” rule, which allows financial recovery when the claimant was partly responsible for causing the car accident.
That’s the big picture in Florida. Now let’s look at the specifics.
Filing An Insurance Claim When Youre Not At Fault
If an accident is not your fault, you can file a claim with the at-fault drivers liability insurance. This will cover the cost of vehicle repairs and medical bills up to the limits of the drivers policy.
Because it can take a long time for an insurance adjuster to officially determine fault, however, you can initially file a collision or personal injury claim with your own insurer to cover vehicle repairs and medical expenses, regardless of fault. Once fault is determined, your insurance company will recover the expenses from the at-fault drivers insurer, and your deductible will be refunded.
Keep in mind that in no-fault states, most medical expenses are paid for by your own insurance policy, regardless of who is at fault. And if the driver is uninsured or doesnt have enough insurance to cover your costs, you can file a claim with your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, if you have it.
You need personal injury protection insurance if you live in one of the 12 states that require it. You should also get PIP if your health insurance has low coverage limits or if you drive with passengers who could hold you responsible for their medical expenses in the event of an accident.read full answer
Always check with your insurance company or an agent for specifics on what coverage is required or available in your state before you determine what to include in your policy.
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What Is No Fault Insurance
No fault insurance does not mean that no one is to blame for the car accident.
Rather, each party is required to turn to their own insurance coverage for compensation for medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault.
Even though someone is usually at fault for an accident, compensation for these medical bills and lost wages does not depend on the person who is at fault.
These laws were designed so that those injured in an accident can receive compensation more quickly, without having to spend valuable time proving who was to blame.
The basis of our no fault system is that every licensed driver in Florida is required to carry at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. This coverage pays for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to your policy limit. The additional 20% and 40%and anything beyond your limitis your responsibility.
What Does Pip Cover
- Home care such as cleaning or child care
- Funeral costs
If you are in a car accident, PIP often works in conjunction with your health insurance coverage. Most health insurance deductibles must be paid before benefits start to be paid out, but your PIP may have a cheaper deductible, or no deductible at all.
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Why This System Makes Sense For Insurance Companies
Back in the early 1970s, state legislators called up the heads of the insurance companies to Tallahassee. The legislators said they were going to change our system from requiring everybody to have bodily injury liability coverage to cover the person you injured to a system where you are required to have PIP or no-fault coverage. So, they get all the heads of the insurance companies up to Tallahassee and they explain this that even if youre insured isnt at fault youre going to have to pay out up to $10,000 of their medical bills and youre not going to be entitled to get any of that money back from the at-fault partys insurance company or the at-fault party. As you can imagine, the heads of the insurance companies said something like why would that be a good deal for us, if we have to pay our own insurance medical bills even if theyre not at fault and we cant get our money back from anybody?
Its not a great system. We have been fighting to get the no-fault system repealed. Hopefully, we go back to a system of mandatory bodily injury coverage and no-fault system. But thats what we have to live with for right now, and this is our system thats been in place since the 1970s. Until it changes, the no-fault system requires everybody to have PIP coverage and that coverage is required to pay out the first $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages.
Is Florida A No Fault State For Auto Insurance
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The Sunshine state is one of the select states that adopts the no-fault insurance laws. All motorists must carry Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability policies at all times in order to maintain a Florida tag and registration. Be sure to understand the laws and compare rates and higher limits of coverage before purchasing in order to get the proper protection.
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Can I Admit Fault
From an early age, we are trained to apologize for hurting others. This response is so ingrained into us that some of us even apologize to inanimate objects!
While its important to own up to your faults and strive to be better, avoid admitting fault for a car accident at all costs.
Multiple factors go into causing car accidents, from weather conditions to the state of the roads. By accepting the blame for a crash, you will be ignoring the many factors at play while also welcoming a host of other issues .
Many times, people panic and think that they were at fault when a careful analysis of the facts demonstrates that another party caused the crash.
Car accident attorneys, on the other hand, are trained to evaluate all the factors that went into an accident.
Above all else, after an accident, we recommend calling the police, exchanging insurance information, and following up with your insurance company.
How Does Floridas No
To protect public safety and health, Florida law requires vehicle owners and drivers to have certain types of insurance coverage to cover costs in the event of a crash.
If you register a car in Florida, you must show proof of having PIP insurance as well as property damage liability automobile insurance.
You are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. PIP no-fault coverage provides coverage of $10,000 per person per crash for you and the passengers in your vehicle.
You may file a claim against your PIP insurance and receive payment whether you caused the collision or someone else did.
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