What Does It Mean That Florida Is A No-fault State?
As a driver in Florida, you have no doubt heard of it being a “no-fault” state, but do you know what that means? How does it factor into an auto accident? Is anyone actually at fault if there is an accident? How does your car insurance play into this?
As a driver in Florida, it is very important to understand how this policy relates to personal injury law.
What Does It Mean To Be A “No-fault” State?
In 1971, Florida was the second state to adopt a “no-fault” insurance policy. Its original intention in doing so was to reduce the number of personal injury claims that are filed following a car accident and to allow faster access to insurance coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.
No-fault insurance is also known as personal injury protection (PIP) policy and can be used interchangeably. When discussing PIP and no-fault it refers to an individual’s auto insurance policy. PIP provides coverage for medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits from a car accident.
Someone can still be found at fault for an accident and there can still be the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit. PIP insurance does not cover damage to your personal property, such as your car. These damages are covered under an additional insurance coverage called Bodily Injury (“BI”) insurance.
In Florida, unlike PIP insurance, bodily injury insurance is not mandatory. To assert a claim against the at-fault driver’s BI coverage, the injured party has to prove that the other driver was in fact at fault and caused permanent damage or injury to the driver or passenger.
After a car accident, the veteran injury lawyers at Mickey Keenan, P.A. can help make things right. We’ll be with you every step of the way because your family is our family. Contact us now.
What Is Covered Under PIP Insurance?
Florida law requires all auto owners to carry PIP insurance coverage in the minimum amount of $10,000. Your insurance will then pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000. Additionally, PIP insurance provides $5,000 in death benefits.
PIP covers any accident or injury that involves a vehicle even if you were hit walking or biking.
If your injuries are serious enough or are considered permanent, and you have met the law’s “injury threshold” or exceeded your PIP coverage, then you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for additional insurance coverage.
The most imperative thing to remember about Florida’s PIP insurance is you have 14 days to seek medical treatment after an accident. If you do not seek medical treatment within 14 days your insurance will deny your insurance claims. So whether you feel injured or not after an accident, make sure you visit a doctor.
A lot of times minor injuries after an accident can become aggravated over time, such as back and neck pain, and you will not be able to claim insurance coverage for these at a later time if you do not seek out medical treatment immediately.
Remember: if you’ve been involved in a car accident, seek medical attention and then the counsel of the seasoned attorneys at Mickey Keenan Injury Law.
Living in a No-Fault State
Living in a no-fault state and having PIP insurance has its pros and cons versus traditional at-fault insurance. It is important to understand these so you know how you are affected as the driver or even as a passenger.
If you are a passenger in an auto accident, your PIP insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, not the drivers.
The essence of no-fault insurance is allowing a faster collection of insurance proceeds after an accident. Since fault does not matter in awarding insurance proceeds, your insurance can pay out your medical expenses and lost wages in a more timely fashion.
Living in a no-fault state like Florida also helps to:
Lower Auto Insurance Premiums Upfront
Reduce the number of personal injury filings and lawsuits by encouraging collection through an insurance policy
Eliminate Any Inequities Cause By An At-fault System
One of the biggest cons to PIP insurance is your insurance premiums may increase if you are in an accident even if you were not at fault for the accident.
Injured After A Car Accident?
Navigating Florida’s no-fault insurance coverage after an accident can be difficult. Trying to figure out and assess what is covered under PIP insurance and Bodily Injury insurance can be confusing, all while dealing with your auto insurance while injured.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, whether it was your fault or not, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer at Mickey Keenan, PA. Our experienced legal counsel will work with your insurance company and any other insurance policies, if applicable, to make sure you are receiving the most compensation for your injuries.
Call us at 813-871-1300 or contact us to schedule your free consultation, do not delay.