What Are “No-Fault” Car Accidents in Florida?
If you drive in Florida, you may have heard the phrase that Florida is a “no-fault” state. But what does this really mean? Sometimes people assume that this means that who is at fault does not matter when dealing with a car accident. This is not the case. In reality, Florida’s “no-fault” insurance system simply means that Florida law requires each auto insurance policy to provide “no-fault” coverage known as personal injury protection (or PIP) that pays $10,000.00 in benefits for the insured person’s own medical expenses and potentially lost wages, regardless of who is found to be at fault for the accident.
This PIP coverage is the only element of insurance coverage that truly is “no-fault” in that even the person responsible for causing an accident is entitled to receive these benefits. The one advantage to this system is that it allows all parties involved in accident to seek medical attention immediately following an accident without worrying about who will ultimately be responsible for causing the accident. But there are important limitations to this type of insurance. First, Florida law requires that a person seeking to use their PIP or no-fault benefits must do so within fourteen (14) days of an accident. Second, a medical provider who must diagnose you with what is known as an emergency medical condition during that time in order to be eligible for the full $10,000.00 worth of benefits. Failing to comply with these conditions can result in a limitation or even complete loss of these benefits.
What Are The Drawbacks?
There are, however, significant drawbacks to Florida’s no-fault insurance scheme. First, because this insurance is mandatory in Florida, drivers are not required to carry bodily injury liability coverage, which means that if you are injured in an accident the other driver may not have any additional coverage to pay for your damages. Second, the amount of PIP or “no-fault” benefits in Florida has remain unchanged at $10,000.00 since the 1970s. Since that time, medical treatment has become far more expensive, and these benefits are unlikely to cover all of your expenses if you are in a serious accident. Additionally, Florida’s no-fault law precludes an injured person from bringing a claim for what are known as non-economic damages unless a certain “threshold” of serious injury is met, which generally means that the person must have suffered a permanent injury.
How Redondo Law Can Help
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, it’s important to understand how no-fault insurance works along with the rest of the applicable insurance coverages in your accident and what they mean for you. Speak for free to an experienced car accident lawyer at Redondo Law today to get more information about your rights and options!