If you’ve been in a car accident, the first concern is ensuring the health, safety, and wellness of anyone involved. When you hear the term “no-fault state” concerning car accidents, it refers to laws designed to protect those involved and ensure they receive personal injury coverage.
Florida is a no-fault state for accidents, meaning that all drivers must have some level of insurance for personal injury protection. Our experienced legal team is sharing this helpful guide to help you learn more about what this means, the insurance requirements, and how a lawyer can help you navigate Florida’s No-Fault Laws.
What is a No-Fault State?
A no-fault state is a state that requires all motorists to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their insurance coverage. No-fault means that this type of coverage guarantees medical coverage for anyone involved in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Florida is one of 12 states to have some version of this law. In the Florida Statutes, PIP requirements are covered under Chapter 627.736. The goal of this law is to prevent people who have been injured in a car accident from bringing a claim against the at-fault party. The primary exceptions would be permanent injury or disfigurement in some cases, particularly due to negligence, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
PIP insurance covers all reasonable medical expenses incurred after a car accident. This insurance can also cover related costs, including follow-up services with a specialist, disability coverage if the injured party is unable to work, and death benefits in the event of a fatality.
Types of care covered under PIP insurance include:
- Doctor visits and exams
- Diagnostic and lab tests such as X-rays and blood testing
- Surgery and hospital stays
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Ambulance rides
This type of coverage is offered in every state and by most auto insurance carriers. The difference with no-fault states is that there is a legal requirement to obtain some level of PIP coverage.
What are the PIP insurance requirements in Florida?
Florida’s no-fault laws require all drivers to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage for medical and disability benefits and $5,000 for death benefits. This entitles drivers to 80% of all reasonable medical coverage and 60% of lost wages if the injured party is disabled and unable to work.
This law does not require bodily injury liability coverage for the injury of other people involved in the accident. PIP coverage does not cover property damage.
What is the statute of limitations for PIP insurance?
To obtain benefits under PIP insurance, the injured motorist must receive initial qualified medical coverage within 14 days of the accident. This statute of limitations helps to ensure that the medical treatment received can be directly linked to injuries sustained due to the car accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
As a no-fault state, laws in Florida are intended to expedite the compensation process for people injured in a car accident. This coverage does have limitations though. For example, many seriously injured parties find PIP coverage insufficient to cover full medical expenses. In addition, individuals who were severely injured in an auto accident and have suffered permanent injuries or disfigurement are not precluded from seeking additional compensation through a lawsuit.
Any car accident resulting in serious injury or property damage requires a thorough investigation. By establishing the facts of the case and what happened, you can ensure you receive any compensation you are entitled to and that your rights are protected. An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure someone is at the table representing your interests.
During an accident investigation, a lawyer will know which questions to ask insurance carriers and the other party and which evidence to request. This can include surveillance footage, witness testimony, and medical records. In some situations, hiring an accident reconstruction expert can also help to clarify certain aspects of the accident.
Without an attorney, the potential for words and statements to be distorted and later used against you increases. An attorney also understands and works within the critical deadlines and timelines for specific claims and filing documents, which can help your chances of recovering needed compensation.
Contact Clark Law Car Accident Attorneys Today if You Have Been in an Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Tampa Bay area, you should meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights. Contact Clark Law today for a free consultation on your case. We are an experienced and knowledgeable legal team ready to fight for your legal rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve under Florida’s no-fault law.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.