Whether it’s from a television commercial, the news, or a friend or family member, you have likely heard the term “no fault” at some point. There’s also a good chance that you may not have had to know what it means until you find yourself in a car accident.
No-fault laws basically exist to make sure everyone in an accident receives medical coverage, regardless of who caused the collision. This guide will help you more about Florida’s no-fault law, how it works, and how a personal injury lawyer can assist with getting the compensation you are entitled to.
What is Florida’s No-Fault Law?
Florida’s no-fault law is covered under chapter 627.736 in the Florida Statutes, which discusses required personal injury protection benefits, exclusions, priority, and claims.
Florida is one of twelve states to have a no-fault law. The no-fault law in Florida requires insurance companies to provide coverage, known as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, for a policyholder involved in an automobile accident. PIP provides coverage of medical expenses independent of who caused the accident.
This law prevents parties who have been injured in an automobile accident from bringing a claim against the person who was at fault. The only exceptions are certain permanent injuries or disfigurements as a result of the car accident.
Florida was the second state to adopt a no-fault automobile insurance plan, which went into effect in 1972. The goal of this no-fault law was to provide a mechanism for quick and efficient compensation for individuals who were injured in an automobile accident. It was also meant to reduce the number of automobile accident lawsuits that are filed.
The no-fault policy assures any injured party will be paid for medical, disability, and death benefits. Although it limits the right to sue for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
Is No-Fault Coverage Mandatory in Florida?
Yes. The statute describing no-fault coverage requires every person with a registered vehicle to purchase PIP insurance. This also includes nonresident vehicle owners if the vehicle is present and driven in Florida for more than 90 days a year.
How Does Florida’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Work?
Florida drivers must carry $10,000 in PIP coverage. This coverage is used to pay for medical expenses and lost wages if the driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Florida drivers are not required to have bodily injury liability coverage, which pays the costs of others’ injuries from a car accident.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
Under Florida law, an insurance company must provide personal injury protection up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits for any illness, bodily injury or death that involves a motor vehicle.
Insurers must pay 80 percent of all reasonable medical expenses as long as the injured party receives initial services within 14 days of the motor vehicle accident. The insurer will also pay for follow-up services and care if the injured party is referred to a specialist. In addition to medical expenses, insurance companies will also pay disability benefits if the injured party is unable to work because of the injuries sustained during the accident. Insurers will pay 60 percent of lost income and loss of earning capacity. Insurance may also cover reasonable costs for services to help with household work that would normally have been performed by the injured party.
Insurance companies must also pay $5,000 per individual for death benefits, which will be paid to the executor of the estate or to family members who are entitled to the benefits.
How Can Attorneys Help You Navigate Florida’s No-Fault Law?
Florida’s No-Fault Law is designed to speed up the process in which people who are injured in a collision get compensated. But those who are seriously injured in a car accident may find that the payment limits are insufficient to cover their medical expenses. Individuals who were severely injured in an auto accident and have suffered permanent injuries or disfigurement are not precluded from seeking additional compensation.
It’s also important to note that PIP insurance does not cover property damage.
After any accident that causes property damage and bodily injury, it is important to conduct a full investigation into the facts of the case. Establishing exactly what occurred can be beneficial to all parties from the standpoint of both legal protection and compensation. By hiring an experienced accident and personal injury attorney, you will have someone in your corner who is fighting for and representing you.
During an accident investigation, a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer will know which questions to ask insurance carriers and the other party, and the evidence to request. This can include requesting video surveillance footage, getting witness testimony, and interviewing physicians to ensure a long-term medical record is being established. In some cases it can be beneficial to discuss whether hiring an accident reconstruction expert may help.
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 key deadlines and timelines for specific claims and filing documents, which can help your chances of recovering needed compensation.
Car Accident Injury in Tampa Bay? Contact Clark Law Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Tampa Bay, 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.