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Is Florida a No-Fault Car Insurance State?

on  Car Accidents

No-fault car insurance states allow people who have been involved in car crashes to receive compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages without needing to prove who was at-fault for the crash.  If someone was at-fault, the law often takes this into account for especially severe or expensive injuries and damage, and you may be able to claim additional damages against them.  However, your right to sue for car accident injuries is often limited in a no-fault state like Florida.  Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked discuses how Florida’s no-fault auto insurance rules work and how you can get compensation for injuries.  For a free consultation on your car accident case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today.

What Do No-Fault Auto Insurance Rules Do?

No-fault auto insurance rules allow injured drivers and passengers more access to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages after a car crash. However, Florida’s no fault system limits the ability of an accident victim to obtain compensation for pain and suffering from that at-fault party when an accident does not cause “permanent injury.”  This means that if you were injured in a car crash, your insurer will pay for certain medical expenses and lost wages, but you will need to file a claim against the at-fault party if you are seeking damages for pain and suffering or if your personal injury protection benefits are insufficient to cover all of your damages.

When you are involved in a car crash in Florida, you can file a first-party personal injury protection claim with your car insurance.  Instead of filing with the at-fault driver’s insurance, you file with your own insurance.  They can cover certain amounts of damage and personal injury based on your policy.  Florida law requires every policy to carry at least:

  • $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)

These are relatively low policy minimums compared to many other states.  This means that if someone has only the minimum required policy amount, their insurance will only cover up to $10,000 toward the property damage and $10,000 toward their medical expenses and lost wages.  In addition to the personal injury protection benefits, an accident victim may also contact the at-fault driver’s insurance and file a third-party claim.  This can result in the at-fault party’s insurance paying from that at-fault party’s bodily injury insurance policy.

If you are severely injured and require extensive medical care and miss a lot of work because of your injuries, your damages can easily rise above $10,000.  In addition, paying a deductible on your insurance or having a policy that only covers a percentage of your medical care might mean higher out-of-pocket expenses.  Personal injury protection insurance will not pay damages for pain and suffering, which could be a substantial part of your injury case.

When insurance fails to cover your needs, Florida law often allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit instead.

When Can You Sue For Car Accident Injuries with No-Fault Insurance?

A car accident victim who suffered injuries can sue the at-fault party regardless of the benefits they have already received from their own insurance company.

To reduce the number of lawsuits in the court system, Florida law prevents the beneficiary of personal injury protection benefits from receiving compensation for pain and suffering if they cannot prove that their injury is “permanent.”  If the trier of fact, which is normally a jury, finds that the injury is not “permanent,” it cannot award non-economic damages for such things as pain and suffering. Instead the jury is limited to awarding damages for economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Miami Car Accident Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations

Your auto insurance carrier may claim that you can’t sue for injuries after a car accident in Florida, but Florida’s no-fault rules are not as limiting as they may lead you to believe.  If you were injured in a car accident or lost a loved one to a car accident anywhere in Florida, talk to Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today.  For a free consultation on your case and help understanding your options, call Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.