In the state of Florida, victims of a car accident are mandated by law to seek recovery for minor damages from their own insurance provider even if they weren’t at fault for the crash.
How Does The “No-Fault” Law Affect Drivers?
In Florida, drivers are required to carry a minimum insurance level in case they find themselves in an accident. The law requires drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and another $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance. The PIP insurance covers medical bills and wages lost due to the accident, regardless of whose fault the accident was. This means that in an accident between two drivers, each party involved in the crash will file a claim with their own insurance provider. However, under Florida law, PIP only has to cover 80% of the medical bills that result from an accident and 60% of wages lost. This means that many drivers in Florida are only entitled to receive a portion of what their total accident expenses would be, having to pay the rest out of pocket.
Can Drivers in a “No-Fault” State Sue Other Motorists?
In most cases you’re are not allowed to sue other parties involved in an accident for damages unless you qualify for certain exceptions. The first being the total amount lost due to the accident. If you suffered losses of more than $10,000 then you are allowed to sue the party responsible for the accident. The second exception is if you suffered a permanent injury as a result of the accident. A permanent injury under Florida statue is defined as one in which:
- An important bodily function is significantly or permanently lost.
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of life.
If you suffered an injury that met any of these descriptions, then you should be able to legally press charges in order to recover damages.
If you find yourself in an accident, then it is strongly recommended that you seek out legal counsel to help you navigate the complex insurance and personal injury laws within Florida.
PereGonza The Attorneys can offer a free consultation and give you insight on what the best course of action for what your specific case may be. Fill out our personal intake form for more information.