Subscribe to LexTalk to stay on top of today’s legal issue and trends.
Catapult Your Career |
Industry Insights & Trends |
Product Training & Tips
When we speak of “no-fault” states (like Florida), we refer to the responsibility of insurance companies to cover certain expenses associated with accidents—in other words, the payment of auto insurance claims. Because certain expenses associated with the accident—such as medical expenses, lost wages, etc. must be covered by the insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault—every driver is required to have auto insurance that includes personal injury protection (PIP).
Thus, if an accident occurs, your own policy initially covers these expenses, regardless of fault, such that you do not have to choose whether to file your claim with your own insurance company or the other driver’s.
Florida drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and minimum of $10,000 property damage liability insurance. Your deductible can be up to $1,000 for PIP coverage and $500 for property damage. The law does not require you to have bodily injury liability benefits or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, this extra coverage can help to pay out additional benefits if you are hit and injured by a driver without any or enough insurance to cover the compensation you need to cover your expenses.
There is an exception to the no-fault system, allowing you to pursue a claim against the other driver if they were at fault; this exception applies if the injuries involve:
Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
Permanent injuries (within a reasonable degree of medical probability);
Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
What Do I Do If There’s been an Accident?
One of the most important steps to take if you have been in an accident (once you have dealt with any medical emergencies) is to reach out to law enforcement personnel to ensure the accident is properly documented. Furthermore, do not speak with any other drivers regarding who you believe to be at fault, and make sure you contact your own insurance company as soon as possible with the help of your attorney. Many attorneys offer a free consultation to determine if they will be able to help you, so be sure to contact one as soon as possible after an accident.