Florida uses a no-fault system for car accidents, which means that each driver involved in the accident is responsible for their own damages. This can be confusing for many people, so we wanted to outline exactly what this means for you.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we have years of experience helping people like you get the money they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
In a no-fault insurance state, each driver involved in an accident is responsible for their own damages. This means that your insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Florida drivers must carry personal injury protection coverage or “no-fault” car insurance. PIP pays for injuries you sustain in an accident regardless of fault. You also can choose whether you want your car insurance policy to cover just yourself or other residents in your household.
PIP Insurance Coverage
PIP covers medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits in Florida.
Most medical expenses related to your injury will be covered. However, it is important to note, Florida PIP covers only 80% of up to $10,000 of your medical expenses. The following are eligible for a PIP claim:
- Medical treatment and medication
- Surgical services and hospital expenses
- Rehab costs
- Diagnostic services
- Ambulatory services
- Other necessary costs (mileage to and from medical appointments)
If you are disabled and unable to work due to the accident, PIP will also reimburse you for up to 60% of the wages you lost while unable to work. You can also recover compensation for services you typically provide but can’t due to the accident. This may include daily chores such as:
- House cleaning
- Taking care of a pet
If the policyholder dies due to the accident, PIP will reimburse their estate for funeral and burial expenses up to $5,000.
What PIP Does Not Cover
There are some things that Florida PIP does not cover. The following list includes some of the more common exclusions:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
How to Get PIP Benefits After an Accident in Florida
If you have been in a no-fault car accident, you should take the following steps:
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
- File a police report. This is important even if the accident was minor.
- Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. You should do this even if you think you were not at fault for the accident.
- Gather evidence. This includes taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and collecting your medical records.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
How to File a PIP Claim in Florida
To file a PIP claim, you will need the following:
- Your insurance policy information
- The police report from the accident
- Your medical records
- Proof of lost wages (if applicable)
- Any other documentation related to the accident
Once all the required information is gathered, the insurance claim process can begin.
What If the Other Driver Is At Fault?
If you are not the at-fault driver, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company. However, you may also be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. To file a claim against them, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is insurance that covers your injuries from an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. UM/UIM is not required in Florida, but it is recommended.
UM/UIM pays for the following:
- Damage from an accident caused by an uninsured driver
- Damage from an accident caused by a driver who does not have enough insurance
If you have any further questions about car insurance in Florida, contact an insurance agent. They will be able to provide you with more specific information about your auto insurance policy.
What If I’m At Fault?
Florida follows a comparative fault doctrine. This means that if the accident was your fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. However, your degree of fault will reduce the amount of compensation you receive. For example, if you are found to be 40% at fault for the accident, you would receive 60% of the damages.
Can You Sue in a No-Fault State like Florida?
You cannot sue the other driver unless your injuries meet a certain threshold in a no-fault state. In Florida, the threshold is referred to as serious injury.
A serious injury includes:
- Permanent disability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function
Additionally, if your medical expenses exceed the $10,000 PIP covers, you can sue for the remaining amount.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Claim?
The statute of limitations is the time frame in which you must file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for car accident claims is four years from the accident date in Florida. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may be barred from bringing a claim.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the car accident claims process and ensure that your rights are protected. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your case.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Claim?
You are not required to have an attorney to file a no-fault insurance claim. However, it is recommended. An attorney will guide you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure your rights are protected.
Other Important Insurance Coverage Options in Florida
Property Damage Liability Insurance (PDL) Coverage
Property Damage Liability coverage is insurance that covers damages to someone else’s car and property or if someone else is driving your vehicle. This can include their car, home, or other personal belongings. PDL is required in Florida.
Comprehensive Auto Coverage
Comprehensive auto coverage is insurance that covers damages to your car that are not caused by an accident. This can include damage from weather, theft, vandalism, or glass breakage. Comprehensive auto coverage is not required in Florida, but it is recommended.
Comprehensive auto coverage pays for the following:
- Damage from the weather (e.g., hail, flooding, hurricanes)
- Glass breakage
Collision coverage is insurance that covers damages to your car from an accident. Collision coverage is not required in Florida, but it is recommended.
Collision coverage pays for the following:
- Damage from an accident
- Hitting another car
- Hitting a stationary object
- Flipping your car
What Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers Can Do For You
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping Florida cyclists and their families recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, etc.
With over 21 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in motor vehicle accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
We Get You the Compensation You Deserve
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, our personal injury attorneys understand that no amount of financial recovery can undo what you have been through. However, a fair settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with your accident.
We have obtained multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases involving auto accidents and claims concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
Here are a few of our accident case results:
- $1.8 million for our client in Pinellas County who was injured in an auto accident.
- $1.8 million for a 33-year-old female client in Hillsborough County who was lawfully stopped for a left-turning vehicle ahead when she was rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle, which was then rear-ended by the vehicle behind it, causing the client to feel two impacts. This resulted in multiple back surgeries and an infection which caused the client to be hospitalized several times.
- $1.6 million for a 25-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle when the defendant cut across the client’s path. The client was thrown over 200 feet from the motorcycle. The accident resulted in a fractured leg, broken finger, back surgery, and many other injuries.
- $1.55 million for a 46-year old male in Pasco County who was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County and was rear-ended by the defendant at a high rate of speed.
- $1.35 million for a client in Pasco County. The defendant turned left in front of our client, causing the client’s vehicle to flip and resulting in many injuries.
- $1.34 million for a 69-year-old male client in Orange County who was in the left turn lane when the defendant came across his pathway while attempting to turn and collided with the client. The accident resulted in multiple severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, punctured lung, a broken arm that required surgery, and several lacerations.
- $1.3 million for a 33-year-old female client in Pinellas County who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light with her three children in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
- $1.025 million for our client injured in a car accident in Hillsborough County.
- $1 million for a client in Hillsborough County rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on the interstate.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the families of the deceased secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accidents victims.
If you feel you have been the victim of a serious car crash through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.