How Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Work For Miami Car Accidents?
If you live in Miami, you most probably have heard the “no-fault insurance” phrase. But what does “no-fault” really mean, and what effect will it have on you if you are involved in a vehicle accident? This is a highly misunderstood topic, but here we will help you understand everything about Florida’s no-fault statute and debunk all its related myths as well.
What is Florida’s No-Fault Law?
Florida’s no-fault law states that, in the event of a car crash, both parties should turn to their car insurance policies to claim damages regardless of the party at fault. To cover this, all Florida motorists are required to include Personal Injury Protection cover (PIP) in their auto insurance policy. No fault law is meant to make it easier for people injured in auto accidents to get the medical treatment they need.
However, this law comes with a few restrictions. For example, PIP cover is limited to the amount it can cover medical expenses. This means that, should you sustain severe injuries that meet the “injury threshold” as prescribed by the law, you may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What You Need to Know About Florida’s No-Fault Statutes
- Your PIP covers only 80% of medical bills that result from an accident.
- PIP covers only 60% of lost income or wages after an accident.
- Your PIP will be subject to all deductibles you may have chosen.
- While a deductible will lower your premium, it also implies that you will have to cover the first $1,000 in lost wages or medical bills yourself.
What is Covered by No-Fault Insurance/PIP Cover?
Your Personal Injury Protection covers for your lost wages and medical treatment. It may also cover expenses resulting from an accident, such as additional childcare payments in case injuries sustained have prevented you from taking care of your kids. PIP insurance will also be used to cover these expenses for other passengers in the car.
Is it Possible to Sue Another Driver in an Accident Claim?
The answer to this is yes, but not all the time. Below is an overview of everything you need to know about your ability to sue another motorist for injuries and lost wages.
- Personal Injuries that are valued at less than $10,000: Under Florida’s no-fault law, if your damages are less than $10,000, you cannot sue another driver to compensate you for losses that your PIP insurance hasn’t covered.
One exemption to this rule is if the injuries you sustained are deemed to be permanent. For any injury to be considered permanent, Florida statutes require that it should be one that causes permanent disfigurement or scarring, or it should result in the loss of a limb or organ in the body. When your injuries are considered to be permanent, you can then seek compensation from the driver responsible for your accident.
- Injuries valued at more than $10,000: If your injuries exceed $10,000 or the maximum benefit of your PIP policy, you can take legal action against the at-fault driver. In such cases, you are allowed to seek compensation for losses such as lost wages, medical bills not covered by your PIP, and pain and suffering, among others. When you sue the at-fault motorist, you will need to prove that their fault led to the accident. You will also need to contend with comparative fault laws of Florida.
Summary of Exemptions to Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Rules
For you to sue another motorist for damages sustained from an accident directly, the following must apply:
- A permanent or significant loss of a crucial bodily function was involved.
- You should have sustained a permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring. This injury ought to be within a reasonable medical degree of probability.
- The accident led to significant disfigurement or scarring.
- Death resulted from the crash.
- The total amount of losses exceeds $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage.
Contact Miami Car Accident Attorneys Today for Compensation
After an accident in Miami where you are convinced that the other motorist was at fault, reach out to our legal team. Based on the financial damages the injury caused and the severity of your injuries, you may claim a significant amount in compensation. Hiring an experienced legal professional will help ensure that your rights are guarded and that your chances of recovering compensation are high. Contact us now at 305-853-9171 to schedule a free consultation and learn about all of your legal options.