While Florida is a “No-Fault” auto insurance state, which requires Florida resident parties who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents to pursue their own insurance coverage to compensate themselves for their losses, there are exceptions to the law that allow parties to file lawsuits against at-fault drivers to pursue damages that arose from a car accident. We always recommend that you seek the advice of a licensed car accident attorney if you have been involved in an accident.
Florida “No-Fault” Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
In Florida, residents are required to carry Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” insurance coverage to legally drive cars in the state. After an auto accident, PIP generally covers 80% of all reasonable expenses up to $10,000.00 (or more if a PIP policy is greater than $10,000.00 of coverage) for medically necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental and rehabilitative services, including ambulance, hospital and nursing services that were obtained by an insured party within 14 days after an accident. However, PIP medical cost benefits will be limited to $2,500.00 if an authorized healthcare provider, determines that an injured person did not have an emergency medical condition. Additionally, drivers can receive compensation from their PIP policies for 60% of their lost wages resulting from an accident (up to their PIP cap) and receive compensation for their mileage incurred to obtain medically necessary treatment. For more information, check out our FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (“PIP”) INSURANCE BLOG.
Tapping Florida Bodily Injury Coverage
While many Florida drivers think that the “No-Fault” laws mean that they cannot be held accountable for causing an accident, drivers involved in accidents who are not at fault for causing their accidents may pursue civil actions to recover damages for medical expenses that exceed their own PIP coverage, lost wages that exceed their own PIP coverage, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disability and other compensable damages. You might also be entitled to punitive damages if the at fault driver’s actions were reckless, egregious, or malicious. Fla. Stat. § 627.737(2) provides in part that a plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of such motor vehicle only in the event that the injury or disease arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of such motor vehicle only in the event that the injury or disease consists in whole or in part of: (a) significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; (b) permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; (c) significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or (d) death. The Florida courts have considered injuries such as broken bones, significant disfigurement, permanent limitation of a body organ, significant restrictions of a bodily function or a partial or total disability for at least 90 days as justifying civil actions against at-fault drivers. However, be aware, that Florida drivers are not required to carry bodily injury coverage. While you may have a valid bodily injury claim against an at-fault driver whose negligence injured you, they may not carry bodily injury coverage and may lack adequate personal assets to pursue to provide you with the compensation that you need. Further, you cannot “double dip”. By double dip, you cannot acquire damages from an at-fault driver that you have already been compensated for by your PIP provider or that you will be compensated for by your PIP provider.
Get Your Case Evaluated
Pursuing Bodily Injury Insurance claims and motor vehicle accident claims in general can be a convoluted process that can be easily mishandled which can result in minimal or no recovery. We strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed Florida Personal Injury Attorney if you have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, boating accident, Jet Ski accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, slip and fall accident, premises liability accident, bus accident or any other type of accident that is caused by another. You could potentially recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage and other compensable damages and expenses. At Biazzo Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted. Contact Biazzo Law, the best local injury lawyer today at (561) 939-6300 to schedule your free Personal Injury consultation. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.