Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Gregg Hollander | November 14, 2023 | Car Accidents
Car accident claims are handled differently in Florida compared to many other states. That’s because Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. State law requires drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage.
PIP insurance pays benefits to the covered parties regardless of who caused a car accident. Therefore, even though another driver caused the collision, you file a claim with your PIP insurance provider. You can only sue another party for a car accident if you meet specific injury threshold requirements.
What Are Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Requirements?
Florida requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage. Drivers must also carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage. PDL insurance coverage pays for damages to another person’s vehicle or property caused by an insured driver.
Bodily liability insurance is not required in Florida, although many drivers add this coverage to their car insurance policy. Liability insurance compensates victims for damages caused by an insured driver. Drivers may also add other optional insurance to their policies, including uninsured/underinsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive coverages.
What Does No-Fault Car Insurance Cover in Florida?
PIP insurance does not cover all types of damages caused by a car accident. Furthermore, the coverage has limitations.
A PIP claim can cover up to 80% of your medical bills, regardless of fault. Therefore, you can file claims for ambulance bills, emergency room charges, hospitalizations, medications, nursing services, dental work, doctor’s bills, and more.
However, you are limited to $10,000 in coverage by default. Furthermore, your coverage is limited to $2,500 unless you sustain an emergency medical condition. Also, you must receive medical treatment within 14 days to be eligible for PIP benefits.
Your PIP policy also covers up to 60% of your lost wages if you cannot work after a car accident. However, your lost wages and medical bills count against the policy limit, so you could receive less than 60% of lost wages if your medical bills are high.
PIP also pays $5,000 in death benefits if a covered family member dies in a car accident. The policy will also pay the medical bills for the deceased person if they received medical treatment between the time of the crash and their death.
Therefore, your no-fault insurance may not cover all your economic damages from a car crash. It does not cover any damages for non-economic damages. Therefore, you cannot receive any compensation for pain and suffering damages.
Can I Sue Another Party for a Car Accident in Florida?
Florida insurance laws provide exceptions so victims can sue an at-fault driver or another party for damages. One exception is if you’ve sustained a “serious injury” as defined by state law. Other exceptions include DUI accident cases and cases where your losses exceed your policy limits.
Damages you could receive for a liability-based car accident claim include:
- Reimbursement for all medical bills and lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Reduced earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring, impairment, disfigurement, and disability
- Diminished quality of life
- Property damage
If the at-fault driver has liability insurance coverage, you begin by filing an insurance claim. Most car accident cases are settled by the liability insurance company. However, you can proceed with a lawsuit if the company refuses to agree to a fair settlement amount for your claim.
What Do I Need To Do To Win a Car Accident Claim Against Another Party in Florida?
PIP insurance claims are based on no-fault laws. You do not need to prove the other party caused the crash to receive benefits. You can be entirely at fault and still receive the same PIP benefits.
However, claims against other drives and parties are based on fault. You must prove the elements of negligence to receive compensation from the at-fault party. In other words, you must have evidence proving:
If you cannot prove each element of the case by a preponderance of the evidence, the court will not hold the other party liable for your damages. Also, contributory fault applies in liability claims. A Boca Raton car accident lawyer can help.
An experienced car accident attorney in Boca Raton understands the legal requirements to prove fault and liability. They also have the resources to investigate the crash and gather evidence, including hiring expert witnesses as needed.
Therefore, if you want to pursue a claim against another party for a car accident in Florida, it is wise to seek legal advice from an experienced Boca Raton personal injury lawyer. Attorneys offer free consultations, so discussing your case with a lawyer does not cost you anything.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401