Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance. This means that injured drivers and passengers who have insurance can recover compensation regardless of who was at fault in an accident. However, securing no-fault coverage is not easy, and many accident victims find it necessary to hire a Boca Raton personal injury law firm to help them.5 Important Facts about No-Fault Accident Claims in Florida
No-fault accidents involve claims personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In order to understand your PIP claim, there are a few things you need to know about Florida’s no-fault insurance law:No-Fault Fact #1: No-Fault Coverage Is Not Limited to No-Fault Accidents
A common misconception about no-fault insurance coverage is that it is only available in no-fault accidents. This is not the case. While you can file a PIP claim after a no-fault accident, you can also file a PIP claim even if someone else is to blame for your accident-related injuries.
As a result, before filing for PIP, it is not necessary to determine whether someone else was at fault in your accident. If you were injured, you can file a PIP claim immediately, and with the help of an attorney you may be able to secure your maximum PIP coverage relatively quickly.No-Fault Fact #2: PIP Only Provides Coverage for Medical Expenses and Lost Wages
Another common misconception about no-fault insurance coverage is that filing for PIP is a substitute for filing a fault-based claim. This also is not the case. Most drivers in Boca Raton have $10,000 in PIP coverage—because this is the minimum amount required under Florida law. If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, $10,000 will only cover a small fraction of your accident-related losses.
PIP coverage is also limited in that it only provides compensation for accident-related medical expenses and loss of income. It does not provide compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or any other form of non-financial loss. As a result, while you should file a PIP claim immediately, it is also extremely important to hire a law firm to determine if you may be able to file a fault-based claim as well.No-Fault Fact #3: You Should Never Assume that an Accident was No-Fault
This brings us to our third important fact: Regardless of the circumstances involved in your car accident, you should never assume that no one else was at fault. While no-fault auto accidents happen, in our experience, there are usually one or more outside factors that cause – or at the very least contribute to causing – serious accidents and accident-related injuries.
For example, let’s suppose you were involved in a single-vehicle accident. Since you were the only driver involved, you might assume that no one else is liable. However, depending on the circumstances involved, you could potentially have claims against:
- The government agency that is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the road
- A private contractor that a government agency hired to design, build or maintain the road
- A dealership or repair shop that performed negligent work on your vehicle
- The manufacturer of your vehicle or one of its components
- The owner of an animal that ran into the roadway and caused you to crash
These are just a handful of examples. If your losses will exceed your PIP coverage (which is very likely to be the case), you owe it to yourself to contact a Boca Raton personal injury law firm and find out if you might be able to file a claim for additional compensation.No-Fault Fact #4: Even Filing a PIP Claim Is Not Easy
Since PIP is no-fault insurance and most policyholders’ coverage limits are relatively low, you might think that filing a PIP claim will be easy. While this should be the case, it unfortunately is not. At Hollander Law Firm, we have represented numerous accident victims who have been seriously injured in accidents to which their PIP policies clearly apply, and yet we have been forced to fight vigorously to secure the coverage to which they were legally entitled.No-Fault Fact #5: Filing a PIP Claim Will Not Automatically Increase Your Insurance Premiums
Finally, yet another common misconception about no-fault insurance coverage is that filing a PIP claim will increase your monthly or semi-annual premiums. Under Section 626.9541 of the Florida Statutes, your insurance company can only legally increase your premiums if it conducts an investigation and determines in good faith that you were substantially at fault in the accident. If you were not at fault in the accident, then your insurance company cannot increase your premiums on the basis that you utilized your PIP coverage.What Should You Do After a No-Fault Accident in Boca Raton, FL?
Given the facts discussed above, what should you do if you believe you have been involved in a no-fault accident in Boca Raton, FL?
Most importantly, you should seek treatment for your injuries. You need to obtain a thorough diagnosis so that you can begin treatment and heal to the fullest extent possible. If you truly do not have a fault-based claim, your PIP insurance will cover a portion of your medical expenses, and then your health insurance will kick in to cover (or at least help to cover) the remainder.
Once you have seen a doctor, your next call should be to a Boca Raton personal injury law firm. As we discussed above, the insurance companies do not hand out PIP checks without a fight, and you could potentially still have a fault-based claim for additional compensation. At Hollander Law Firm, we can help with all aspects of your case, and we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation about your legal rights.Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer at Hollander Law Firm in Boca Raton, FL
If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your no-fault auto insurance claim, Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Gregg Hollander can help. You can schedule your free initial consultation at Hollander Law Firm 24/7, so call 888-751-7770 or tell us about your accident online now.