If you’re new to Florida or buying a car here for the first time, you might be confused by a concept known as no-fault car insurance. Ours is one of only a handful of states with the no-fault system, and it takes some getting used to. Frankly, because it doesn’t work and promotes fraud, most states have moved away from the system.
Accordingly, we’ve put together some helpful information here to explain how Florida’s no-fault car insurance works (and what the law requires from you).
No-Fault Car Insurance
Legislators enacted the no-fault insurance system to lighten the load of litigation in our state, though as we’ll see below, most Florida car accidents still demand the attention of an attorney.
Basically, “no fault” means that in any vehicle collision, your own auto insurance policy will pay for your personal injuries, regardless of which driver is ruled responsible for the crash. That’s why after a car accident you will get flooded with phone calls from clinics looking to cash in on your insurance policy. While this practice is 100% illegal, unscrupulous clinics continue to act with impunity.
If another driver injures you, then, you’ll be able to seek economic damages against that driver if the total cost of your damages (medical costs and lost wages) is greater than your own insurance policy’s limits. This, of course, is separate from pain and suffering damages.
There are a few caveats here, though. First, it’s important to note that Florida’s no-fault car insurance law applies only to personal injury claims. You’re free to pursue compensation for property damage regardless of the no-fault law.
Various exceptions apply as well. While we’ve explained the basic no-fault framework so far, you should know that the laws in this area are actually quite complex. It’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney before deciding whether your right to compensation is limited. Clients often find that they’re entitled to more than they realize.
Minimum No-Fault Coverage Often Fails to Cover the Cost of Injury
The State of Florida requires every single driver to maintain auto insurance, which must include at least the following coverage:
- $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
While some drivers carry more than these minimum coverage amounts, many do not. Indeed, you might carry the minimum limits yourself, meaning your own auto insurance policy will only cover $10,000 worth of your injuries should you ever find yourself in a serious traffic accident.
Because medical care is very expensive in this country, auto accident injuries frequently exceed this $10,000 PIP threshold. When that happens, you may need to take action against the at-fault driver (or their insurance companies) to recover the difference. In fact, that’s often the case.
Learn More About Your Options
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in a car crash, you may very well be entitled to compensation under state law. Too often, clients mistakenly assume that they’re limited by no-fault insurance until it’s too late. Time limits apply to these cases, and an experienced lawyer may be able to help you pursue additional compensation before the statute of limitations expires.
At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, we accept auto accident clients on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge a fee for our services unless there’s a successful outcome in your case. We work hard to recover every penny you deserve.
We’ll handle the entire claims process for you, holding negligent drivers and their insurance companies responsible for your damages Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and find out more.
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Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.