Accident Compensation and the Florida No-fault Law
Florida is one of 12 states that require all licensed drivers to carry no-fault insurance coverage. The Florida no-fault law has undergone reform since it went into effect in 1972, but currently mandates that all drivers carry no-fault insurance with a personal injury protection (PIP) plan providing $10,000 per covered individual. Many drivers think no-fault insurance covers all expenses in a traffic accident, but this is incorrect. A driver who causes an accident can still be liable for compensation to a victim who suffers a severe injury or death. Chanfrau & Chanfrau's attorneys have expertise in Florida law pertaining to auto accidents and years of experience representing personal injury victims. If you have suffered a loss in a car accident, or want to learn more about how the Florida no-fault law affects you, contact our Daytona Beach office today and schedule a free consultation and review of your case.
Understanding No-fault Law
Many drivers are understandably confused by no-fault insurance and PIPs. In the case of a traffic collision, regardless of fault, each driver's PIP plan pays a percentage of his or her accident-related medical expenses. The policy pays 80% of medical bills after a deductible is met and up to the policy's benefit ceiling, which is usually $10,000 per individual. The driver's policy will pay for any injured passenger, with no deductible applying, and pays a $5,000 death benefit per fatality. Some PIP plans will pay 60% of lost wages, but a PIP does not provide compensation for property loss. Florida's no-fault law also requires drivers to carry property damage liability (PDL) insurance, which pays for damage caused to another party's vehicle.
No-fault insurance allows for speedy payment of medical bills without waiting for insurance companies to determine fault in an accident. However, one problem with this system is that medical expenses are often much higher than $10,000, less a deductible of $250 to $2,000.
The no-fault law does not preclude accident victims from recovering excess medical costs and compensation for other damages in case of a serious injury. For these claims, the law specifies that accident victims must meet a certain legal threshold, for example, cases of permanent injury, significant scarring, or disfigurement. Death or devastating injury resulting from an auto accident can be sufficient grounds for the pursuit of damages for pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and other losses.
Florida drivers are advised to carry liability insurance in addition to their PIP and PDL coverage, as well as uninsured motorist coverage to provide protection in case of an accident with a driver who does not have car insurance.
Contact Our Auto Accident Attorneys
The experienced auto accident attorneys and our team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you navigate the often-complex regulations and mandates required by Florida no-fault insurance laws and determine how they apply to your personal injury case. Begin the road to healing and recovery today. Contact our personal injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation and review of your case.