If you sustained harm in a Florida car accident, you may want to know your legal options and the legal remedies you can pursue. However, before considering filing a lawsuit after this collision, you must understand the state’s no-fault laws. In the guide below, we will go over what you need to know about Florida’s no-fault benefits, what they can mean for you and your legal options, and how you can go after the maximum monetary damages you deserve after this tragic collision.
No-Fault Car Insurance Laws in Florida
Florida has a no-fault automobile insurance statute requiring Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies. This means that motorists can receive benefits regardless of who caused a collision. It also means the policyholder does not have to prove fault to receive these benefits.
Instead, when a person is harmed in a car crash under these no-fault car insurance laws, they must first file a claim with their own insurer to obtain compensation for any non-serious harm they endured. However, if the injuries sustained were severe and permanent, then the injured party may need to pursue a lawsuit against the other motorist to go after the total compensation they deserve.
How Does PIP Work in Florida
As mentioned, PIP coverage will provide the policyholder with certain benefits after a car crash, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. This means that even if the policyholder was responsible for the accident, they can still get the medical care they need, and their own insurance coverage will pay for this care. However, with this coverage, the policyholder will be barred from filing a lawsuit against the other driver for benefits unless certain circumstances are met.
In addition, this coverage requires anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident to seek medical care within 14 days of the accident and file a PIP claim. If the individuals wait any longer than two weeks to obtain this care or file their claim to the insurance company, they can be stopped from recovering the money they need.
Who Is Covered Under PIP in Florida?
Florida PIP covers not only the motorist in the accident but also protects:
- Family members who live in the same house as the policyholder (including biological and adoptive family)
- Anyone driving the motor vehicle
- Anyone hit by the motor vehicle
In addition, passengers in the car can also be covered. But if these individuals have their own PIP insurance, they will be protected by their own policy for any injuries resulting from the accident.
What Does PIP Insurance Cover in Florida?
Although Florida PIP covers lost income, medical costs, and death benefits, it only covers 80 percent of the medical expenses. Consequently, if you endured $10,000 in medical costs, PIP will pay $8,000 of those expenses. However, if your injuries are not considered an emergency, you will only be able to collect $2,500 in benefits.
The medical costs that PIP can cover include:
- Doctor visits
- Medical exams
- Hospital stay
- Ambulance rides
- Diagnostic tests
However, some medical treatments may not be covered by PIP coverage, and it is important to determine which medical costs will be paid for by your insurer and which will not. Otherwise, you must pay for these treatments out of pocket.
Yet, if you are having a challenging time figuring out what your insurance policy will cover when it comes to your medical expenses, consider reviewing the situation with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can help you better understand your policy, determine what compensation you may be entitled to, and figure out what further legal action you can pursue.
In addition, PIP coverage will also pay 60 percent of your lost income, but this amount will be subject to a $10,000 limit.
If the policyholder was killed in a fatal car crash, PIP would also pay up to $5,000 for funeral and burial expenses in addition to other benefits.
Do Florida PIP Laws Allow YouTo Sue After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Florida instituted PIP laws to reduce the number of people who sue each other for damages following a car accident. As a result, the only individuals allowed to bring a legal suit after a car accident in the state are those who sustained injuries that were severely disfiguring or permanent or resulted in death. However, Florida also allows victims to sue for medical costs over $10,000, even if the injury sustained is not severe.
Moreover, to meet the severe injury threshold in Florida, the injury must be so severe that it impacts a person’s day-to-day activities. For instance, if you suffer permanent or significant loss of a central body function, scarring, disfigurement, or experience total or partial disability for 90 days or longer, you may qualify under the requirements. In these instances, you may be able to step outside of the no-fault insurance laws and file a claim against the wrongful party for damages that you could not initially pursue, such as pain and suffering.
For further information regarding these lawsuits and the viability of a potential legal claim, consider reviewing your case with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney. These lawyers can help you determine whether you can pursue a suit against the wrongful party and if this suit can assist you in securing the money you need.
Financial Damages You Can Go After Following a Motor Vehicle Crash in Florida
If you can file a lawsuit following a motor vehicle accident in Florida, you may be able to pursue certain types of damages. These damages tend to include the following:
These damages refer to payment for the actual damages that a person endured following an accident.
These losses include:
- Medical expenses such as prescription medications, surgeries, emergency care, ambulance rides, therapy, and other types of treatments
- Ongoing medical treatments and care
- Lost income, lost business opportunities, and reduced earning capacity
- Replacement services, such as childcare services or cleaning services
- Property damage
These damages refer to compensation for a person’s non-tangible losses that result from an accident.
These losses tend to be hard to prove and quantify and include things such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of quality of life
In addition, depending on the facts of the crash, punitive damages may also apply. Yet unlike the other compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate a victim for their losses after an accident, the court awards punitive damages only to punish the wrongful party for their terrible acts and try to prevent them and others from committing this act in the future.
However, in Florida, to receive these damages, a victim of a car accident needs to offer clear and convincing evidence that the defendant personally engaged in intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Consequently, if you want to know what types of financial recovery you can obtain after an accident, consider discussing your collision with an experienced Florida car accident attorney. Your lawyer can review your case, figure out what financial remedies you may be able to pursue, and help you fight for maximum compensation.
Time Limitations To Bring a Lawsuit in Florida Following a Motor Vehicle Accident
Florida car crash victims only have two years from the accident to pursue a suit. If they do not file this legal claim within this time, the court can stop them from going after the compensation they need. This rule may also have exceptions that can change these deadlines and change how long individuals have to file their legal claims.
For these reasons, consider reviewing your legal options with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible following a motor vehicle collision. These lawyers can not only figure out by when you would need to submit your lawsuit, but they can also help you file the proper legal motions and documents before the statute of limitations expires.
Do You Need a Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney When Filing a PIP Claim?
Many people believe that because a PIP claim involves filing a claim with their own insurance company, they likely will not have an issue getting the money they need for the harm and losses they sustained. However, this is rarely how these insurance claims pan out. In truth, these insurance companies want to save money, which means that their adjuster’s primary job is to reduce the value of a person’s claim as much as possible.
As a result, these companies and their team will try to find anything they can to use against you and your claim or may even try to deny your case, ultimately preventing you from getting any of the money you require. That is why before speaking with these insurance companies, contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Your lawyers can make sure the insurance company does not try to play games with your future, especially when you are most vulnerable. Rather, your lawyers can handle all the conversations with the insurance company and help you go after all the money you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney To Figure Out Your Legal Options After a Car Crash
If you suffered harm in a Florida car crash, you may feel unsure about what steps you need to take next or how to proceed with making a claim with your insurance company. However, if you need help knowing where to start with this process, don’t worry.
Instead, discuss the situation with a skilled Florida car crash lawyer as soon as you can. These attorneys can help you better understand your legal options after this accident, what you need to do to go after the insurance coverage you deserve, and what other monetary damages you can pursue outside of the insurance coverage.
Furthermore, when you hire these attorneys to handle your claim, they can help make sure the insurance claims process runs more smoothly, as well as improve your chances of obtaining the money you need.
They can also:
- Review all the legal options you have, provide you with the answers you need while discussing your questions and concerns, and offer you the legal support you require.
- Investigate the collision and obtain evidence that can help prove fault and the extent of your damages.
- Determine which parties were responsible for the accident and hold them answerable for the damages and losses you suffered because of their wrongful actions.
- Bring in experts to help validate your legal claim, such as medical experts, engineers, and accident reconstruction specialists.
- Handle the negotiation process, and fight for a just settlement offer.
- Go to trial with your case and try to fight for maximum compensation, especially if the other parties are not willing to settle for a fair amount.
For further information about Florida’s PIP benefits and how to go after the maximum compensation you deserve, contact an experienced Florida car accident attorney today for a free case consultation. Let our legal team show you how we can help you fight for your rights and go after the financial damages you and your loved ones require after a collision.