I was involved in an auto accident in Florida. What does it mean that Florida is a “No Fault” state?
In Florida, the law requires a specific type of car accident insurance that pays regardless of who the person at fault is. The coverage is called No-Fault insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). There are two aspects to The Florida No-Fault Law. One is that the person’s own insurance company pays for their own injuries without considering the fault at all. The other aspect is that the law restricts the injured person’s right to sue the person at fault. What Does Florida’s No-Fault Law mean for me if I was involved in an auto accident?
Is No Fault coverage mandatory? Yes.
The law requires that every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle to have no fault coverage under the Florida Statute 627.730. The statute also provides that any vehicle physically present in Florida for more than 90 days of the year is subject to the no fault coverage. The only exception outlined is that motorcycles are not included in the definition of “motor vehicles” under this statute.
What are the Personal Injury Protection Insurance Requirements?
- The minimum PIP insurance requirements are $10,000 medical and disability benefits per person per accident as well as $5,000 of death benefits. The money is paid without the determination of fault.
- PIP can broadly cover any injuries “arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle.” It also covers the owner of the policy and any relatives that live in the same household as the owner. Those that are covered are also covered even when they are injured while being pedestrians or riding in someone else’s vehicle. PIP coverage pays for 80% of the medical treatment up to the $10,000 limit per person and 60% of disability up to the $10,000 limit.
Coverage may not be enough to cover the full extent of his or her injuries.
For example, there may be cases where the accident:
- Caused permanent injuries. Outside of the $10,000 limit coverage, drivers are still allowed to sue the at fault driver if the effects of the accident are permanent; resulted in scarring or disfigurement; or caused the loss of important bodily functions.
- Involved an uninsured driver. The no-fault law only works if all drivers carry a minimum amount of insurance. In the case of severe injury due to an uninsured driver, the driver can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
- Happened out of state. For accidents that occur outside of the state lines, the no-fault coverage may be denied and not guaranteed.
Pursuing a claim against an at-fault driver may allow you to recover damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, and other losses.