Personal Injury Protection: Gordon & Partners
Automobile insurance isn’t something most people spend a lot of time thinking about. Once an insurance company has been selected and car insurance coverage purchased, most people put car insurance concerns out of their mind.
It is often only after someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident that the details of their car insurance coverage comes under intense scrutiny. Concerns about who pays for hospital bills, child care, lost wages and ongoing medical care for injured persons can cause increased stress and strain on the car accident victim and their family.
It is at this stressful time that many automobile accident victims discover limitations, exclusions, and other limits that may expose them to financial hardship and liability.
A car accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company, understand the limits of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and help you find solutions to unpaid medical bills, lost income and ongoing medical costs associated with a Florida car accident.
Florida Automobile Insurance Laws
In order to legally operate an automobile in Florida, the vehicle must be registered and insured up to the state’s required minimum coverage. Regardless of who is driving the car, a vehicle must be covered by the car owner’s insurance policy.
Residents that are new to Florida must have an insurance policy within ten days.
The consequences for driving in Florida without auto insurance include:
- A fine of $500.00
- Suspension of the offender’s driver’s license and registration
- Increased car insurance premiums
What Type of Insurance Is Required in Florida?
Every state has their own rules regarding car insurance. Some states are at-fault states, in that they require the driver who is at fault for the accident to use their own insurance company to cover damage and losses that the other party suffered. This insurance is sometimes referred to as bodily injury liability insurance and it is this insurance, carried by the at-fault party, that the victim would be compensated through.
Florida is a no-fault state. In no-fault states like Florida, all motor vehicles are required to be insured and driver’s are required to have two types of insurance, Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage and Property Damage Liability or PDL coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance is a type of auto accident insurance that covers your own medical bills for injuries you received in an accident regardless of who caused the accident. Florida is one of 12 states that require drivers to carry PIP policies.
Property Damage Liability (PDL) Coverage
Property Damage Liability coverage is auto insurance coverage that helps pay for damages to property that occurred as a result of an accident. Unlike Personal injury protection coverage, property damage claims in Florida are assigned to the person responsible for the accident and all property damage claims are filed with the at-fault insurance company.
Florida No-Fault Insurance/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Requirements
In order for a car to legally be driven on the road in Florida, the vehicle’s registered owner must carry the minimum insurance coverage at all times. This coverage offers basic personal injury protection and medical payments coverage for you if you are involved in an accident regardless of whose fault it is. It also shields you from property damage liability should you be at fault for a car crash that results in damage to the other driver’s property.
Depending on the severity of the car crash and the number of people who are injured, the medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury related expenses may exceed the no-fault insurance limits.
Drivers in no-fault states like Florida often find it beneficial to purchase additional auto insurance in case medical bills exceed the legal limits.
Minimum Coverage Required for Florida Drivers
Florida drivers are required to carry the following insurance in their no-fault insurance policy:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
- $10,000 in property damage liability
Florida PIP policy limits the amount it pays out for medical expenses at $10,000. This limit includes the medical bills of family members and other people who may have suffered injuries in the accident.
It is important to note that PIP coverage is limited to 80% of necessary medical treatment up to $10,000, the additional 20% must be paid out of pocket similar to a health insurance deductible or a liability insurance deductible.
What Does Florida PIP Insurance Cover?
Florida no-fault PIP insurance can vary in specifics depending on which insurance company is chosen, but in general, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers the following, for the driver and passengers living at the same address up to $10,000.
- Medical payments coverage of essential services and emergency care
- Limited non-emergency medical costs
- Ambulance and other required medical transportation
- X-rays, MRI’s, CAT Scans and other diagnostic procedures
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages/lost income
- Doctor visits
Unfortunately, if a car accident is severe, the injuries sustained can lead to loss of life. In these tragic cases, Personal Injury Protection insurance may provide death benefits to surviving spouses, children, and other relatives.
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
The death benefit for funeral and burial expenses is capped at $5,000. Any other costs in excess of this amount necessitates the family members pay out of pocket to make up the difference.
Expenses Not Covered by Personal Injury Protection Insurance
It is important to consult your insurance company to find out specifically what your Personal Injury Protection insurance does and does not cover as PIP limits vary. However, generally, Personal Injury Protection does not cover the following:
- Does not cover medical bills and medical expenses of the other driver and passengers
- Does not cover medical costs if you are in a car accident while driving for employment purposes
- Does not cover Medical expenses and medical costs if you were committing a crime when the auto accident occurred
- Does not cover damage to other people’s property
- Does not cover damage to your vehicle
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance and Non-Driver Victims
Personal injuries from a car accident often extend beyond the drivers of both vehicles. PIP insurance can offer offer medical payments coverage to non-drivers involved in accidents under the following conditions:
- A child is injured in someone else’s car but their parent has PIP insurance
- A Personal Injury Protection policyholder suffers bodily injury in someone else’s car
- An insured individual suffers injuries caused by a hit-and-run accident, a bicycle v.s. car accident or other accident caused by a vehicle they are outside of
Additionally, if a driver with a PIP auto insurance injures a pedestrian, bicyclist or other person outside of their vehicle, the driver’s policy covers medical bills associated with the accident.
What To Do If No-Fault Insurance and PIP Coverage Isn’t Enough?
The cost of healthcare is on the rise, along with the replacement and repair price of cars, trucks, suv’s and other motor vehicles involved in accidents. Due to these high costs and other factors, many accident victims are finding the amount the insurance company is willing to pay falls short of the medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage that is required.
One option to mitigate increased expenses is to supplement care insurance policies with additional health insurance and MedPay coverage. Unfortunately, these solutions are not much help after an accident has occurred and the medical expenses are piling up.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Fortunately, Florida law allows victims to pursue fair compensation through a third-party lawsuit under the following conditions:
- The accident caused permanent injury
- The accident caused significant scarring and disfigurement that will be permanent
- There was a serious and permanent loss of body function i.e. disability
- The accident resulted in a wrongful death
Does Florida Have Damage Caps That Limit Compensation?
No, Florida does not place a limit on the amount of compensation a victim can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
What Additional Compensation Can I Be Awarded In A Florida Car Accident Lawsuit
Compensation under Florida’s no-fault insurance system can be rather limited. However, in a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault party, other, more complete compensation may be available. This additional compensation may include:
- Additional economic losses that exceed the limits provided for in a traditional PIP policy
- Non-economic losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of support and companionship.
- Compensation for future medical expenses and long-term disability
Gordon & Partners Help Florida Accident Victims
If you have suffered losses that exceed the insurance company’s willingness and requirement to pay, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Gordon & Partners is a personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims navigate confusing insurance laws and get the compensation they deserve.
Suing the at-fault driver in a car accident is not something you want to take on alone. Having a personal injury law firm with expert knowledge of Florida’s car insurance laws on your team can make all the difference when settling your case.
With over 200 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Gordon & Partners have the expertise necessary to help you win your case. For a free, no obligation case review, visit www.fortheinjured.com or call 1 (855) 722-2552. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Gordon & Partners
Plantation, FL 33324
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