Mark Roman | October 10, 2023 | Car Accidents
If you are ever involved in an auto accident, you will need to know with whom you must file your auto insurance claim. The state where you live will have a direct impact on this, as some states are fault-based insurance states, while others are no-fault. Still more, some take a hybrid approach.
Below, you can find out if Florida is a no-fault state and what this means for you.
Difference Between Fault And No-Fault States
The two primary insurance systems in the United States for auto insurance are fault and no-fault. In fault states, the party at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damages their negligence causes. In no-fault states, drivers turn to their own insurance for coverage, regardless of fault.
Florida is a no-fault state. In most situations, you will file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance if you are involved in a car accident.
However, it is important to note that there is a movement to change this law so that Florida becomes a fault state like the majority of other states. As recently as 2021, there was a Senate Bill that passed with overwhelming support, but the governor refused to sign it.
Florida’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
Florida drivers are required to maintain insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $10,000 in PIP medical and disability benefits to cover their own expenses
- $5,000 in PIP death benefits
- $10,000 in property damage liability to cover damages they cause to another driver’s vehicle
You can purchase additional insurance, such as bodily injury liability coverage, collision coverage, and uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
PIP coverage notably does not apply to motorcycle accidents.
What Personal Injury Protection Covers
Florida’s PIP law states that this insurance pays for 80% of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses and 60% of lost wages that arise out of a car accident.
To receive medical benefits, the injured must seek initial treatment within two weeks from the date of the accident. If the accident caused a passenger’s death, death benefits of $5,000 can be paid.
Stepping Outside The No-Fault System
If you want to recover compensation for the full extent of your damages, including your pain and suffering, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system – but only if your losses exceed your policy limits or you suffered any of the following types of injuries:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a medical degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
For you to recover compensation for the full extent of your damages, you will have to show the other driver was at fault for the accident. This may require evidence such as:
- Physical evidence, such as skid marks, tire treads, and broken car part pieces
- Photos of the accident
- Videos from traffic cameras, dash cam footage, or nearby surveillance tapes
- Witness statements regarding how the accident occurred
- Accident reports
- A traffic citation for the accident
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help obtain this evidence.
Florida’s Time Limit To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
As part of a major change in state law in March 2023, the time limit to file a car accident lawsuit was shortened from four to two years after the accident date. If you do not submit your lawsuit (or finalize your insurance claim with a settlement agreement) within this timeframe, you will lose your chance to seek compensation from the court.
Because a lawyer will need time to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and try to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, it is advisable to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after an accident.
Contact the Florida Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a Car Accident lawyer in Florida. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655