How Does Car Insurance in Florida Work?

How Does Car Insurance in Florida Work?

In a state as large as Florida, traffic collisions are common, with 394,826 of them occurring throughout the state in 2023 alone. As many as 252,217 people suffered injuries as a result of those crashes. If you’ve been in a Clearwater car accident and suffered losses, it’s important to understand how your insurance works and what options you have.

By hiring our attorneys at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, you can receive the support you need as you navigate the claims process. To begin with, we can start by answering “How does car insurance in Florida work?” Contact our law offices in Clearwater, FL, today for a free consultation at (727) 787-2500

How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Understand Your Legal Options After a Car Accident in Florida

Car accidents often lead to serious losses, including property damage, injuries, and lost wages. If you’ve been in an accident, the best thing you can do to help yourself win damages is to contact a personal injury lawyer who can fight for your rights. 

At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our Clearwater car accident attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience and have recovered over $120 million for our clients. When you hire our firm, we provide a number of services. These include:

  • Assessing your claim in a free consultation
  • Ensuring you know what your rights are
  • Investigating the accident
  • Gathering evidence 
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Litigating your case in court

We have been helping the people of Florida since 1996, and we can help you, too. Get in touch with us today in Clearwater, Florida, to schedule your free case review.

The Ins and Outs of Car Insurance in Florida

Florida is a no-fault state for collisions, which means that you can still recover even if you held some responsibility for the accident. By state law, every driver has to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as well as property damage liability (PDL). There’s a minimum of $10,000 for each of these insurance options. PIP typically covers:

  • You, as a driver or passenger in your car or anyone else’s
  • Your children and other household members
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians you hit with your vehicle
  • Passengers in your car who don’t own a vehicle but have PIP coverage

To be able to recover losses, you must file a claim with your insurer right after the crash occurs. You also must see a doctor for your injuries within 14 days. Otherwise, you can’t recover losses.

No-fault laws are meant to make the claims process easier after an accident, but they don’t always achieve this aim. One reason is that the minimum of $10,000 is often not enough to cover your losses.

PIP will only pay for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. It doesn’t cover costs for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages, either, so you’re not getting what you deserve if you only rely on PIP. 

What happens, then, if the accident leads to catastrophic injuries? In those instances, Florida law allows you to sue the person who caused the accident. To do so, your injuries have to meet a certain threshold, including being disabling, permanent, disfiguring, and more. 

Filing a claim against the at-fault person means proving negligence, which requires that you establish they owed you a duty of care and then breached it. You have to show that the breach subsequently led to your injuries and that you can be compensated for your losses. 

There are other exceptions to the no-fault rules as well, possibly allowing you to file a claim against the other driver for substantial compensation. Our lawyers can help you determine your legal options during your free consultation.

What Damages Can You Claim?

If your injuries are severe enough to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault person, you can claim both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, as well as covering future treatment costs if you have a permanent condition. 

It’s likely that you’ve missed work because of the injuries, so economic damages help you recover salaries, commissions, bonuses, and anything else you would otherwise have received if the accident hadn’t happened. If you can’t return to work, you can claim future wages. 

Non-economic damages compensate you for less tangible losses, including pain and suffering. The more severe the injuries are, the more you’re likely to receive. In cases where you’ve suffered disabling injuries that don’t allow you to live like you used to, you can also claim loss of enjoyment of life. 

If a loved one died because of the accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. This seeks to compensate you for your loss of support, companionship, and love. In the most serious wrongful death or car accident cases, you might also be able to claim punitive damages as well. These aren’t compensatory. Instead, they’re meant to punish the at-fault party. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Award-Winning Clearwater Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida that led to significant injuries, an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced attorneys will offer their guidance during this difficult time. Contact us to discuss your claim with an experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer.