Did you know that Florida witnesses more than 300,000 car accidents every year? According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 381,156 crashes occurred in 2022 alone.
You may want to know your legal options if you were injured in a Florida car accident. But before filing a lawsuit following an accident, you should understand the state’s no-fault laws.
In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about personal injury protection benefits in Florida, what they mean for you, and how you can get maximum compensation for your car accident damages. Read on to learn more.
No-Fault Car Insurance Laws in Florida
Florida’s no-fault vehicle insurance law requires motorists to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. That means drivers may be eligible for Personal Injury Protection benefits irrespective of who caused the accident.
It also means the insured can avoid demonstrating the fault to get these benefits. Instead, under current no-fault auto insurance laws, an individual must first file a claim with their insurance provider to get reimbursement for any minor injuries they sustained.
But if the injuries were serious and long-lasting, the victim may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get the full compensation amount.
How Does PIP Work in Florida?
As earlier mentioned, PIP insurance offers the policyholders particular benefits following an auto accident regardless of fault in the collision.
In other words, the policyholder’s insurance will cover the much-needed medical care even if the policyholder caused the accident.
However, the insured cannot sue the other driver for compensation under this coverage unless they meet specific conditions.
Additionally, this type of coverage requires that anybody hurt in a motor vehicle accident seek medical attention within 14 days of the incident and file a PIP claim.
If you take over two weeks to seek medical care or file a claim with your insurer, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
Who Does PIP Insurance Cover in Florida?
Florida PIP protects not just the driver but also:
- Family members who live with the policyholder
- Anyone authorized to drive the vehicle
- Anyone hit by this vehicle
Additionally, passengers using this car may also be protected. However, if these people carry their own PIP coverage, their policy will cover any injuries caused by the collision.
What Does PIP Insurance Cover in Florida?
Florida PIP insurance covers medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits. However, it does not cover beyond 80 percent of the medical costs.
So, if you incur $10,000 in medical expenses, your PIP will cover $8,000 of these costs. And if the insurance does not consider your injuries an emergency, you will collect only $2,500 in Personal Injury Protection benefits.
The medical expenses covered by PIP include the following:
- Ambulance rides
- Doctor visits
- Medical examinations
- Diagnostic tests
- Hospital stay
PIP may not cover all medical expenses, so it is crucial to know which ones your insurance will cover and which ones it will not. If not, you may be required for these procedures out of pocket.
However, if you are having trouble determining what your insurance policy will pay for regarding your medical costs, consider discussing the case with a qualified car accident lawyer immediately.
A car accident lawyer can help you better understand your insurance, establish whether you qualify for compensation, and evaluate your legal options.
PIP will also reimburse 60% of your lost wages. However, a $10,000 cap applies to this amount.
In addition to other Personal Injury Protection benefits, PIP coverage also pays a maximum of $5,000 for burial and funeral expenses if the policyholder perished in a tragic auto accident.
Do Florida PIP Laws Allow You to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Florida implemented PIP laws to reduce the number of persons who sue one another after an auto accident.
As a result, only those who suffered gravely disfiguring, long-lasting, or fatal injuries can file a lawsuit following an automobile accident in Florida.
Still, the state allows plaintiffs to file claims for medical expenses over $10,000, regardless of the severity of the injuries.
Additionally, the injury must be severe enough to interfere with your regular activities to fulfill Florida’s standard for severe injuries.
For example, suppose you sustain a partial or permanent loss of core body function, disability, deformity, or scars that last 90 days or longer. In that case, you may be eligible under the state’s requirements.
In such cases, you could file a claim against the at-fault party for damages you were previously unable to pursue, such pain and suffering, by going beyond the no-fault insurance statutes.
Consider discussing your case with an experienced Florida automobile accident attorney to learn more about these cases and the strength of your potential claim.
A lawyer will determine whether you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and whether this lawsuit will help you get the financial assistance you need.
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Financial Damages You Can Pursue After a Car Accident in Florida
You can seek certain damages in Florida by filing a car accident lawsuit. These damages include:
These are the actual damages that a person suffered following a car accident. They consist of the following:
- Medical costs, including the cost of prescription drugs, emergency care, rehabilitation, ambulance rides, and related forms of treatment.
- Continuous medical attention and therapy
- Lost income, reduced capacity to earn, and missed opportunities for employment.
- Property damage
- Replacement services, including cleaning and childcare services.
These are intangible damages resulting from a car accident. It can be hard to prove and quantify these damages, and they include such things as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Additionally, punitive damages can be awarded based on the circumstances of the collision. The legal system only grants punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for their atrocious actions and to deter people like them from repeating them in the future.
These are thus different from compensatory damages intended to reimburse victims for their losses following a crash.
However, a car accident victim must present sufficient proof that the defendant committed gross negligence or willful misconduct to be awarded these damages.
So, consider speaking to an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida to know the financial damages you can recover.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida
In Florida, car accident victims have a limit of four years from the collision date to file a lawsuit. The court may prevent them from pursuing the necessary compensation if they fail to file the claim within the given time limit.
However, this rule could have some exclusions that change the deadline and the time individuals file their claims.
Therefore, consider discussing your legal options with an experienced car accident lawyer immediately after the crash.
Your lawyer can help you file the appropriate legal motions and paperwork before the expiry of the statutes of limitations and determine when to file your lawsuit.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer When Filing a PIP Claim?
Some individuals assume they will have no trouble claiming compensation for the damages they suffered in an accident since PIP claims entail filing claims with their insurers.
However, insurance claims seldom turn out this way. Since these insurance firms want to make profits, their adjuster’s primary duty is to lower the value of your claim.
These firms and their staff will do everything in their power to discredit your claim and possibly try to dismiss it, eventually preventing you from receiving any financial assistance you need.
You should contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney before meeting or engaging these insurance providers.
Your attorney can ensure that the insurance provider does not attempt to control the trajectory of your life, particularly at a time when you are most defenseless.
Instead, your attorney can handle all communications with the insurance provider and assist you in pursuing all the compensation you are entitled to.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for You?
If you were hurt in an automobile accident in Florida, you might be unclear about what to do next or how to file an insurance claim. Don’t worry, though, if you are unsure where to begin.
Discuss the problem with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
These lawyers may assist you in better understanding your legal options following the crash, what you must do to obtain personal injury protection benefits from your insurer, and what further monetary damages you may be able to pursue.
Hiring a lawyer to handle your claim may increase your odds of getting the compensation you need and make the claims process easier.
A personal injury lawyer can also:
- Review your legal options and address your questions and concerns while offering the legal assistance you need.
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence that will help prove fault and the level of your damages.
- Determine the at-fault parties in the accident and hold them accountable for your damages.
- Find expert witnesses to validate your claim, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and engineers.
- Negotiate with the insurance provider and fight for a fair settlement offer.
- Take your case to trial to seek maximum compensation if the other party fails to settle.
Speak to a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Contact a skilled Florida car accident lawyer for further information about Personal Injury Protection benefits and how to pursue the maximum compensation.
Let Legal Giant connect you with a personal injury lawyer in Florida to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve after a car accident.
We partner only with the best lawyers who are knowledgeable about state laws and dedicated to fighting for their client’s needs and rights.
Contact us at (855) 740-5024 for a free case consultation today.