florida "no-fault" insurance laws

For those of us who live in the beautiful Sunshine State, we are familiar with the “No-Fault” laws of Florida. But did you know that in 1971, Florida became the second state in the country to adopt a no-fault automobile insurance plan? To clarify, current Florida law requires every motorist to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This is also known as "No-Fault" car insurance. The intention of this mandate is to ensure compensation of medical bills and lost wages a driver may suffer in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Thus, the “No-Fault” title is a reference to the fact drivers are still covered, regardless of legal liability. Florida is just one of over a dozen states in the U.S. today to adopt PIP laws to protect drivers.

However, despite these laws having been on the books for over four decades, plenty of people still don’t understand what exactly these protections do. Meanwhile, victims of car accidents or truck accidents are missing out on benefits they are legally entitled to. lowercase personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the subtle details of PIP law before you file a claim.

what is covered under no-fault insurance?

There are three important aspects of No-Fault insurance coverage. Each category comes with its own stipulations and limitations, so it helps to have an experienced Florida attorney to offer more context for coverage. The three areas of personal injury protection include:

1. Medical Costs

Most medical costs will be covered by PIP. However, some alternative practices such as acupuncture are not. The following are eligible for a PIP claim:

  • Medical Services and Medication
  • Surgical Services and Hospital Expenses
  • Physical Rehabilitation
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Ambulatory Services

Florida PIP law does have some notable differences from other state laws, such as:

  • In other states, PIP will generally cover the injuries of anyone in your household. Conversely, in Florida you can choose whether you want your PIP to cover just yourself or other residents in your household
  • Only 80% of medical costs qualify for coverage by Florida PIP
  • If your injury is not considered an emergency, you will actually only be entitled to $2,500 worth of benefits

2. Wage Benefits

Personal injury protection insurance also compensates for financial damages due to an accident. If you are injured and disabled due to a collision, Florida PIP will pay for 60% of your lost wages, subject to a $10,000 limit. Payment for wage benefits is not just for professionals. This coverage also considers services you would normally do, but now cannot due to your injuries.

Did you know- wage benefits can be applied to daily chores, such as:

  • Cleaning your home
  • Doing laundry
  • Caring for your pets

However, insurance companies are now offering PIP policies that do not cover lost wages to the named insured. Having a personal injury lawyer can help you find out what compensation you are eligible for under Florida law.

3. Death Benefits

Sadly, a common result of car accidents is serious injury and death. In the event that the victim of an accident is killed as a result of their injuries, PIP coverage provides benefits to pay for funeral and burial expenses. This is paid in addition to medical and wage benefits because frequently a victim dies after receiving some medical treatment. Personal injury protection works so that families are not left to bear these costs without help.

Up to $5,000 for funeral and burial costs are made available to the appropriate parties as stipulated by the terms of the insurance policy. While this may seem insignificant in the face of personal loss, it may provide a small semblance of relief to a grieving family.

how does personal injury protection work?

A typical personal auto insurance policy contains sections on liability coverage. These sections describe general information, including Medical Payments Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Liability limits under a standard policy are split into three categories:

1. Bodily injury per person

2. Bodily injury per accident

3. Property damage per accident

The minimum limit in Florida is 10/20/10. What this translates to under the above three categories is:

  • $10,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
  • No more than $20,000 paid per accident
  • $10,000 of property damage coverage per accident

However, there are limits to this coverage and liability, including medical payment coverage. Thankfully, personal injury protection coverage can ease the burden on a standard policy. No-Fault coverage takes priority in paying the insured after an accident, regardless of fault.

For example, if a driver has basic PIP insurance and $5,000 of Medical Payments coverage, their PIP insurance would cover 80% of medical bills up to $10,000. After that, Medical Payment Coverage will pay the remaining costs, up to $5,000. If you are involved in an accident and incur $20,000 in medical damages, the first $15,000 would be paid for by your policy. The next $5,000 would be the responsibility of the at-fault driver. If they hold the required liability limits of 10/20/10, their policy would pay the remaining $5,000.

However, if the at-fault driver was not carrying the required limits, then you need Uninsured Motorist coverage for the remaining damages. Otherwise, you could be forced to pick up the tab. Uninsured Motorist coverage serves as a precautionary measure to protect insured drivers. All of this may seem complicated, and at times it can be. But that is why the personal injury lawyers at lowercase are here to help.

why a lowercase personal injury lawyer

Insurance companies tend to place obstacles between victims and their benefits, and that is why having effective legal representation is essential. Seeking proper compensation begins with a knowledge of personal responsibility. In order to qualify for PIP benefits, insurance companies can actually force you to give an “Examination Under Oath” (EUO) and undergo a medical examination. Compliance with an EUO is a requirement for receiving PIP benefits. Therefore, if you do not comply the insurer is not legally obligated to provide you with PIP benefits.

Florida law also stipulates that if you unreasonably fail to appear for an independent medical examination (IME), the insurance company is no longer liable for the payment of PIP benefits. One should note that an IME is not meant to provide medical treatment. The sole purpose of this examination is to determine:

1. If you are actually injured.

2. If the treatment received was reasonable and necessary.

By failing or refusing to appear for two IMEs you may also be denied personal injury protection benefits. In many cases, the paperwork alone for these processes can be overwhelming. All-in-all, these are only a few great reasons to secure an experienced and professional attorney to help you through this difficult time. A lowercase personal injury lawyer is ready right now to take action and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

call and ask about the lowercase fee today

Call us at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335) today and ask about the lowercase fee.

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