If you didn't grow up in a no-fault insurance state, moving to a state with no-fault insurance laws can be confusing. Many people wrongly assume that in a no-fault insurance state, that you can't sue another driver for damages and that your insurance has to cover everything. However, this assumption is incorrect. Here is a quick break-down of how Florida's no-fault insurance law works and what it really means when it comes to legal action and choices.
Everyone Who Owns Or Operates A Vehicle Has To Have Insurance
One of the first components that you have to become familiar with is that under Florida's laws, you are required to carry insurance. All owners and operators of vehicles in Florida are required to carry insurance.You have to have Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage on your insurance policy. This coverage is what everyone means when they talk about "no fault" insurance.
PIP Insurance Covers Your Own Injuries
Under Florida law, you have to carry at least $10,000 worth of PIP coverage. What this coverage does it it pays for your medical bills as well as any wages that you lose out on because of an accident. No matter who caused the accident, you or another driver, your insurance will help you out with your medical bills and any wages that you lost out on.
You will first have to pay your deductible before your PIP coverage kicks in. You determine when you create your insurance policy what you want your deductible to be. Your deductible could be as little as zero down, or as large as $1,000 dollars. The size of your deductible is more about how much you want to pay for your insurance coverage; generally, the smaller the deductible, the higher the overall rate of your insurance.
More specifically, PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. This system was put in place to ensure that every vehicle owner would be able to get the medical care they need following an accident without clogging up the court system with lots of personal injury lawsuits.
When PIP Stops & The Legal Process Starts
PIP is designed to keep small injury claims in regards to vehicle accidents out of the court system. However, it does not mean that all legal actions are barred. If you suffer a permanent injury or cause someone else to suffer a permanent injury, that opens up the door for legal actions.
Permanent injuries are those that far exceed the limits of one's PIP policy and result in injuries that change your life, such as the loss of use of a limb or significant disfigurement. When injuries like that happen, legal actions can be taken in the state of Florida.
Florida's no-fault insurance law does not mean that you can't sue someone or that you can't be sued by another driver. What it does insure is that you will not have to go to court in order to get payment for minor medical injuries and lost wages caused by an accident. If you were involved in an accident and you need legal help, contact a law firm such as Bulluck Law Group.