Florida Car Accidents & Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/No-Fault Insurance
Car accidents In Orlando are unfortunately common. Even a seemingly minor fender bender can cause serious harm while more major crashes can leave you facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and other costs. Thankfully in Florida, personal injury protection or ‘no-fault’ insurance helps offset expenses.
Our Orlando car accident attorneys outline what these policies cover and other options for getting the compensation you need to recover after an accident.
What is personal injury protection/no fault insurance?
Florida is one of ten states that requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Often referred to as ‘no-fault’ insurance, it helps offset car accident costs, regardless of whether you or the other driver is to blame for the accident.
What does personal injury protection or no fault insurance cover? Under the Florida Statutes, benefits provided include:
- $10,000 in medical expenses: PIP insurance pays 80 percent of car accident medical expenses, up to a $10,000 limit. This includes hospital emergency room and doctor’s office visits, diagnostic testing, treatment, medications, and rehabilitation services.
- $10,000 in disability benefits: If a car accident in Orlando causes long term disabilities, PIP pays 60 percent of lost wages, up to $10,000. This includes the costs of hiring someone to perform household services you would otherwise provide, such as cleaning, doing laundry, or cutting the grass.
- $5,000 in funeral expenses: In the event of a fatal car accident, no-fault insurance pays next of kin up to $5,000 in funeral expenses and burial costs.
What is not covered by no-fault insurance? Personal injury protection applies only to car accidents and does not cover damages due to vehicle theft or vandalism. Medical benefits do not cover massage therapists, acupuncturists, or other alternative and holistic treatments. It also does not reimburse you for damages to your vehicle. Drivers are required to purchase an additional $10,000 minimum of Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance to cover car repair or replacement costs.
Is personal injury protection (PIP) insurance required in Florida?
There are important provisions regarding no-fault insurance coverage in Florida that all drivers need to be aware of. These include:
- The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) requires proof of PIP insurance prior to registering a vehicle anywhere in the state.
- While insurance companies offer no-fault policies in varying amounts, you must purchase a mandatory minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
- Your PIP policy must remain in place for as long as you own your vehicle, regardless of whether it is in operating condition or whether you actually drive it.
- Not having the required mandatory minimum amount of no-fault insurance could result in fines of up to $500 and automatic driver’s license suspension.
In addition to the above requirements, drivers also need to be aware of Florida’s 14 day PIP rule. This rule makes you ineligible for no-fault insurance benefits if you do not seek medical treatment within 14 days of a car accident. As experienced Orlando car accident attorneys, we encourage you to get medical attention immediately to protect your health and your rights in filing a claim.
What if PIP coverage is not enough to cover all the damages from a Florida car accident?
No-fault insurance coverage aims to help drivers recover costs more quickly after a car accident, sparing them the time involved in filing a lawsuit. It also prevents the courts from getting backlogged with cases. However, even in a relatively minor car accident, the $10,000 limits on medical expenses and lost wages often fail to cover the full costs related to your accident, and they also fail to compensate you for pain, suffering, and other damages.
Before speaking with insurance adjusters about your car accident, request a free consultation with our Orlando car accident attorneys. If your injuries are severe enough and the other driver is to blame, the best course of action may be to seek compensation through a lawsuit. What types of injuries qualify you to step outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance laws and file a personal injury lawsuit? These may include:
- Burns or serious lacerations, resulting in permanent scarring or disfigurement;
- Crushing injuries, causing damage to body limbs or internal organs;
- Soft tissue injuries, which can hinder mobility and use of certain body parts;
- Spinal cord injuries, resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis;
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can result in long-term physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments.
Our Orlando car accident attorneys can help you recover compensation in a PIP claim or a lawsuit
You have only once chance to get compensation for car accident injuries in Orlando. Before speaking with insurers or accepting any settlements, contact The Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez. With more than 35 years’ combined experience, you can count on our Orlando car accident attorneys to help you get the compensation you deserve in a personal injury protection claim or a lawsuit. As a Firm Dedicated To You, we make each client a top priority so give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.