What “No-Fault” Means for Florida Drivers
As a Florida driver, you must be familiar with the term “no-fault.” But don’t worry; if you’re not, our team at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather can offer better insight on the importance of what “No Fault” means to you if you are involved in an auto accident. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of this phrase and how it affects you if you are injured in a car crash.
Florida is a No-Fault State
Florida is indeed a “no-fault” state. What that means is that if you are injured in a car accident, you must go through your own auto insurance policy for a portion of your medical bills, regardless of who is at fault for the crash. Your personal injury protection or “PIP” insurance will cover a portion of your medical expenses—and if you’re unsure, yes, you do carry this insurance. Under Florida law, all Florida drivers must have $10,000 in PIP coverage included in their car insurance policy.
Why have “no fault”? “No-fault” laws are designed to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 in immediately available medical coverage without having to fight over who is at fault. However, there are several limitations. First, you must have treatment within the first 14 days after the accident. Otherwise, your PIP will not provide any coverage at all.
Also, PIP will only pay a portion of reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Under a basic Florida policy, insurance companies will reimburse 80% of reasonable expenses for medically necessary care. However, recent changes to Florida law may limit you to only $2,500 of the full available $10,000 in coverage unless there is documentation that the injured party suffered from an “Emergency Medical Condition” or “EMC.” Also, certain types of care like massage therapy and acupuncture are excluded from reimbursement.
What Does my PIP Insurance Cover?
PIP insurance covers more than you think. Unless you have a work-loss exclusion, PIP will also pay 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000.00. PIP will reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses like prescriptions. The coverage will also reimburse mileage expenses for your trips to and from your doctor. In the tragic situation where someone dies as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident, PIP provides up to $5,000 in death benefits as well.
Will my Accident be Covered?
With your PIP insurance, a portion of your medical expenses will be covered regardless of fault. However, as mentioned above, there are caps and many limitations injured parties should be aware of. Moreover, you may benefit from filing a claim against the responsible party if you sustained significant injuries that exceed the amount you are entitled to under your PIP coverage. Insurance laws in Florida can be very confusing. Insurance companies often want to avoid and delay paying just compensation to car accident victims. Rather than waiting, contact our Florida car accident attorneys today.
The attorneys at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather can investigate your case thoroughly to help you better understand your legal rights and how we can fight to get you the fair compensation you not only need, but deserve. Remember, help is just a call away—call our team at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather or fill out a consultation request form to get in touch with one of our legal experts today.