If you sustained injuries in a car accident in Florida, you may think that you need to sue the other driver in order to get compensation for medical bills and property damage. But Florida is among a small number of states with a no-fault auto insurance law. That means when a driver in Florida is injured in an auto accident, he must first seek compensation from his own auto insurance provider, regardless of which party is at fault for the accident.
All drivers in Florida must possess a minimum of $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. The main issue with PIP insurance is that it comes with certain limitations. These policies are only required to provide coverage for 60 percent of lost wages and 80 percent of medical bills incurred up to $10,000. In order to make a claim with their insurers, accident victims must also seek treatment for their injuries within 14 days of the accident.
There are, however, some instances in which you can file a claim against the other driver. These instances include:
- Injuries incurring less than $10,000 in damages — Unfortunately, Florida’s no-fault law does not typically allow injured parties to sue the other driver for compensation outside of PIP coverage if the costs are less than $10,000. However, the one exception to this rule is if the injuries are permanent in nature. Permanent injuries include those that cause permanent disfigurement, scarring or loss of vital bodily functions. In these instances, the injured party can seek compensation even if the damages are less than $10,000.
- Injuries with costs exceeding the PIP policy’s maximum coverage limit — In spite of the no-fault law in Florida, injured individuals are allowed to sue the other driver if medical costs exceed the PIP insurance policy’s maximum benefit. Keep in mind that if you do attempt to recover compensation from the other driver, you will need to both contend with the comparative fault laws in Florida and be able to prove that the other party was at fault.
If you decide to sue the other driver in either of these circumstances, you will want to work with a reliable and experienced Florida car accident lawyer.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. represents clients injured in car crashes and other types of personal injury accidents in Florida. Call us at our Tampa office at 813-902-3925 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today and get the representation you need.