Accidents happen daily on roads and highways in and around Port St Lucie, Florida. If you find you were involved in an accident, you may wonder what to do and where to turn to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. One of the best things to do in this situation is to contact car accident attorneys in Port St Lucie. They can help provide specific advice and guidance regarding your car accident claim and how to proceed.
However, it’s also beneficial to understand Florida’s no-fault car insurance law. This law limits how and when you have the right to sue someone for an accident. It also outlines how much car insurance you must have in the state.
You will find everything you need to know about this law and your rights here.
What Does It Mean That Florida is a “No-Fault” State?
Florida is one of 12 states in the United States that follows a no-fault law. The term itself can cause some confusion. It doesn’t directly relate to who is to blame for an accident but instead means that all Florida drivers are covered for their injuries under PIP – Personal Injury Protection – coverage provided by their insurance policy.
Florida’s first no-fault laws were created in the 1970s to reduce drivers’ insurance premiums and streamline the damages paid. However, some believe these laws have made the entire process more frustrating and complicated through the years.
If you are involved in a car accident in Florida and experience an injury, you and the other driver will first file a claim with their own insurance companies. At this point, your insurer will pay a percentage of your medical costs up to the maximum of $10,000.
Is PIP Insurance Required for All Florida Drivers?
The answer to this question is “yes.” Since Florida is a no-fault state, all drivers are required to have the following:
- $10,000 in PDL – Property Damage Liability – benefits that pay for damage to the vehicle or property of another person.
- $10,000 in PIP – Personal Injury Protection – insurance that will pay for your injuries in the accident.
However, drivers in Florida are not required to carry liability coverage for injuries experienced by other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers. All drivers are responsible for their insurance coverage and injuries sustained in an accident, regardless of fault.
What Will PIP Cover After an Accident?
As mentioned above, PIP insurance covers up to $10,000 of medical costs. If your policy allows, it can also cover your lost wages. The medical costs are determined by taking the Medicare fee schedule and then multiplying it by a factor of two. This means that if Medicare would typically pay $50 for a medical service, the doctor would be able to bill you up to $100 under PIP coverage. At this point, your insurer will pay 80% of the amount. You would be responsible for paying the balance. Also, some PIP policies have a deductible of up to $1,000. PIP insurance will not cover the first $1,000 of your medical costs if this is the case.
Can You Pursue Damages Against the Other Driver?
While Florida is a no-fault state, there are situations where it may be possible for you to pursue damages against the other driver if they are determined to be at fault. To know if this is a possibility for your case, speak to car accident attorneys in Port St Lucie.
An attorney can review your case and help you determine how to move forward to get the total amount of compensation you are entitled to.