How Does No-Fault Insurance Affect My Lawsuit?
Car crashes happen more often we’d like.
In fact, there were more than 235,000 car accidents in Florida in 2010 — that’s an average of 645 crashes per day in the state. There were 339,000 drivers involved in those crashes. The majority of them resulted in injuries — a whopping 195,000 of the crashes ended in injury.
If you’re one of the thousands of Floridians who is involved in a car crash every year, you may be wondering how to pay for repairs — or even medical bills from an injury.
Florida is one of 12 states that has “no fault” car insurance laws. The others include Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and the District of Columbia.
How does no fault insurance work?
No fault insurance, like the name, does not assign blame to any one driver in the crash. Your car insurance company will pay for or all of your medical bills or lost wages if you are involved in a car accident that causes injuries, no matter who was at fault for the incident.
In Florida, car crash cases follow a no fault standard. This means that after a crash, you would contact your own insurance company to look into coverage for lost income and medical bills related to injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
Such a claim is also known as a personal injury protection claim.
In Florida, insurance laws require that car owners have a minimum $10,000 PIP policy, in addition to a $10,000 no-fault property damage liability insurance. The latter covers costs associated with medical bills, surgical expenses, funeral costs and disability benefits.
In Florida, if you are hurt in a car crash, 80 percent of your medical expenses related to the injuries you sustain and 60 percent of your lost wages subject to the limits of coverage will be paid by your insurance.
How do no fault insurance claims work?
After the incident, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. You would file the no fault insurance claim with your automobile insurer and they would handle paying out your medical expenses and lost earnings as a result of any injuries. Those payouts are subject to the limits according to Florida law.
Your insurer would likely pay your medical bills and reimburse you for any lost income during your injury period.
How does no fault insurance affect personal injury claims?
This also affects your ability to file a personal injury claim following a car crash. In Florida, you must meet the “serious injury” threshold to file a claim. So in the majority of instances, you are likely not eligible to file a claim against the other driver.
But if you believe your injuries fall under the “serious” category, you may be able to file a claim. You may be able to do so if you suffered:
- Permanent injury; and/or
- Significant and permanent scarring.
These three categories are somewhat vague, so if you believe your injuries may fall into one of these categories, you should contact an attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer would be able to help you assess your case and give their professional opinion on whether your case meets the “serious injury” threshold.
If you’ve been injured in a serious car accident in Florida, contact the lawyers at Boone & Davis in Broward County. We have years of experience helping victims recover justice.