How Does PIP Insurance Work in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that motorists who are involved in car accidents must first attempt to recover compensation for their medical bills and vehicle repair costs through their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies. However, Florida drivers are only required to carry PIP insurance coverage of at least $10,000, so it is not uncommon for injured parties to exceed the limits of their policies. Fortunately, accident victims who find themselves in this situation do have options for recovering the remainder of their losses. To learn more, please call our experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers today.
PIP Insurance Coverage
Florida PIP insurance covers the cost of a policyholder’s accident-related losses, regardless of who actually caused the crash. Generally, these policies cover at least 80 percent of a person’s medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the losses of accident victims to exceed the limits of their policies, in which case, they could end up on the hook for remaining expenses.
Can I Still Sue the Driver Who Caused My Accident?
The short answer to this question is yes, although this type of recovery is subject to certain limitations. In Florida, which is a no-fault auto insurance state, for instance, a motorist can usually only sue another driver for causing an accident if he or she:
- Sustained an injury that requires treatment that exceeds the benefits available under his or her own PIP policy; or
- Suffered permanent injuries as a result of the other driver’s actions.
In these two situations, injured parties can step outside of the no-fault insurance system and seek compensation for their remaining losses directly from the other driver or that person’s insurer. Compensable losses include medical bills, property damage costs, lost wages, permanent disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
What Qualifies as a Serious Injury in Florida?
While it is clear when a person’s accident-related losses exceed the limits of his or her own policies, it can be a bit more difficult to determine whether an accident victim’s injuries qualify as serious. Technically, an injury will only be considered serious for compensation purposes when it consists in whole or in part of:
- The significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring;
- A permanent injury besides scarring or disfigurement; or
- An injury severe enough to result in death.
When a person can prove that an injury falls under one of these categories, through the submission of medical records, doctor’s notes, photographs of the injury, and expert testimony, he or she could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver or that person’s insurer.
Were You Injured in a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
Please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney about navigating Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online at your earliest convenience.