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New Laws Would Reform No-Fault Auto Insurance in Florida

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Florida uses a no-fault auto insurance model, which means that all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and to use those policies to cover accident-related costs, regardless of who caused the crash. While designed to help lower insurance costs and discourage people from filing frivolous civil claims in court, many argue that this standard has led to higher auto insurance premiums and an increase in the number of uninsured drivers on the road. To address these concerns, lawmakers recently introduced two new bills, which would do away with the no-fault auto insurance system in Florida. To learn more about how these changes could affect your own recovery options, please call our Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys today.

Current Law

Under Florida law, drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP insurance and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage. Generally, car accident victims must use this coverage (provided by their own insurer) to obtain compensation after a crash. In 2012, however, lawmakers imposed further restrictions on how much PIP coverage an injured party can receive. For instance, under these rules, policyholders can only collect $2,500 in PIP benefits for medical bills and disability-related expenses if the claimant didn’t sustain an emergency medical condition. If, however, an emergency medical condition does exist and the accident victim files before the expiration of the 14 day deadline, he or she could recover compensation up to the limits of the policy. To pursue coverage from the other driver outside of this system, an injured party will need to prove that he or she has suffered the permanent loss of a bodily function, a permanent injury, or permanent scarring.

Bodily Injury Coverage Model

Both of the recently introduced bills, if passed, would change the auto insurance system in the state from the no-fault model to a bodily injury coverage model. This means that unlike PIP insurance, which covers a person regardless of fault, injured parties would pursue compensation under a Bodily Injury protection plan. These plans exclusively cover injuries caused by the policyholder’s negligence and do not cover injuries sustained by the policyholder. Under both laws, drivers would be required to obtain at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage.

Are You Entitled to Compensation After a Car Accident?

Attempts to change the no-fault auto insurance system in Florida have failed in recent years. The outcome of these new proposals, however, remains to be seen. If passed, these laws could have a significant impact on how car accident claims are handled in Florida in the future. If, on the other hand, the bills prove unsuccessful, car accident victims should take care to ensure that they have a firm understanding of the state’s no-fault standard. For help with either of these issues, please call 954-566-9919 and a member of our legal team will help you schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced Florida auto accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.7407.html

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