If you’re a car owner in Florida, you likely know that Florida is a ‘no-fault’ state. However, you may be wondering, “How does no-fault auto insurance in FL exactly work, and how will it affect me if I’m in an auto accident?” Well, here is all you need to know about the no-fault law in the state.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
Florida is a no-fault state which means that if you’re involved in an accident, you and the other drivers involved will turn to their respective auto insurance policies when making claims, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Motorists in Florida are legally required to carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.
No-fault laws are meant to ensure that those injured in auto accidents can access medical treatment easily. However, the laws come with certain restrictions. For instance, PIP coverage has a limit on how much it can pay for medical treatment. If you’re injured, and your medical expenses exceed your PIP insurance limit or if the injuries meet the legal threshold set by the law, you can sue the other driver or make a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
For your injuries to be considered as ‘serious’ under Florida’s no-fault law, you must have suffered:
- Permanent and significant loss of bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
If your injuries meet this set threshold, the no-fault law doesn’t limit you to making a claim only under your auto policy. You can seek compensation from the driver responsible for the accident by suing them for personal injury or making a third-party auto insurance claim. Additionally, you can seek compensation for all kinds of non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
PIP insurance coverage pays for medical expenses as well as lost wages. It can also compensate for costs resulting from the accident, like additional child care costs if you can’t care for your kids due to injuries. PIP coverage not only covers you, the policyholder, it also applies to:
- Your kids (not just in accidents that involve your vehicle, but also injuries sustained when your kids are on their school bus
- Your household members
- Passengers who don’t have their PIP insurance (if they are not the vehicle’s owner)
Your PIP insurance can also protect you when you’re a passenger in other people’s cars or are struck by another vehicle while walking or cycling.
Car Accidents in the No-Fault States
As a Florida driver, if you’re involved in an auto accident, your medical expenses will be taken care of up to your PIP coverage’s limit. This shouldn’t stop you from taking detailed notes in case you’re in a crash. This is because, despite the PIP coverage, if your injuries are debilitating, permanent, or severe, you may choose to sue the other driver or file a third-party claim. Therefore, you should gather all the necessary information and documents, including:
- The other driver’s insurance info, license number, and name
- License plates of the vehicles involved in the accident
- Pictures of the crash
- Noticeable injuries sustained by you and your passengers
- Essential official documents, particularly police documents
In Florida, if you’re involved in an accident, your PIP insurance will cover your medical expenses regardless of who is responsible for the accident. This makes the process of filing a claim more efficient because your insurance company covers your medical expenses and other economic losses. However, the no-fault laws also limit your ability to sue the other driver for compensation for your losses.
How Atlas Insurance Can Help
If you’re looking for auto insurance in Florida that will adequately protect you and your family, reach out to us at Atlas Insurance. Our experts will help you find an auto insurance policy that suits your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.