Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that if you got in an accident in the state, you would have to file a claim against your own insurance policy—even if you did not cause the accident.
All Drivers in the State of Florida are Required to Purchase Insurance
Florida Statutes §324.021 requires PIP coverage (Personal Injury Protection) in order to register for a vehicle. This coverage is where you turn after an accident. Everyone covered under this policy can get covered up to the limits of the policy.
You are required to have the following coverage:
- $10,000 in PIP benefits
- $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) benefits
You also have the choice of purchasing uninsured/underinsured driver coverage for when you get into an accident with a driver that does not have enough (or any) insurance.
What At-Fault Coverage will Pay for
Drivers that get injured can get their losses covered. The policyholder’s children, as well as most passengers with their own insurance (and no car of their own), are also covered.
You Have to Hit a Threshold in Order to File a Lawsuit
Florida Statutes §627.737 states that your injuries have to meet the definition of “serious injury” before you can file a lawsuit for further compensation on top of what you receive from your insurance policy.
The law says that the following qualify an accident victim for a legal (tort) action:
- Significant/permanent loss of bodily function
- Significant/permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Other kinds of permanent injury
For instance, if you become paralyzed in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could sue them if (and only if) you cannot pay for all your accident-related expenses with what you receive from the insurer.
The Kinds of Damages You Could Recover After an Accident
Under Florida Statutes §627.737, you could secure a financial award for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Inconvenience caused by bodily injury
- Sickness or disease caused by the accident
In certain circumstances, you could also pursue recovery for:
- Mobility aids, like a ramp or crutches
- Lost wages, benefits, tips, or bonuses while out of work
- Childcare or other in-home help during your recovery
You do not Have to Fight for Justice By Yourself
You could retain legal representation while you spend time with family or in recovery. Your lawyer could do the following for you:
- Handle all communications with the other party and the insurance company
- Valuate your damages
- Negotiate for a fair award
- File all paperwork
- Help to keep your case within the statute of limitations
- Answer your questions
- Protect your rights
Your legal team can also help you fight for wrongful death damages if you lost a loved one to an accident.
We Can Help You Determine who the Liable Party is
Your lawyer can help you figure out who could be liable for your vehicle accident losses (if your insurance company does not meet your financial needs). You could file a lawsuit against:
- Another driver
- A municipality that did not maintain the roads, signs, or lights
- A commercial business and their driver
There could even be more than one liable party in your case.
Why You Should File a Claim After an Accident in Florida
Filing a claim after your accident would allow you to secure damages to pay for your accident-related losses and bills. Additionally, you will also have documentation that the accident occurred if you choose to take further action regarding the event.
Also, you might make a negligent driver in the accident think twice about operating their vehicle without care in the future. This person might even be you, as Florida does not consider fault when you file a claim against your policy.
When You Need to Report Your Accident to the Police
Florida Statutes §316.065 requires a driver to report an accident to the police if there was a death involved in the accident or if there was at least $500 of estimated damage to a vehicle. Obtaining a copy of this report can help you in your fight for damages.
You should know that you only have a few years to file a lawsuit. If this is something you are considering, you should act quickly.
Hire Distasio Law Firm to Represent Your Interests
Distasio Law Firm won the following case awards for our clients:
- $1,000,000 for a Tampa woman hit by a truck and experienced worsened back pain
- $225,000 for a woman T-boned in her car and suffered hand and arm injures
Our team is ready to hear your story today.
Call Our Attorneys Now for a Free Consultation
Call Distasio Law Firm to speak to a member of our team about your options after an accident. We can also help if you have any other questions about Florida’s status as a no-fault state and what that means for you.