In most states, someone who gets hurt in an auto accident caused by another driver’s careless or reckless behavior has a choice of whether they want to recover solely through auto insurance or, in addition or as an alternative, file suit directly against that other person. However, Florida is one of 12 states which follow some version of a “no-fault” system in situations like this, which may substantially limit your right to file a lawsuit after a traffic accident.
Understanding how this system works and your options for seeking financial restitution after a crash can be vital to protecting your short- and long-term interests, as any seasoned car accident attorney at Distasio Law Firm could affirm. No matter what injuries you have suffered or how your wreck happened, working closely with a Florida no-fault auto insurance lawyer could make a massive difference in how much compensation you are ultimately able to obtain.
How the “No-Fault” System Restricts Recovery Options
Under Florida’s version of the “no-fault” car insurance system, anyone involved in a car crash resulting in a personal injury must first seek restitution through their own insurance coverage if they want compensation for injury-related losses. Every driver in Florida is required to obtain a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) that they can then seek compensation from on a “no-fault” basis after a wreck. This means car crash victims do not need to prove anyone was specifically at fault for the collision to get paid for covered losses.
Generally, PIP coverage will cover 80 percent of medical expenses associated with a car accident up to policy limits and 60 percent of work income lost while physically recovering from injuries up to policy limits. Recovering for losses related to property damage, such as car repair bills and rental car fees, generally requires filing a claim against the PDL coverage maintained by the other party involved in the wreck. Coverage also extends to other people in the vehicle with the policyholder and pedestrians who may have been struck by a policyholder, as a knowledgeable Florida no-fault auto insurance attorney such as Scott Distasio could explain.
Are There Exceptions to Florida’s “No-Fault” Rules?
Importantly, it is possible to step outside the “no-fault” system in Florida and file a lawsuit against someone whose negligence caused an auto collision if that wreck resulted in you suffering a “serious injury.” In this context, a “serious injury” is one which results in or will directly result in over time:
- Significant and permanent physical injury
- Loss of bodily function
- Premature death
PIP benefits are still available to people who suffer serious injuries as defined above, but they can also pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or the at-fault driver themselves. In this situation, a skilled no-fault auto insurance lawyer in Florida could help demand recovery for the full value of all past and future losses caused by the crash, including:
- Physical pain
- Emotional anguish
- Future medical bills
- Income loss
- Lost quality of life
How a Seasoned Local Attorney Could Help
If you have incurred substantial injuries from an auto accident of any kind, you need legal representation. The Florida ‘no-fault’ law was intended to lessen court congestion and lower automobile insurance premiums, but some victims of auto accidents are left with no money for high medical costs. A dedicated legal professional from The Distasio Law Firm can help you investigate your accident so that you can receive the most compensation available for your injuries. We believe that you deserve the best medical care available to recover from your auto accident injuries, and we will fight on your behalf. Contact us today for skilled legal help with your Florida no-fault auto insurance accident claim.
Consider Working with a Florida No-Fault Auto Insurance Attorney
There are benefits and drawbacks to the “no-fault” approach Florida takes toward car accident litigation. There is generally a simpler path to recovery for short-term economic losses under this system, but a much more complicated path to recovery for long-term harm. Even if you do not have grounds to pursue third-party litigation, a well-practiced attorney’s help could still be key to making the most of your insurance claim.
Retaining a Florida no-fault auto insurance lawyer is often an essential first step to maximizing recovery after a motor vehicle wreck in the Sunshine State. Call Distasio Law Firm today to learn more.