Breaking Down Florida’s No-Fault Law
Florida is one of twelve states that follow no-fault insurance laws. No-fault means that if you are injured in an automobile accident you must recover your damages through your own insurance no matter who is at fault. Drivers can find the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law in section 627.7407.
What Does Florida’s No-Fault Law Mean To You
Florida’s No-Fault Law requires all Florida drivers to maintain at least $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability. Motorcycle riders do not have to carry no-fault insurance. PIP insurance is meant to protect the policyholder by covering their injury related expenses no matter who is at fault. These include:
● Medical bills
● Lost wages
● In case of death loss of consortium and funeral expenses
Your property damage liability will cover the damages you caused to another person’s vehicle or property.
Pros And Cons Of No-Fault Insurance
As with any form of insurance, the Florida No-Fault Insurance law has its pros and cons. One of the pros is that no one has to prove fault to collect damages. It also saves the at fault driver having to pay for losses out of their pocket. Even if you caused the accident you can expect financial coverage from your own insurance. On the other hand, the biggest negative is that no-fault insurance states have higher premiums. Florida is one of the top ten most expensive states for auto insurance. Another con is that many policyholders find no-fault insurance laws redundant since most health insurance will cover any personal injuries.
Lawsuits Under Florida’s No-Fault Law
As with any law there are some exceptions to the Florida No-Fault Law which allow you to directly sue the other motorist who caused the accident. The first exception is if you were permanently injured because of the accident. Under Florida statute 627.737(2) “permanent injury” is defined as:
● Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
● Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
● Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Should you fall under any of these definitions then you are not subject to the no-fault limitations and can file a claim not just for medical and lost wages but pain and suffering and other damages resulting from the accident. Another exception is if your injuries are not permanent but your medical bills and/or lost wages total more than the $10,000 PIP coverage. You can file a lawsuit to recover your medical bills and lost wages.
No Fault or Personal Injury Protection Reform
For the last several years, Florida lawmakers in both chambers have attempted to end the no-fault system. The required PIP coverage that motorists are required to carry has been unchanged since 1979. Lawmakers in favor of overturning the no-fault law explain in 2019 that essentially amounts to $1,500 in no fault insurance. In addition to proposals to over turn no-fault proposals have been put forth to move away from the POP requirements and mandate motorists carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily-injury coverage. In addition, one bill would require insurance companies to offer medical payments, or “MedPay” coverage to motorists which would not be required.
Due to the complexity of the Florida No-Fault Laws, and the ever changing proposals in the Florida House and Senate, you need an attorney who is up to date and can advise you of your rights after you have been injured in an auto accident. Personal Injury Attorney Michael Babboni focuses only on personal injury law and has over 27 years of experience protecting people like you in Southwest Florida. He knows exactly how to navigate the ins and outs of Florida’s No-Fault to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.