The rationale behind the no-fault insurance law in Florida is to make it easier for a driver to claim from the insurance company for injuries sustained in a car or truck accident. Under the law, all drivers are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which covers qualified expenses resulting from a car accident without having to prove fault. Property damage is not covered under PIP insurance. Covered expenses typically include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost income
- Some replacement services
- Funeral services
Because the law prohibits the filing of personal injury lawsuits for noneconomic damages in exchange for the automatic compensation of these damages, victims are somewhat disadvantaged since the above expenses may exceed the amount covered in the PIP policy. Under current Florida law, drivers are only required to purchase $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage. It is advisable to purchase more than the minimum PIP coverage in case of serious injury or if the other driver is uninsured. Of course this would mean paying higher premiums which may not always be possible.
There are exceptions to the rule, however. If a car accident is due to negligence of the other driver and results in permanent disability, traumatic brain injuries, extensive scarring or death, it may be possible to claim for compensation over and above what the PIP policy will cover.
This is because medical costs are wildly high. $10,000 is a paltry sum when the cost of a mere ambulance trip and night in the emergency room are likely to far exceed it. Depending on how serious the injury is, medical treatment may be several times what the typical PIP insurance will cover.
However, since the no-fault auto insurance law in Florida is currently in a state of flux, it would be a good idea to consult with an experienced car accident attorney if you plan to file a lawsuit claiming serious injuries or a death sustained in a car accident. There may be accommodations or updates in the existing law you are not aware of that would favor your case in claiming for additional compensation.