Florida’s Stance on Car Accidents: An Overview
Car accident laws differ across states. Here’s what you need to know about car accidents in the no-fault state of Florida.
Florida requires every motor vehicle owner to purchase personal injury protection insurance (PIP). PIP covers the medical costs for injuries inflicted in a car accident. PIP eliminates an at-fault driver’s responsibility to pay for the victim’s injuries.
Car Accidents in No-Fault States
In a no-fault state in any car accident, the injured victim’s insurance pays for their medical costs and damage regardless if they were at-fault in a collision. Florida is one of 12 states following the no-fault law. In a no-fault state, all motor vehicle owners must purchase personal injury protection (PIP). PIP covers medical bills resulting from car accidents. PIP only covers up to $10,000 in medical bills. If medical bills exceed $10,000, the injured individual can pursue a negligence claim against the at-fault driver in the collision. To file a negligence claim, the victim must prove they have suffered significant and permanent loss of bodily function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death. The court may dismiss the filing prior to a trial if none of the above requirements are met.
Related: Florida Car Accident FAQs
Florida as a No-Fault State
As a no-fault state, Florida requires every person injured in a car accident to pay for their own medical bills through their insurance provider for medical expenses under $10,000, regardless of whether the injured individual was at-fault in the collision or not. Every insurance provider in Florida covers the injury of the insured injured person. Insurance covering the injuries of insured injured persons is called PIP (personal injury protection) and is separate from health insurance. PIP is required for every motor vehicle driver in Florida. PIP covers all injuries as a result of a car accident including traumatic brain injuries.
Car Accident Induced TBI
Car accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI). TBI is a brain injury affecting brain function. TBI results from physical damage to the head. TBI injuries can lead to minor concussions or severe long-term damage to the brain. In extreme cases, TBI injuries can result in death.
Florida law requires personal injury protection for every motor vehicle for every motor vehicle owner. PIP is not funded through the state, meaning drivers must buy PIP before registering a vehicle. In Florida, the driver must also purchase PDL (property damage liability) before registering a vehicle.
Outside residents must have PIP and PDL if they:
- Are employed in Florida
- Them or their child is enrolled in school in Florida
In the case of a car accident, PIP and PDL cover up to $10,000. PIP covers up to $10,000 in medical costs and PDL covers up to $10,000 in property damage. If the medical bills exceed the amount that the PIP covers, the injured individual can prove serious injury exceeding $10,000 in medical bills and pursue a negligence claim against the at-fault driver.
Negligence Claim and TBI
Some traumatic brain injuries may result in serious injuries exceeding $10,000 in medical bills. In that case, the injured victim may prove their serious injury and start a negligence claim against the at-fault driver.
Related: How to File a Car Accident Claim With Allstate
In order to file a negligence claim, the victim must first prove they are experiencing the following impairments as a result of the car accident:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
If the victim believes they have suffered a serious injury as outlined above, they can file a claim. Then, the victim may file a motion with the court. 30 days before the set day for the trial or pretrial, the court will assess the victim’s file. If the court finds the victim does not meet the requirements outlined in the section above, the court will dismiss the claim without proceeding to a trial.
If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Florida a No-Fault State for Car Accidents, get your free consultation with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Florida today!