No Fault Law In Florida
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Twelve states of the United States and Puerto Rico have no-fault auto insurance laws that is notable different from the other states. The text of the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law is stated in Section 627.7407 of the Florida Statutes.
In simple words, the ‘no fault’ law means that after a car accident the owners have to turn to their respective insurance companies and the ‘PIP’ for coverage of their medical bills and other financial losses that are covered by the policy immaterial of who was responsible for the accident. There are serious limitations to the type of claims that you can make under the ‘no fault’ law. Non-monetary damages are not covered under this law.
Anyone owning and wanting to register a four-wheeler in Florida is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance for the vehicle.
To register and drive a four-wheeled vehicle in Florida, owners must carry
$10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, and
$10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) benefits. This is applicable in case you cause damage to someone else’s vehicle or property with your vehicle.
Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Property Damage Liability in Florida covers damage that you, any family member or a covered individual cause to someone else’s car or property, such as a home, building or a structure while driving. The term ‘liability’ indicates that the insurance will protect you from the accidental damage that you may cause to someone else’s property while driving your car.
For example, if you rear-end into your neighbor’s vehicle or back into the mail-box, the PDL insurance will pay for the vehicle that your rear-ended and the mail-box that you damaged but not for any damage that may have occurred to your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
No-Fault Personal Injury Protection coverage pays the insured motorist’s bills, regardless of fault. The coverage amount depends on the limit of the insurance with the minimum being $10,000.
In case of an accident, the PIP coverage will be used to pay 80% of the medical bills and 60% of the lost wages.
The PIP also includes $5000 death benefit that is paid out in the unfortunate event of the driver dying due to injuries.
All PIP claims have to be made within 14 days of the accident.
PIP covers you, your family members and also individuals riding with you in the same car who do not have a registered vehicle or a PIP in the unfortunate event of a crash resulting in injuries.
Apart from vehicular crashes, PIP insurance is also applicable for several other cases like:
Bicyclists injured by a vehicle
Pedestrian injured a vehicle
Children injured on school buses
PIP however, does not cover injuries caused to the driver or the passengers of the other vehicle. Such injuries are covered by the Bodily Injury (BI) insurance that is not mandatory in Florida. To claim the BI coverage, the injured crash victim must prove that the other driver was at fault and has caused permanent injuries that cover the threshold set by the statutes.
As per Florida’s no-fault statute, a permanent injury includes:
A significant and permanent loss of a vital bodily function.
Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, apart from scarring or disfigurement.
Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
It is possible to step out of the no fault system and file a Personal Injury lawsuit for injuries or death and the ensuing financial loss as well as for the pain and suffering that the victim has to endure. This can be carried out only with the help of an expert Personal Injury lawyer/solicitor that can handle all intricacies of the law.