Car Accident Laws and Insurance
Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyers
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that accident victims must first attempt to receive compensation from their own car insurance before attempting to earn compensation from other involved parties. This applies regardless of which party was at fault for the cause of the accident. There are limited occasions for which Florida will accept a claim out of the no-fault insurance system.
In order to sue the person who caused your car accident in Florida, your car accident injuries must qualify as “serious” as that term is defined by state law. That means, you must have experienced at least one of the following as a result of the accident:
- significant disfigurement;
- bone fracture;
- permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member;
- a significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
- substantially full disability for 90 days.
If your injuries meet this definition, you’re not limited to making a PIP claim under your own policy. You can hold the at-fault driver responsible for the accident via a third-party car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Florida follows a “pure comparative fault” rule when both parties are found to share blame for an accident. Under the pure comparative fault rule, the plaintiff’s damages award is reduced by a percentage equal to his or her share of fault; ie if you are found 40% at fault you recover 60% of your damages. The comparative fault rule in Florida applies even if you are found to be more responsible for the accident than the other driver; ie if you are 90% at fault you are still awarded 10% of your damages.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
As Florida is a no-fault insurance state, all vehicle drivers must carry car insurance that offers payment for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. PIP benefits are in place to cover medical expenses for accident victims, along with certain non-medical costs. These non-medical costs may include lost income due to missed work or the cost of hiring help around the house due to an inability to perform these daily functions.
Florida PIP Requirements
Florida requires that all vehicle drivers carry at least $10,000 of PIP coverage. Additionally, drivers must carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. PIP coverage also applies to:
- the policyholder’s children (not just for crashes that occur in the policyholder’s car, but also for injuries that occur while the children are riding on a school bus);
- members of the policyholder’s household; and
- most passengers who lack their own PIP Insurance (as long as they don’t own a vehicle).
Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance, which pays the costs of injuries to other individuals involved in the accident. Florida also does not require that drivers carry underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) insurance, which pays for injuries due to drivers with too little or no insurance.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations, or time for a victim to file a lawsuit, in generally 4 years from the date of the accident in Florida.
Contact us TODAY if you have been in a car crash anywhere in South Florida at 754-900-1529, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the form to the right of this page.