Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law has been in place since 1972 and is just one of a handful of such laws in the nation. Under the no-fault system, individuals injured in car accidents must pursue compensation through their own insurers rather than seeking damages from the at-fault motorist. Although purportedly designed to speed car accident victims’ access to compensation for their injuries, critics claim that the no-fault law actually restricts compensation for many injury victims who deserve damages for their losses. If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, it is important to familiarize yourself with the law, which has been recently revised.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Under Florida law, all motorists must purchase a minimum of $10,000 of “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage that reimburses their medical costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses in the event of an accident regardless of which driver caused the accident. Some injury victims may pursue pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages, but only for certain types of injuries.
Florida’s at-fault insurance law specifies that this PIP coverage pays for the following:
- 80 percent of medical services
- 60 percent of lost wages
- 100 percent of replacement costs, such as housekeeping services
- $5,000 death benefit per person
In cases where a plaintiff sustains a serious or permanent injury, the law permits the plaintiff to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Additionally, the family of an individual killed due to a driver’s negligence may sue the other driver in a wrongful death action.
Beginning January 1, 2013, Florida’s no-fault insurance law incorporates several important changes, including:
- Motorists now have just 14 days to obtain medical treatment
- PIP coverage is capped at $2,500 unless the injured person can demonstrate an “emergency medical condition”; then benefits increase to $10,000
- Follow up care is only covered with a doctor’s referral and if provided by an approved medical provider
- Approved medical providers no longer include massage therapists and acupuncturists
- Coverage for chiropractic care is capped at $2,500 unless the patient can demonstrate the chiropractic provider is treating an emergency condition
Florida Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Emerson Straw, PL handle all types of car accident and wrongful death cases. Contact our office at (727) 821-1500 to speak to an attorney about your case.