Florida No-fault/PIP Insurance Explained
Florida is one of the few states that uses a no-fault system for car accidents. This unique system of providing medical treatment for victims with injuries after an accident has several complex requirements. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your responsibilities under the no-fault system to ensure you are covered in the event of an accident.
Although the system is designed to make it easier for accident victims to receive medical care for their injuries after an accident, this coverage still has limits to consider. At Elstein Legal, our Miami car accident lawyers can use our extensive experience with Florida’s no-fault system to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible for your losses.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Law
The Florida Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law system requires all parties to look to their own insurance policy to cover their medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. All Florida drivers are required to have specific insurance coverage, known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), to cover their medical expenses in the event of an accident.
Unlike other states that use an at-fault system where the party most responsible for the crash is liable for damages and other losses, fault in a Florida car accident is only considered in very specific circumstances. In addition, there are limits to the kinds of losses covered by no-fault claims.
What is covered under a Florida no-fault policy?
As required under Florida’s no-fault laws, a Personal Injury Protection insurance policy must provide coverage for specific losses. According to Fla. Stat. § 627.736, PIP must provide coverage to eligible parties for 80% of reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to $10,000, including:
- Emergency treatment
- Dental treatment
- Rehabilitative services
PIP policies must also provide compensation for lost wages totaling up to 60% of gross income loss and lost earning capacity resulting from the inability to work due to the crash. In addition, under this section of the law, policies must also cover any reasonable expenses for necessary services victims incur due to the accident.
Lastly, policies are required to provide $5,000 per individual in what is known as death benefits for crashes resulting in a fatality. These death benefits are in addition to the above benefits for medical expenses and lost wages.
Who is covered under a Florida PIP insurance policy?
Generally, most PIP insurance policies in Florida provide benefits to the policyholder after a crash in their car, when they are the passenger in another vehicle involved in a collision, and when they are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle on the streets.
However, according to Fla. Stat. § 627.7407, PIP policies also provide coverage for others, including:
- The policyholder’s children
- Members of the policyholder’s household
Additionally, PIP insurance may also cover passengers in the vehicle during the crash, as long as they do not have a PIP policy or own a car. Our car accident lawyers in Miami can review your specific PIP insurance policy to determine if a particular party is covered after a crash.
Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold and Recovery Outside No-fault Laws
In some cases that meet specific requirements, you can step outside the no-fault system to recover compensation from the person responsible for the crash. If your injuries are severe enough to meet the serious injury threshold, you may pursue compensation directly from the at-fault driver.
However, only injuries that meet a very narrow definition, as outlined in Fla. Stat. § 627.737, qualify to bring a claim outside the no-fault system. In order to be eligible, you must have suffered from:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent injury, other than scarring or disfigurement
Under the serious injury threshold to the no-fault laws, victims can also seek a wider range of damages for their injuries and other losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Our Miami car accident attorneys can help you determine if you qualify to bring a claim under this threshold. Additionally, we can develop a personalized strategy based on the facts of your case and specific injuries to maximize your compensation.
Florida Personal injury protection FAQs
Has Florida PIP been repealed?
As of 2022, Florida still uses a no-fault system for car accidents.
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers successfully passed SB 54 to repeal the no-fault insurance laws. However, Governor DeSantis vetoed the bill, citing worries about how an expected increased cost for premiums could lead to more uninsured drivers, keeping the system in place throughout Florida.
Does PIP in Florida cover pain and suffering?
PIP insurance policies do not provide benefits for pain and suffering damages after a crash. Therefore, in order to seek pain and suffering or other non-economic damages, you would need to pursue a fault-based claim under the serious injury threshold.
What is the minimum PIP coverage in Florida?
The minimum PIP coverage required for all registered vehicles in Florida is $10,000. In addition to PIP coverage, drivers must carry a minimum amount of $10,000 for Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance to cover damage to another person’s property caused by you or someone driving your insured vehicle.
Although not required for most drivers, Florida motorists can also purchase additional Bodily Injury and Uninsured Motorist coverage to ensure they are not personally liable in specific situations.
Contact Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Today
Florida’s PIP/no-fault laws are designed to ensure accident victims get the medical treatment they need after a crash. However, these policies only provide 80% of expenses up to $10,000, which may not be sufficient depending on the facts of your case.
At Elstein Legal, we have extensive experience navigating the complex no-fault insurance system and have helped countless clients get the maximum compensation possible. Our car accident lawyers will review your policy and the facts surrounding your injuries and the accident to determine the best legal option available.
Call us at (305) 299-2835 or contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.