Are you one of the 400,000 people who got into a car accident in Florida this year? Confused by all the different types of insurance coverage that come into play? Rest assured, you’re not alone. These concepts are often confused by non experienced personal injury attorneys as well.
What is PIP?
Florida is a No Fault state? “No Fault” in Florida means Personal Injury Protection “PIP” insurance. PIP covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages caused by a car accident. PIP benefits are covered by your own car insurance under your PIP coverage (up to $10,000 or $2,500 depending on the nature of your injuries).
Why do we have PIP?
The Florida Legislature’s intent in establishing PIP was twofold: 1) create a way for people injured to get medical care immediately without having to wait on a definitive finding of fault for an accident and 2) create a minimal threshold that requires a “permanent injury” in order for a person to be awarded non-economic damages against an at fault driver. The statute also requires injured parties in an accident to seek medical care within 14 days or lose their PIP benefits.
I'm Responsible for EVERYTHING???
Absolutely not. Even though Florida is a “No Fault” state, the injured victim of a car accident can present a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance for injuries sustained. This type of insurance is called “bodily injury liability” coverage. Florida does not currently require Florida drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage.
What if the other driver doesn't have Bodily Injury coverage?
Since it is not required, to protect you and your family from injuries caused by uninsured motorists, you should purchase “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” coverage. “UM” Coverage can be added to the car insurance policy to provide protection in the event the at-fault driver doesn't have any bodily injury liability coverage or does not have enough bodily injury liability coverage to provide full compensation for the injuries sustained.
If you're in an accident and confused about what to do, just call us and we'll be there to help. 727-999-5337.
Joshua T. Chilson, Esq.