What Is A No-fault Fault State?

Florida is a state known as “No-Fault” because it has a law that requires car accident insurance that covers all drivers regardless of fault. This insurance coverage is known as No-Fault insurance (PIP) or Personal Injury Protection. Florida is one of only 12 states that have no-fault laws in the United States. Two parts of the Florida No-Fault Law will affect your claim. The first is that an injured person’s insurance pays them for their injuries, regardless of fault. Another aspect of the law is that an injured person cannot sue someone who was at fault for their injuries. This can be done with a monetary limit or for specific types of injuries.

In 1970, no-fault automobile insurance laws became law due to frustrations with the process of recovering money from car accidents. A no-fault system was believed to reduce inefficiencies in the legal and insurance system. Insurance premiums were expected to fall. In reality, however, the opposite has happened. In no-fault states, auto insurance premiums tend to be significantly higher.

The Florida no-fault system is failing to achieve its stated goals for a number of reasons.

  • It reduces the driver’s liability for unsafe driving. PIP is not dependent on a fault so the at-fault driver does not have to pay all the consequences of bad driving.
  • It encourages fraud. In order to receive PIP payments, there are phony clinics and medical providers who file fraudulent auto insurance claims.
  • Because it does not apply to property damage, the Florida no-fault laws do not reduce litigation costs or claims costs.
  • The No-fault Florida laws effectively double the insurance coverage required for an accident. The coverage for any accident is available to both the at-fault driver as well as the innocent person.

These are the main issues the legislature considers when it discusses the Florida No-Fault law. It does so often. This law has been a source of much contention over the years, and it is continually being updated and revised. It could even be eliminated completely at one point. It will not affect your claim for the time being. There are many important points to remember about it.

Florida’s Fault Coverage is Not Mandatory

Yes. Florida car accident laws require that every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle have no-fault coverage. This law is known as the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law. Motorcycles are not included in the definition of “motor vehicle” as it is not covered by PIP. Nonresident owners of vehicles must also have no-fault coverage if they are physically present in Florida for longer than 90 days within the preceding 365.

Florida offers another option for purchasing a PIP policy, just like other states. This option is often more expensive and difficult than buying insurance coverage. Most people do not use it. Another option is to provide “security”, either by providing a security bond or a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP Insurance Requirements for FL)

Florida’s minimum PIP insurance requirement is $10,000 per person and per accident. You also get $5,000 in death benefits. This money will be paid regardless of fault.

PIP benefits are available to the policy owner and any family members who live in the same household. PIP coverage covers injuries that “arise out of the ownership maintenance or use of motor vehicles.” This broad definition can cover almost any injury that involves a vehicle. PIP coverage can be applied even if the injury is caused by intentional acts such as someone throwing rocks at the vehicle. PIP was also applied in another case where the injury resulted from an exploding beer container.

Even if they are walking or riding in another’s vehicle, the owner and his/her resident relatives are covered. When they are hurt in another state, PIP covers them.

Florida No-Fault Personal Injuries Protection (PIP), covers 80% of medical treatment up to $10,000 per person. It covers 60% of the disability amount up to $10,000. Any loss of income, earning capacity, or income due to missed work and any costs to hire someone to assist you with tasks you would normally perform yourself. PIP does not cover non-economic losses. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment. These non-economic losses will not be covered by PIP. You will need to file a claim under a policy covering bodily injury liability, uninsured motorist coverage, or a lawsuit against the party who caused your injury.

Who Is Covered By Florida No-Fault Personal Injuries Protection (PIP),

The PIP coverage is quite complex. It is included in car insurance, and you can use it even if you aren’t driving. You may also be covered if your family members live with you or your passengers. These are the essentials of PIP coverage.

PIP coverage will cover you for injuries sustained while driving, riding in a car, or walking or biking. Your PIP coverage will cover your family members who are hurt while riding in a car, driving, or cycling when struck by a vehicle. If these relatives have their own PIP coverage it will apply.

Your PIP coverage also covers other drivers of your vehicle with your permission, as well as uninsured passengers.

Your PIP will not cover injuries sustained in an accident that occurs outside of Florida.

How Florida No Fault Insurance Fits into Your Auto Policy

Your auto policy will include No Fault coverage. Florida auto policies are complex. Different types of coverage can cover you in different ways. Some will cover you for injuries. Others cover injuries to others. Some also cover injuries to your vehicle or other vehicles. There are also issues with deductibles or limits.

Florida considers your required No Fault coverage primary. This means that it is the coverage that pays first before any other coverages. To receive your PIP benefits, you must inform your insurance company immediately after an accident. A short application form for PIP benefits will be required by your insurance company.

To receive the full $10,000 in PIP benefits, it is important that you see a doctor within fourteen days of your accident. To be eligible for the full $10,0000 No-Fault benefits, you must be diagnosed within the first 14 days with an “emergency condition” by a doctor, doctor or osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner. You would not be eligible for $2,500 otherwise.

Once you have notified your insurer about your PIP claim the doctors will forward your insurance company their bills. The doctor’s bills will be sent to the insurance company within 30 days. The insurance company will keep a log of all PIP charges.

PIP benefits are quickly exhausted. The limit can be easily exceeded by one visit to the hospital. Medpay is an extension to PIP and another type of coverage that you can purchase. After PIP has ended, it will pay for your medical bills. If your damages exceed the PIP and you don’t have Medpay, you can file a claim against their bodily injury liability policy. You will need to file a claim against your insurance company for Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage if their policy does not cover your damages. It is important to purchase UM insurance before you need it. Additionally, PIP does not cover damage to your vehicle. This is a separate claim against your insurer or the insurance of the at-fault driver.

Who pays for damage in a state with no fault like Florida?

Florida is said to be a “No Fault” State, however, the $10,000 PIP coverage limit was established in the 1970s. The $10,000 coverage amount doesn’t stretch nearly as far as it did in 1970. PIP does not cover 80% of medical bills or 60% of lost wages. The answer is yes, you will be able to receive “no fault” benefits following a Florida car accident. However, you will need to file other insurance claims against any at-fault driver to recover all of your damages.

This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann has the best personal injury attorneys. She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injuries. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations, or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation.

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Mary Hammons