Personal Injury Protection In Florida: What Residents Need To Know
In American society today, diversity is abundant. Individuals have different expectations, goals, and obligations to attend to. However, with all the different ways to navigate through American life, one thing is universal: If you want to drive in this country, you must complete a driver’s education course. In this course, students learn best practices and “rules of the road” that reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident that causes personal injury to themselves or others.
Although students receive plenty of practice before taking the wheel themselves, accidents do inevitably happen. Sometimes, these accidents are due to someone else’s negligence. When this negligence causes personal injury, victims are likely going to want to pursue litigation to recover compensation for damages incurred. While this may seem as simple as contacting a local personal injury attorney and starting to build a case, Florida law has created legislation that makes the process slightly more complex.
Florida is one of only ten states that requires residents to carry personal injury protection insurance (also called “no-fault insurance”). While understanding the intricacies of this system is best left to consultation between you and your personal injury attorney, there are some general points of knowledge regarding this system that every Florida resident should be made aware of. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide Florida residents with some baseline information regarding personal injury protection requirements and exclusions in their state.
Personal Injury Protection in Florida
If you are involved in an accident that causes personal injury in Florida, the incident will almost always be reported to your insurance provider. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, required by Florida law, will typically handle the reimbursement for medical bills and other damages incurred due to the accident.
The goal of systems such as PIP coverage is to reduce the need for civil litigation due to personal injuries incurred in auto accidents. However, as any experienced personal injury attorney can attest, there are situations in which filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver is possible. For example, PIP coverage does not provide compensation for intangible damages such as “pain and suffering”. In addition, the state’s no-fault system does not apply to claims for vehicle damage.
When to Contact an Attorney
As readers can see from this article, personal injury victims will almost always start by filing a claim with their insurance provider and receive compensation under their PIP coverage. However, there are certainly still instances in which a personal injury attorney can help victims recover additional compensation in civil court.
When a victim’s injuries are deemed “severe”, Florida law allows for the pursuit of civil litigation. In order to meet the definition of a severe injury or loss, you and your personal injury attorney must be able to prove you suffered above and beyond what can reasonably be covered by PIP coverage.
Significant disfigurement, broken bones, prolonged or permanent loss of bodily functioning, or extended leave from work due to disability suffered because of the accident are all examples of cases that can be made for additional legal action. As always, consultation with a trusted personal injury attorney is the best course of action.
Contact Us Today for Help
For over three decades, the Orlando personal injury attorneys at Payer Law have been helping accident victims navigate the personal injury litigation process. Contact us today for help.