If you live in Florida and have been involved in a car accident, you know how hard it can be to get fully compensated for your injuries. A big reason for the struggle is Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system. But thanks to a recent vote in the Florida Senate, this system could be changing soon. Keep reading to learn more.
How Does “No-Fault” Insurance Currently Work in Florida?
Currently, Florida drivers can only pursue compensation for injuries caused by another driver if they are seriously injured and exhaust all of their benefits from their own no-fault insurance policies.
Under the existing no-fault system, state law requires Florida drivers to carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. When a driver sustains an injury in a car accident, they’re required to use and exhaust their PIP benefits first. However, this isn’t always a great option, as PIP benefits only cover 60 percent of your lost wages and 80 percent of your medical bills after an accident.
What’s worse, drivers can only receive PIP benefits up to the limits set in their auto insurance policy. If your losses in an accident exceed the limits of your PIP coverage, you could be in serious trouble.
Once drivers have exhausted their PIP benefits, they may be able to file a claim against the driver who caused the crash. However, they’ll first have to show that their injuries meet the threshold for “serious injuries” set by state law. Under the current law, serious injuries are defined as:
- Injuries that cause significant disfigurement
- Injuries that significantly limit the use of a bodily function or system
- Injuries that leave someone substantially or fully disabled for at least 90 days
- Injuries that permanently limit the use of a body organ or member
- Bone fractures
This standard can be detrimental for car accident victims who have suffered expensive injuries that technically fall short of the serious injury threshold. But a recent proposal from the Florida Senate could abolish the no-fault system, expanding legal options for injured people.
How Does the Florida Senate’s Vote Impact Drivers?
According to a report from the Miami Herald, the recent proposal passed by the state Senate would drop the no-fault provision for PIP benefits and reduce the minimum amount of required PIP coverage to $5,000. Furthermore, all Florida drivers would be required to have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. Currently, this liability coverage is not mandatory.
The full impact of the Senate bill isn’t fully understood just yet. Having drivers carry more insurance could help reduce insurance fraud and lower premiums, but requiring more coverage may also put a financial strain on low-income drivers. Dropping the no-fault provision could also open the door for more personal injury claims. The lawyers at Brooks Law Group will continue to closely follow the bill’s progress to determine how it will impact Florida car accident claims.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been in a Florida car accident, the experienced attorneys at Brooks Law Group can help you get back on your feet and recover fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today or visit our contact page for a free initial consultation.