No-fault is an insurance law followed by a handful of states including Florida. Following a car accident In a no -fault state, you are required to use your own auto insurance to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages regardless if the other party was at fault.
No-fault insurance is also referred to as PIP or personal injury protection. If you are injured in a car accident, you must look to your own policy for medical payments and wage loss benefits to compensate you. You can receive up to 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost earnings up to the limits of your policy.
Under Florida law, your minimum PIP coverage is $10,000 to cover medical, surgical, funeral and disability benefits and $10,000 for property damage liability. Obviously, it is more prudent to purchase greater coverage if you can afford it.
Unlike states that do not have PIP laws, you cannot sue the other party in a car accident for causing your injuries until you have met certain thresholds. These include:
- Loss of a major bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable medical probability
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Should you meet the thresholds above, then you can bring a claim or suit against the negligent driver for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past lost wages, future loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering type damages.
PIP coverage extends to family members in your household if they do not have their own policies and to those who were driving your car with your permission. Should you or a family member be injured in someone else’s vehicle or as a pedestrian, your PIP policy will cover you and them.
Florida does not require you to purchase bodily injury insurance or uninsured motorist coverage; however, both insurance types are important. Bodily injury coverage insures you in the event you are at fault in accident and injure someone. Uninsured motorist coverage covers you in the event you are injured by someone (who is at fault for the accident) driving a vehicle which has no insurance or is underinsured (does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages from those injuries). Should you cause injury to another person in a car accident, you can lose personal assets if a judgment is obtained against you if you do not have bodily injury insurance. Make sure you have enough bodily injury insurance to protect you from personal financial exposure. Likewise, make sure you insure yourself in the event you get in an accident (which is not your fault) with someone who is uninsured or underinsured. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney if you are injured in an accident so you know your rights.