Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Laws Explained
What is PIP?
If you were born and raised in Florida, you might be familiar with Florida’s No-Fault Law. But no-fault laws are only present in ten states, Florida being one of them. That law put simply, says that it does not matter who caused the collision drivers must carry PIP insurance to cover their medical costs and other accident-related liabilities.
Moreover, drivers must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Additionally, motorists are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) to cover any losses they may incur in relation to the car or property of others. Lastly, if the driver does not maintain PIP insurance coverage, the State of Florida may suspend the motorist’s driver’s license and vehicle registration. (See Florida Statutes § 627.7407(5)(a))
What does PIP cover?
PIP insurance covers 80% of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary costs resulting from your auto accident, in accordance with Florida Statutes § 627.736. This coverage includes medical, surgical, X-rays, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, nursing services, and more. However, you must seek initial care within 14 days after your accident to be covered.
Also, if you cannot work due to your injuries, PIP covers 60% of your gross earnings and your loss of potential future earnings. Further, if your loved one passes away due to an accident injury, PIP will pay you $5,000 in death benefits for each insured person.
What if PIP is not enough to cover my injuries?
If you sustained serious injuries, you might be able to sue the person at fault for your damages/injuries from the accident. You could either file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or make a claim against their liability insurance.
Keep in mind that, PIP only pays for your medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits. If you sustained a permanent injury, property loss, pain and suffering, and/or loss of mobility caused by the accident, you may sue the at-fault driver for damages and seek compensation for your injuries.
Wining a lawsuit will require to prove negligence.
You must demonstrate that another party’s negligence led to your injury to receive a settlement or verdict for your case. Speeding, intoxication, texting while driving, failure to break, failure to keep a safe distance, disregarding a stoplight or a stop sign, or moving into the wrong lane are examples of negligence on the part of the at-fault motorist.
Further, a car manufacturer or an auto part maker may be held liable if your accident was brought on by a vehicle issue, such as a faulty tire or defective brakes. If careless road maintenance or design resulted in your crash, liability may also lie with the government agency or other organization in charge of the highway where your accident occurred.
How can an attorney help if I am in a car accident?
Quattrochi, Torres & Taormina has experienced attorneys who can help you get payment from your own PIP insurance company. We can assist you with your liability insurance claims as well if you would like to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Our attorneys will help:
- Submitting your claims to the insurance company
- Filling out and submitting insurance documentation
- Keeping up with insurance deadlines
- Contacting the insurance company adjusters on your behalf
- Obtaining proof of negligence to support your claims
- Fight for the highest settlement amount feasible
- Take your case to court, if necessary
Time constrains – Florida’s Statute of Limitations
It is key to start your claim as soon as possible. If you are unable to get a settlement and your injuries are such that would give you the right to sue, you have a time limit to sue because of Florida’s Statute of Limitations.
You have up to four years to file suit in a personal injury case and two years to file suit in a wrongful death case, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. That is why you must be careful because if the statute expires, you will not be able to take your case to civil court. Remember, the key is to start your claim before the statute expires, not to finish it.
Contact Quattrochi, Torres & Taormina to help you
At Quattrochi, Torres & Taormina we have helped accident victims throughout the State of Florida get the justice they deserve. We have experienced attorneys who have come across many different types of accidents and injuries. It does not matter how minor or major your accident looks; we will help you in your journey to restore the life you had before your accident.
To find out more about how we can assist with your car accident case call 407-452-4918.