If you live in Florida and drive a car, you’ve probably heard the phrase “no-fault state” more than once. But what exactly does “no-fault” mean, and how does it affect you if you’re involved in a car accident? We’ll explain what Florida’s no-fault law means, how it affects your car insurance, and what happens if you’re in a car crash.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
The “no-fault” law in Florida means that, in the event of a car accident, both parties turn to their auto insurance policies to make claims, regardless of who was at fault. To cover this, all Florida drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance included in their car insurance policy.
No-fault laws are supposed to make it easier for those injured in a car accident to seek medical treatment. However, there are some restrictions. For example, PIP insurance has a limit on medical expenses; it will only pay up to a certain amount. If your injuries are serious enough that they meet the law’s “injury threshold,” or exceed your PIP coverage, then you may choose to a file a lawsuit against the other driver.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
Your PIP insurance covers your medical treatment and lost wages. It may also cover expenses incurred because of your accident, such as additional child care if your injuries have made it impossible for you to care for your children. PIP insurance also covers these same expenses for any passengers in the vehicle.
Car Accidents in No-Fault States
If you are a Florida driver and are involved in a car accident, you have peace of mind knowing that any medical expenses will be covered by your PIP insurance. However, you should still make detailed notes of the crash. Florida is a “no-fault” state, but if your injuries are severe, permanent, or debilitating, you may still choose to file a claim. At any accident, it is a good idea to record the following:
- The other driver’s name, driver’s license number, insurance info
- License plates of both vehicles
- Pictures of the accident
- Any visible injuries to you and/or your passengers
- Obtain any official documents, especially police reports
If you or your passenger is injured in a car accident, you may file a liability insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. With Florida’s no-fault law and your PIP coverage, you can seek medical attention right away, without waiting for the insurance companies to decide who is responsible.