Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Law 

 August 31, 2016

By  LMW Attorneys

Florida is one of twelve states that have a no-fault law. The no-fault law in Florida requires insurance companies to provide a level of coverage for an auto policyholder who is involved in an automobile accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This law prevents parties who have been injured in an automobile accident from bringing a claim against the person who was at fault, unless they sustained permanent injuries or disfigurements as a result of the car accident.

Why No-Fault?

Florida was the second state to adopt a no-fault automobile insurance plan, which went into effect in 1972. The goal of this no-fault law was to provide a mechanism for quick and efficient compensation for individuals who were injured in an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault. It was also meant to reduce the number of automobile accident lawsuits that are filed.

The no-fault policy assures the injured party will be paid for medical, disability and death benefits, though it limits the right to sue for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.

What is Florida’s No-Fault Law?

Florida drivers must carry $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage. This “PIP” coverage is often referred to as “No-Fault” coverage and is used to pay for medical expenses and lost wages if the driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Florida drivers are not required to have bodily injury liability coverage, which pays the costs of others’ injuries from a car accident.

Under Florida law, an insurance company must provide personal injury protection up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits for any illness, bodily injury or death that involves a motor vehicle.

Medical, Disability and Death Benefits

Insurers must pay 80 percent of all reasonable medical expenses as long as the injured party receives initial services within 14 days of the motor vehicle accident. The insurer will also pay for follow up services and care if the injured party is referred to a specialist.

In addition to medical expenses, insurance companies will also pay disability benefits if the injured party is unable to work because of the injuries sustained during the accident. Insurers will pay 60 percent of lost income and loss of earning capacity. Insurance may also cover reasonable costs for services to help with household work that would normally have been performed by the injured party.

Insurance companies must also pay $5,000 per individual for death benefits, which will be paid to the executor of the estate or to family members who are entitled to the benefits.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Although Florida’s No-Fault Law speeds up the process in which people who are injured in an automobile accident get compensated, people who are seriously injured in a car accident may find that the payment limits are insufficient to cover their medical expenses. Individuals who were severely injured in an auto accident and have suffered permanent injuries or disfigurement are not precluded from seeking additional compensation.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, it is a good idea to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights. Contact the professionals at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins today for a free consultation on your case.