Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way.
Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a driver is involved in a car crash, their PIP coverage will kick in to pay for the cost of medical care or other non-medical related costs associated with the crash. The non-medical costs could include lost income or replacement benefits, such as needing to hire someone to complete regular household chores.
Back in December, Representative Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, filed House Bill 997 and Senator Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed Senate Bill 1112 in hopes to reduce fraud in the no-fault, personal injury protection system. Instead of PIP coverage, motorists would need to be at a minimum limit for property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.
Most Florida drivers already have bodily injury coverage, so if the PIP system is repealed, lawmakers might not have to do much to replace the current no-fault system. It’s also important to note that ending PIP benefits wouldn’t really affect too many motorists, because only a small amount of people have the minimum coverage. And someone who is likely to commit fraud will find another way.
So in light of this news, let’s look at what’s currently in place and what you need to know about PIP laws.
The No-Fault System
As mentioned above, Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents. So if you’re involved in a collision, you will turn to your auto insurance company to pay for any medical care or other losses. Regardless of who is to blame for the accident, you can use these benefits.
PIP benefits will also cover your child, household members, and certain passengers who don’t have their own PIP insurance as long as they also don’t own a vehicle. If a passenger in your car is injured and has their own PIP insurance, then they will receive benefits under their own insurance. In the same vein, if you are injured while riding in someone else’s car, you will be covered under your own PIP benefits.
On the contrary, a “fault” state or a “tort liability” state operates differently. Drivers in these states can choose whether to file a claim with their own insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, or take the other driver to court to show that he or she was the one to blame for the accident and therefore the one who is responsible for paying for the accident costs.
In other words, while Florida isn’t a fault state, we may be heading in that direction.
As it stands now, the only way a Florida driver can get around the no-fault system and directly pursue a claim against the at-fault driver is determined by the severity of the injuries. If someone is permanently injured, significantly or permanently scarred or disfigured, or experiences significant and permanent loss of an essential bodily function as the result of a car accident, the injured driver can sue the other driver.
Florida Car Insurance Requirements
In order to legally drive in the state of Florida, all motorists need to have at least the minimum required auto insurance.
Florida’s minimum coverage is:
$10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits
$10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) benefits
While most states require bodily injury liability (BIL) benefits, Florida does not, although many drivers go ahead and get BIL coverage. BIL benefits pay for serious and permanent injury or death as a result of a car accident. So your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limit of your policy, and also provide you with legal representation if the injured party sues you.
If you don’t have the proper insurance, it is illegal for you to drive on Florida roads and your license may be suspended, including your vehicle’s registration and license plate. And then, in order to get your license reinstated, you will have to show proof of the proper insurance as well as pay a reinstatement fee of $150 to $500 for every violation.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the current system, it’s here for the time being. Along with having the required car insurance, you should also continue to be a cautious and safe driver any time you get behind the wheel. And if you are ever involved in a car accident, contact a Florida PIP accident attorney with a successful track record to see what options are available to your for compensation.
About the Author:
Steven Slootsky is a 1985 graduate of Nova Law School, which means he’s been a practicing Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer for more than 2 decades. He founded the Law Offices of The Injury Law Firm of South Florida in 1991. The Fort Lauderdale-based accident attorney is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Southern District for the U.S. District Court. During his career as a personal injury lawyer/auto accident compensation attorney, Steven has served as the co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation section for Broward County, Florida. He is also a Bronze member of the Florida Workers Advocates, a former member of the board, and serves as an “Eagle” member of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes. Even your own living room. On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a [..]
Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway. As auto accident attorneys [..]
July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days. Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles? What’s more, [..]
When most of us think about Fourth of July safety, we think about fireworks. Although improper use of fireworks can cause serious injuries, there’s a less obvious risk: food poisoning. Most Fourth of July celebrations involve outdoor gatherings, with perishable food that’s often brought in by a number of people, some of whom may not [..]
Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer. The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 [..]
Every summer, Floridians look forward to that much needed break that summer camp provides: the kids to get away from the daily grind of the school year, and you to get a little breathing room from them. Exactly how much of a break would it be, though, if you’re still holding your breath in anticipation [..]
Temperatures are rising and a lot of long weekends are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to hop in your boat for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or other summer holidays, it’s important to stay safe this season. Boating accidents do happen here in Florida, and many can be fatal. In 2017, 658 [..]
In the height of prom season, across the country, local police and first responders work with surrounding schools, survivors, and other drunk driving prevention organizations to reenact realistic reminders of why teens in their communities shouldn’t drink and drive. One survivor in Illinois recounted his experience of being ejected through a car window after plowing [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Florida’s summer is well underway, and the hot weather is a perfect excuse to get out on the water. With close to 900,000 registered vessels in the state, chances are that you or someone you know owns a boat and is planning to use it this season. Getting out on a lake or the ocean [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]