When you are involved in a car accident, it’s understandable to suffer from anxiety immediately following the incident. It can be an overwhelming experience, talking to the other motorists involved in the accident, talking to police officers and seeking medical attention for any injuries you might have sustained. While it might not be the first item on your to-do list, you will also need to focus on filing an insurance claim.
Auto insurance is designed to compensate people for both personal injury and property damage sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. While police officers, insurance adjusters and attorneys consider matters such as liability and fault, Florida follows a “no-fault” system for car insurance. What this means is that in the event of an accident, you must turn first to your own car insurance company for compensation following an accident.
No-fault insurance systems are designed to eliminate injury liability claims and lawsuits by requiring direct payment by the injured party’s insurance company for medical bills and lost wages. In these cases, the insurance companies do not investigate who is at fault. However, the no-fault policy does not extend to vehicle and property damage and rarely does it pay for medical bills above personal injury protection benefit limits. This makes it an ideal form of insurance for smaller accidents. In the event of a more serious accident, the system allows for liability claims in order for the injured party to obtain compensation for injuries above the PIP limits.
Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry, at minimum, at least $10,000 in PIP benefits and $10,000 in property damage liability benefits. Once damages exceed these levels — which they often do — accident victims must resort to liability claims in order to obtain compensation.
In addition to liability claims, motorists can also file a lawsuit against those responsible for their injuries. If you are considering filing a lawsuit for a car accident in Florida, seek the counsel of the personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.