If you get into a car accident, it’s important to note that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. What this means is that you first look to your own insurance company to compensate you for any losses, such as lost income or medical bills.
All drivers in Florida are required to carry a minimum of the following types of insurance benefits:
- $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits
- $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL) benefits
Unlike many other states, Florida does not require its drivers to purchase bodily injury liability (BIL) benefits as part of their coverage. Those benefits would pay the cost of other people’s injuries if a crash happens in it is your fault. Additionally, the state does not require drivers to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. UIM coverage pays out additional PIP benefits if the holder of the policy is struck by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance to cover the damages.
The only situation in which you are able to step outside of this system and seek compensation directly from the at-fault driver is if you suffered injuries in the accident that doctors classify as “permanent,” if you permanently or significantly lost an important bodily function or if you suffered significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring.
These stipulations only apply to personal injury claims. You may, for example, make a vehicle damage claim against the at-fault driver’s PDL policy.
To learn more about the rules related to auto insurance in Florida, consult a knowledgeable Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.