Is Florida a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Each state adheres to either a fault or no-fault system when it comes to liability for car accident cases. Knowing whether your state follows a fault or no-fault structure for car insurance purposes is decisive when it comes to figuring out your next steps. If you’re wondering, “Is Florida a no-fault state for car accidents?” read on to find out.
Fault or No-Fault: Car Accident Insurance Law in Florida
For car insurance and car accident claim purposes, the state of Florida observes a no-fault system. So what does this mean? It means, unlike in the majority of states adhering to a fault-based system, you cannot sue the at-fault party for your car accident damages, except in extenuating circumstances (more on that below).
There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, Florida’s no-fault system requires you to file a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider regardless of whether the accident was caused by someone else. This also means that, even if you caused the accident, you’re entitled to insurance protection for your damages.
On the other hand, you are also bound by the limits of the no-fault system, which means you can only collect damages up to $10,000 for your accident recovery. Furthermore, you are unable to recover non-economic damages, such as emotional pain and suffering, through the PIP system.
Stepping Outside the PIP System to File a Civil Lawsuit
In some limited circumstances, you may be able to step outside of the boundaries of the no-fault system to prevent a third-party lawsuit with the at-fault individual. For example, if you have serious injuries that exceed the $10,000 PIP maximum, you could qualify.
Some conditions that could be deemed grave enough to warrant this by-pass of the PIP system include: significant loss of a permanent bodily function such as those caused by spinal cord injury, serious scarring or disfigurement, bone fracture, or a similar medical consequence.
However, the fact that you’ve sustained serious damages alone will not be enough to oblige the at-fault party to pay your damages by itself. You’ll have to convince the insurance company that it was their negligence that caused your injuries—which can be easier said than done, given that the insurer will fight to avoid paying you what you’re owed.
The complexity of dealing with third-party claims outside the PIP system compels many injured Floridians to seek out the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Pensacola
When you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car accident, you need a respected lawyer in your corner. Gross & Schuster, P.A. is proud to stand by car accident victims in Pensacola and will work diligently to win you a maximum settlement.
Call 850-434-3333 or fill out the form below to schedule your no-hassle appointment with a Pensacola car accident lawyer from our expert legal team today.