According to the Florida No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of their auto insurance coverage. PIP states have an agreement between the state’s legislature and state-regulated insurance carriers that requires accident damages to be paid by the insured’s insurance company up to the limit of the policy regardless of who was at fault. The minimum amount of PIP coverage in Florida is $10,000. However, a victim does have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver outside the insurance system if their injuries exceed the no-fault threshold.
Since a PIP claim is brought against your own insurance company, the amount of money you can recover following a less serious accident in Florida may be limited by the details of your PIP insurance policy. PIP accident insurance was created to provide no-fault coverage for vehicular accidents (including most bicycles and pedestrian accidents) that result in relatively minor injuries. Once PIP benefits are exhausted, you will receive an “exhaustion letter” from your insurance company notifying you that your policy limits have been met under Florida’s PIP laws. It does not mean you cannot continue medical treatments, but it does mean you will need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance for the additional economic and/or non-economic losses.
Frequently Asked Questions about PIP
Why Should I Purchase PIP Insurance Coverage?
If you live in Florida and own or operate a vehicle, you are required by state law to carry personal injury protection. That way, if you are hurt in an accident, your insurance carrier will pay (up to the policy limits) 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost income and loss of earning capacity, plus certain expenses for services that you could not perform as part of daily living.
Do I Have to Cooperate with My PIP Insurance Carrier?
Most no-fault states, including Florida, require that you cooperate with your insurance company, which means many of the usual rules for dealing with and settling a personal injury claim must be disregarded up to the point where the policy limits are reached.
Who Does Personal Injury Protection Cover in Florida?
Whether he or she is injured as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist, the owner of a vehicle registered in the state of Florida is covered by his or her PIP following an accident. It also may include other drivers listed on the policy as well as members of the driver’s household.
Does PIP Insurance Cover Injured Passengers in My Car?
If the vehicle owner chooses, Florida PIP insurance can be extended to cover 80% of the medical expenses for passengers riding in their car at the time of an accident. This may include any of the driver’s immediate family members in the vehicle when hit by another vehicle.
Can I Sue an At-Fault Driver for Non-Economic Loses?
Following an auto accident where you received severe injuries or damages, you can bring a “tort” lawsuit against the at-fault driver for long-term medical expenses as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
If you have PIP coverage and are considering a personal injury lawsuit to seek additional compensation following an auto accident, pedestrian accident, or bicycle accident, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in a timely manner. Contact Schackow & Mercadante at (352)371-3000 to discuss your legal options.