Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Laws

1Oct
The concept of ‘no fault’ coverage sprung up in 1971 in Massachusetts. The goal was to formulate a legal structure that mandated insurance coverage to ensure all drivers had some coverage in accidents without having to determine ‘fault’ in the accident (hence the term ‘no fault’). Since 1971, 11 states and Puerto Rico have established […]

The concept of ‘no fault’ coverage sprung up in 1971 in Massachusetts. The goal was to formulate a legal structure that mandated insurance coverage to ensure all drivers had some coverage in accidents without having to determine ‘fault’ in the accident (hence the term ‘no fault’).

 

Since 1971, 11 states and Puerto Rico have established no-fault laws, the goal being to protect insured residents from being sued as a result of an automobile accident (except in certain situations). No fault laws are also designed to provide coverage when the injured party does not have enough insurance coverage on their policy to pay for treatment. They also provide coverage when a payment must be made to compensate someone killed or seriously injured in an accident.

Why PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is Important

Florida is one of 12 states in the U.S. that has a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law. PIP is an insurance term for the type of coverage provided to meet the requirements of Florida’s no-fault law. Florida requires drivers to carry insurance policies that cover up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage. This system is supposed to stand in lieu of establishing fault through the court system. The goal was to lessen the burden on courts and the need to establish fault and instead have each driver covered by at least a minimum-threshold insurance policy.[1]


Personal Injury Protection is important because it covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses, up to $10,000 resulting from an injury sustained in the crash, no matter who caused it. This law allows Florida motorists to have some coverage in an auto accident, no matter the circumstances.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Key

While not required by law, automobile operators in Florida are strongly encouraged to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage on top of their PIP coverage. Such a policy provides additional coverage if the other motorist involved in the accident doesn’t have enough liability coverage or if the other motorist leaves the scene before providing their insurance information.

 

In simple terms, uninsured motorist coverage is an important protection against irresponsible drivers. It adds a layer of security on top of Florida’s no-fault laws.

Why Seek Legal Representation in the Event of an Automobile Accident?

One may ask, “If my state is a no-fault state, why seek legal representation?” For one, any insurance company will try to pay out the least amount it legally must pay, and some companies will try to pay out $0 if they can get away with it. While no-fault laws are a step in the right direction, they are complicated to navigate. Hiring a professional personal injury attorney is always a wise choice to ensure one receives the compensation they need to recover from an accident. If an accident does occur and you or a loved one are injured, please call Magazine Law Group at 727-499-9900.



Sources:

 

[1] FLHSMV “Florida Insurance Requirements.” Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2022. flhsmv.gov