Accidents and Florida Car Insurance
Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys Will Help You Navigate Insurance Issues After Your Accidents
A car accident is stressful. Trying to navigate Florida's insurance policy laws makes the process even more complicated. Hiring top Tampa car accident attorneys will help navigate these tricky issues, and help you pursue the most compensation possible.
Florida No-Fault Car Insurance
All car accidents involve car insurance. That’s why it is there and why Florida law requires that all drivers have certain kinds of coverage. What makes Florida different than most other states is the way car insurance and claims work.
Florida operates under what is called a “no-fault” insurance system. This means that for certain injuries and losses up to a specified amount, you seek compensation from your own insurance company rather than the other driver’s insurer, regardless of who may have been at fault for the accident. All Florida drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The PIP coverage provided by your policy is "primary," meaning that it is the first place you’ll look for compensation after an accident.
However, you retain the right to pursue a claim for compensation and damages from the other driver and their insurer, including damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical impairment or disability, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, and other damages if:
- The injuries resulting from the accident are considered "permanent"
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement occurs, or
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function results
- A fatality is caused by the accident
Don't assume you know if you have a strong claim or not. Instead, schedule a free consultation with top Tampa car accident attorneys.
Vital Information About Florida PIP Coverage Explained by Tampa Car Accident Attorneys
In order for your PIP benefits to apply after a car accident:
- You are required to obtain initial medical care within 14 days of the accident from a medical provider. Follow-up care must be on a referral from that provider.
- PIP reimbursement is limited to $2,500 unless there is a finding that you have an "emergency medical condition" which is very specifically defined and must be made by a physician (D.O. or M.D.), dentist, Physician Assistant (P.A.) or Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).
- Follow-up care will be reimbursed (up to $10,000), but only if a finding of "emergency medical condition" is made.
- If you need treatment from a chiropractor, reimbursement is limited to $2,500.
- If PIP benefits do not apply because you did not get treatment within 14 days, or they apply but were exhausted, your personal medical insurance may be used.
What If You’re Hit by An Uninsured Driver in Florida?
As noted, you can seek damages from the other driver and their insurer beyond your PIP coverage for accidents that result in serious injury or death. But what if the other driver didn’t have insurance? Even if they were completely at fault for your accident and injuries, and even if you win an award of substantial damages after a trial, it won’t be worth much if the other driver has no money or insurance coverage to pay those damages.
Notwithstanding the fact that liability insurance is required under Florida law, a disturbing 24% of Florida drivers are uninsured according to the Insurance Research Council. That’s why auto insurance companies offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or “UM Coverage” to drivers. Florida law requires that insurers offer drivers UM Coverage, though the insured can reject the offered coverage in writing if they choose. Our Tampa car accident attorneys urge you: Do not reject the UM coverage.
There are two types of UM coverage available in Florida. Drivers can select either “stacked” or “unstacked” UM coverage. Generally, “stacked” UM coverage increases your available coverage by multiplying your limits by the number of vehicles being insured. “Unstacked” coverage does not increase the limits of available UM coverage by the number of vehicles being insured. Most drivers will weigh the differences in their insurance premiums when determining which type of UM coverage to select.
Stop the Insurance Headaches. Contact Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys to Help Manage Your Claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida car wreck, please call one of our Tampa car accident attorneys today at 813-222-0977 or contact us online to arrange for your free initial consultation and case evaluation. We look forward to assisting you.