Once you have received the necessary medical attention following an auto accident, the next step is getting the compensation you need to help pay for any medical costs you may have, as well as to cover the physical damage to your vehicle. Before you proceed, it’s important to note how your state handles insurance claims. For example, Florida is a no-fault insurance state.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
Under Florida state law, the minimum insurance drivers are required to carry is:
- $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) benefits
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits
While most states require drivers to have bodily injury liability (BIL) benefits to help pay the costs of other people injured in the event of a crash, Florida does not under their minimum required insurance. If a driver is caught without at least the minimum required coverage in Florida, their license may be suspended.
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, your own insurance coverage is the first resource for compensation for any losses or injuries caused by the accident. There are certain cases where you can file a liability claim with the insurer of the other driver or drivers, or file a personal injury lawsuit with the court against them. The only claims that be taken outside the state’s no-fault system are accidents that result in permanent and significant scarring, disfigurement, or permanent injury.
If your injury qualifies as a “serious injury” and you choose to take your case to court in order to seek damages to cover the expenses your insurance won’t cover, you have a limited window the courts will allow you to file a claim. The statute of limitations in Florida is four years for property damage and personal injury cases related to traffic accidents, including holidays and weekends.
Florida uses what is known as a pure comparative fault rule when determining the settlement in an auto accident case. Basically, the judge or jury can split the blame as well as the total amount of damages. Let’s say that the jury determines that the total damages are worth $80,000, but they also determine that the other driver is only 75 percent at fault for causing the accident. In this case, you would receive $60,000, while the other driver would receive the 25 percent, or $20,000 that you were at fault for.
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident, it’s important to get qualified legal representation to assist you in your potential claim. At Givens Givens Sparks, we are committed to helping our clients receive the financial restitution they require in order to make a full recovery. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys handle all of their cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us any legal fees unless we help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at (813) 336-3348 to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers.