What is No Fault Law in Florida?
The No-Fault Law in Florida, also known as the No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law, makes it imperative for all drivers and car owners to have Personal Injury Protection insurance or coverage. This can be an integral extension of the standard auto insurance policy or it can be a segregated but still associated insurance policy. The law makes it mandatory to have such coverage wherein an injured person will get coverage for medical expenses regardless of who was at fault or who had caused the accident.
Significance of No Fault Law in Florida
The No Fault Law, which is essentially a mandate requiring citizens and residents to opt for personal injury protection insurance, is designed to help injured people get the necessary medical care without them getting entangled in legal hassles. Car insurance usually protects the vehicle and the driver, fellow drivers who may be hit and property damage up to an extent. Fellow passengers or a whole family may also be covered depending on the terms of the policy. When accidents happen and one or more people get injured, there is usually a blame game and both or more parties try to establish the guilt or fault of someone else. This can lead to lawsuits. It is no secret that legal tussles take time and money. It is also possible that someone at fault or guilty of having caused an accident may be held not guilty by a jury in a court of law. The injured person is thereby left alone without any financial help. Even the time it takes to file a lawsuit and to have a judgment can delay medical treatments that are perhaps urgent for the injured person.
The No-Fault Law ensures people have adequate coverage to pay for medical expenses when they need immediate treatments and short term care, so they don’t have to rely on someone else and wait for them to pay for the treatments. The No-Fault Law also reduces the need to file lawsuits. Since all drivers are legally required to have personal injury protection coverage, their medical expenses will be paid for and they may also get compensations for lost wages, depending on the scope of the policy. Hence, they may not find the need to sue someone. The law has reduced lawsuits, both legitimate and illegitimate. However, many people have criticized the law stating that it discourages injured victims from taking legal action against those at fault.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance Coverage
Personal injury protection is a legal requirement in thirteen states including Florida. The minimum coverage amount is ten thousand dollars. This is completely reserved to pay for personal recovery. Typically, personal injury protection insurance pays for 80% of medical expenses, up to 60% of lost wages and almost 100% of replacement services costs. A personal injury protection insurance policy will also have a death benefit of five thousand dollars if the injured victim dies due to the injuries sustained in the specific accident. All claims should be filed within a fortnight of the accident. It protects the insured person regardless of the vehicle she or he is driving. It could be an owned car, rented or borrowed vehicle. The coverage applies throughout the state of Florida.
PIP Insurance vs. Auto Insurance
Car or auto insurance usually covers liability, medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage and some other untoward possibilities such as duties post an accident, repairing damages to the car, general provisions and endorsements. A typical auto or car insurance policy covers bodily injury, per accident and/or per person, and property damage per accident. These are liability insurances. Personal injury protection insurance is not liability coverage. It is specifically for the person injured and safeguards her or his wellbeing and recovery regardless of the nature and cause of the accident.
Personal injury protection insurance is usually an added coverage available in most auto or car insurance policies. This should not be confused with medical payments coverage. Many auto insurances have medical payments coverage and some drivers opt for a separate policy for the same. Medical payments coverage is limited to medical expenses and does not account for lost wages. An insured person can use personal injury protection coverage and then turn to medical payments coverage or the overall coverage of car insurance policy, should there be such a need.