What does Florida have to offer? How about Miami, also known as "better Southern California," as long as you don't mind hurricanes. And Gainesville, where Tim Tebow became a household name. Not to mention Disney World and the world-class pro sports teams throughout the state. All those attractions mean there's plenty to do throughout Florida, but if you're headed there, you'll want to be familiar with the state's rare "no fault" car accident laws, which could be as much of a pain when it comes to car accident compensation as the accident itself -- especially for out-of-state drivers who lack the right kind of insurance.
Below, you'll find a chart laying out the Florida car accident compensation laws, as well as detailed explanations of key aspects of the laws.
'No Fault' and 'Pure Comparative Negligence' Rules
The first thing to know is that Florida is one of only a handful of states that has "no fault" car insurance and accident compensation laws. This means, for accidents in Florida, you'll have to file a claim with your own insurance, under "personal injury protection (PIP)" coverage, for your injuries resulting from an accident.
However, if the injuries are severe and permanent, you can file a claim against the other driver, and if necessary, a lawsuit. Also, if you are making a claim for damage to your car, "no fault" does not apply, and you will file a claim with the other driver's insurance.
In determining fault, Florida is a "pure comparative negligence" state. If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will compare fault -- calculate percentages of fault for each driver -- and reduce damage awards accordingly. For example, if a driver suffers $1,000 in damages after a fender-bender, but was found to be 40% percent at fault, her recovery will be limited to 60% of her damages -- here, $600.
Limits on Damages
Florida has few limitations on car accident compensation, once the "no fault" insurance rules are accounted for, other than a time limit for filing cases.
For personal injury claims involving permanent injuries (remember, anything less is handled through your own state-mandated insurance and cannot be part of a lawsuit) and for property (including auto) damage claims, there is a strict time limit for filing a legal case, know as the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit.
An Attorney Can Help You Get Compensated for Your Car Accident Injuries
"No fault" insurance laws make Florida claims tricky, as they require you to go to your own insurance first for non-serious injuries, plus pursue a claim for property damage with the other driver's insurance. But who's to say whether an injury is serious enough to fall outside of the PIP laws? Stop wondering and get in touch with an experienced Florida injury law attorney today.