Known as the flattest state in the United States, Florida is more than its reputation as a haven for retirees. It is a melting pot of culture, arts, and cuisine. The large Cuban community only adds to the diverse flavor. And of course, there are the famous coastlines, which are rarely matched by other states in the country.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, there were 402,592 total crashes in 2018. Meanwhile, despite the public safety awareness campaigns, the number of road accidents in the city still increased every year.
Florida is classified as a no-fault insurance zone. Under this system, even if the other party is to blame for the road accident, you are restricted from seeking legal action right away.
The reasoning behind the no-fault insurance law is to make sure the treatment costs are covered immediately by the insurance companies. But that is the theory, anyway. You may find that it does not work quite smoothly as that in reality. Thus, you need the services of a Florida car accident attorney to make sure you get what you deserve.
On the downside, you will still claim with your insurance company for property damage and personal injury, even if you are blameless.
Fault and the No-Fault States
In America, only 12 states have passed no-fault insurance laws. Among these states is Florida.
With fault states, they adopt a tort liability system. Under this rule, the insurance companies will cover the cost of property damage and personal injury, depending on the degree of blame assigned to each party.
For the most part, the issue is settled amicably, especially if there is sufficient evidence to support the claim. For instance, a dashboard camera recorded the circumstances before the crash. The police investigator will also study the evidence on-site to make the report.
For fault states, you may sue the other party for lost wages, therapy, medication, and pain and suffering.
In no-fault states, you skip all those procedures and file a claim with your insurer.
The disadvantage, however is motorists in Florida typically pay higher premiums for personal injury protection (PIP). Unfortunately, the system is prone to abuse since insurance companies have no choice but to pay the claim.
Verbal vs. Monetary Threshold
In no-fault states, insurance companies operate on what is called the threshold.
In Florida, the minimum amount for the PIP is $10,000. The amount is on top of your car insurance policy.
- Verbal. A verbal threshold is descriptive, which could not initially get quantified during the assessment. For instance, the car crash resulted in the death of the driver or the passengers. Another example is if the driver loses all ability to work or the accident caused disfigurement.
- Monetary. This type of threshold is straightforward. You have the minimum amount set by the law. Once you cross this threshold, you can sue the other party for liability claims.
However, any Florida car accident attorney can tell you that the PIP only covers 80% of your hospitalization and medication costs. If you miss time from work, the insurance will only cover 60% of your lost income.
Then, you also have to consider the deductible, the amount of which will depend on the type of package you choose. For instance, if your deductible is $1,000 and your medical bill is $999.99, you will be responsible for paying that amount. Your insurance will only get into the picture when you cross the $1,000.00 mark.