Why Do I Need to Use My Automobile Insurance if I Was Not At Fault?

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Streets Traffic Intersection Automobile AccidentFlorida has No Fault laws in place for an automobile accident. This term is somewhat misleading.  No Fault refers to some of the insurance coverages and entitlements to compensation. “No Fault” does not mean that the negligent driver is immune from liability or financial responsibility.

Key components of the Florida No-Fault laws:

1. PIP – Personal Injury Protection.  PIP pays for reasonable and necessary medical bills related to an automobile accident.  Under Florida law, every owner of a motor vehicle must carry PIP and Property Damage coverage.   When a person is injured in an automobile accident, medical bills get filed under the injury victim’s PIP coverage. If the injury victim did not own a vehicle, then the injury victim may qualify for coverage under the insurance policy of a resident relative OR under the policy of the vehicle occupied by the injury victim.   While this may seem unfair, the PIP for the at fault driver or owner will not pay out any PIP benefits unless the injury victim was occupying the at fault driver’s vehicle and the injury victim did not otherwise have access to PIP coverage.

2. Permanent injury Requirement.  In order for an injury victim to obtain or seek compensation for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and related damages, an injury victim must have a permanent injury within a reasonable of medical probability.  This means that the injury victim suffered an injury that still lingers and (according to a medical provider) will be long term in nature.  If an injury victim does not have a permanent injury then the injury victim in an automobile accident case will only be able to seek and recover economic damages which include medical bills, hospital, lost wages, and related damages.

Florida’s No Fault laws certainly complicate the process to some extent but the law is the law in Florida.  As such, it is important for an injury victim to understand the concepts of PIP, Permanency, and No Fault when pursuing a claim or case as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident.

Due to the complexities of automobile accident cases, Florida Statutes, insurance policies and procedures, and Florida’s No Fault Laws, an injury victim should seek out advice, counsel, and legal representation when necessary.  A Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer can provide the necessary guidance as to these matters.

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