Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws And How They Affect Personal Injury Claims
What every driver needs to know about Florida’s no-fault insurance laws and personal injury laws and how they affect your right to compensation in a personal injury claim
Anyone driving in the State of Florida is accustomed to heavy traffic and often times dangerous driving conditions. Unfortunately, Florida drivers are consistently ranked among the top of the most unsafe drivers – this year Florida was ranked number eight out of all states, but the prior two years they were ranked number one for the worst drivers in the country. So even if you are a safe driver, chances are you will be sharing the road with an unsafe driver. Most people will experience an automobile accident at least once in their lives, and for many it is a minor incident without any serious damage. But for some a car accident can be much more impactful, resulting in very serious injuries and damages that will affect their lives moving forward. It is important for all drivers in the state to know what Florida’s laws are regarding insurance and personal injury claims and how they affect their right to compensation when injured in an automobile accident.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Policy Laws
No fault insurance policy laws are uncommon, and there are only a few states across the nation with such laws in place. The State of Florida is one of the few states that does follow no fault insurance laws, and these laws have been enacted in our state since 1972. Under no fault insurance policy laws, an individual who is injured in an automobile accident is required to turn to their own insurance company to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages resulting from the accident. The purpose of no-fault insurance policy laws is to allow injured victims to recover compensation for their medical costs from their own insurance carrier, and the insurance carrier is required to pay out regardless of which party is at fault for causing the accident. These policies encourage faster pay-outs from insurance carriers and also encourage injured parties to seek medical treatment when needed.
Most states with no fault insurance laws limit an individual’s right to sue the negligent party in an accident. However, the only limit Florida places on an injured party’s right to sue is that the damages in the case must exceed $10,000, the required minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage every driver in the State of Florida is required to carry. Florida also does not limit your right to sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering the way other states with no fault insurance policy laws do.
How Could Comparative Negligence Affect My Right To Compensation?
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and try to file a lawsuit against the other party for causing the accident and your injuries, you should probably expect the other party to try to place at least some of the blame on you. The other party can make a claim that you are at least partially at fault for causing the accident or making your injuries worse, and if they are successfully able to prove this claim then it could limit your right to compensation for your injuries. Florida uses a pure comparative fault rule when determining whether both parties share responsibility for causing an accident and injuries. Under these rules, any damages awarded to the plaintiff for their injuries will be reduced equally to the percentage at which the plaintiff is determined to be at fault.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident because the other driver was speeding and ran a red light, but you weren’t wearing a seat belt, the jury may find that you were at least partially at fault for the severity of your injuries. If the jury assigns you 20% accountability for your injuries in this case and determines your award for damages should be $100,000, then the damages award would be reduced by 20% and you would be entitled to only $80,000. Many states that use a comparative negligence rule in personal injury claims will only allow a plaintiff to recover damages if they are found to be less than 50% at fault, but Florida will allow plaintiff’s to recover damages even if they are found to be more than 50% at fault.
Is There A Time Limit To File A Personal Injury Claim In Florida?
All states set a limit to the amount of time you have to file suit and bring forth a claim for your personal injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident. This time limit is also known as the statute of limitation. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally four years from the date the car accident occurred. If you do not file your claim within the designated statute of limitations, the Florida personal injury legal system will not hear your case and you will not be allowed to recover any compensation from the negligent party for the injuries you have suffered. Although the general statute of limitations in the State of Florida is 4 years, it is always best to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure no special rules apply and deadlines are not missed.
Tenacious personal injury lawyers who advocate for our clients’ rights to maximum compensation to recover from their injuries
The skilled personal injury attorneys at The Storay Advocacy Group, P.A. (SAG) genuinely care for their clients’ best interests and well-being and want to walk with them through every step of their personal injury claim. Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to advocating for our clients’ rights to the maximum compensation they deserve in their personal injury claim. At a time when you need to focus on healing, you can rest assured the attorneys at SAG are going to fight to get you the compensation you need to recover. It is our passion to help individuals and families through their most challenging legal situations and aide them in finding the solution that is right for them. To schedule your free and confidential legal consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys call us at 813-502-5520 or contact us online. We look forward to working with you soon.