When you suffer injuries in a car accident in which another driver is at fault, you expect their insurance company to cover your property damage, medical bills, and other losses. However, what if the other driver does not have insurance? Then what do you do?
No-Fault Insurance Coverage under Florida Law
Under Florida law, insurance carriers are required to provide a minimum of $10,000 in no-fault coverage to their policyholders. This coverage, called personal injury protection (PIP), provides compensation in the event that the at-fault driver does not have an auto liability insurance policy. With PIP, your insurance company is required to pay a portion of your losses incurred as a result of the accident.
PIP provides coverage for:
- 60% of your lost wages if the accident results in a disability,
- 80% of your medical expenses, and
- 100% of the cost for “ordinary and necessary” household services that you are unable to perform as a result of your injuries.
While the statutory requirement is $10,000 in coverage, you can generally purchase additional PIP coverage from your insurer.
What if PIP Doesn’t Cover All of My Losses?
If your PIP insurance doesn’t cover all of your losses, you may still be able to sue the at-fault driver for a full recovery. In order to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for all of your losses, you must be able to prove that you suffered a “permanent” injury. The law defines a permanent injury as either:
- A permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function,
- Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement, or
- Any other permanent injury, as demonstrated to a reasonable degree of medical probability.
If your injuries fall into any of these three categories, then you can sue the at-fault driver for:
- Past and future medical expenses arising out of the accident
- Lost wages due to missed time from work
- Lost future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from maintaining your pre-accident employment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- All other out-of-pocket expenses and other damages
What if My Injury Is Not “Permanent”?
Even if your injury is not “permanent,” you may still be able to recover your medical expenses and employment-related losses. In either case, you will need to be able to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent in causing the accident. Proving permanent injuries and driver negligence requires a thorough understanding of the Florida laws that apply to auto accident settlements and litigation. If you have suffered serious injuries in a vehicle collision, it is best to get an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
Contact the Hancock Injury Attorneys Today
The attorneys at the Hancock Injury Attorneys represent victims of auto accidents throughout the Tampa Bay area. Call 813-915-1110 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.