Florida Personal Injury Protection Guidelines After an Accident

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Leading Florida personal injury attorney Edward D. Carlson, of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. weighs in on Florida’s “no-fault” car insurance laws

Attorney Edward Carlson

Attorney Edward Carlson

Florida’s car insurance laws can make filing a claim particularly challenging.

All Florida motorists are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage which provides coverage for their own emergency medical care if they are injured in a car accident. Every driver registering a four-wheeled vehicle in the state is required to have a minimum coverage of $10,000 on this “no-fault” insurance policy. Florida is also a “pure comparative negligence” state, which may leave accident victims wondering what steps they should take if they are injured in a car accident in the Sunshine State.

“Florida’s car insurance laws can make filing a claim particularly challenging,” said Edward D. Carlson, personal injury attorney and co-founder of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. “If an individual is involved in a car accident and suffers non-serious injuries, the first step is to file a claim with their own insurance company under their PIP insurance coverage. PIP pays for the medical expenses and other financial losses of those individuals covered under the insurance policy, up to the policy limits.”

Florida adopted the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law in 1971, with the goal of ensuring prompt, fair insurance payments for injuries that were the result of car accidents. PIP is often referred to as “no-fault” insurance because it does not require proving fault in order to receive PIP insurance benefits. Florida’s “no-fault” insurance system does not apply to vehicle damage claims that are the result of a car accident, nor does it cover non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering. Claims may be brought against the at-fault driver’s insurance for property damage claims.

“If the injuries sustained in the car accident are serious and permanent, the injured victim may then file a claim for damages with the other driver’s insurance company, and – if necessary – file a lawsuit against the other driver,” continued Attorney Carlson. “Florida is a “pure comparative negligence” state, which means that if your case goes to trial and it is determined that you were somewhat responsible for your accident, the judge or jury will reduce your damages by the percentage of your liability for the accident. If, for example, you sustained $8,000 of damages in the car accident but it was determined that you were 20% responsible for the accident, your recovery will be reduced by 20% -- you will receive $6,400.”

The Florida Senate considered a bill to repeal Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage requirement in March of 2018. The bill died in the Senate and was indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.

To learn more about Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and your rights if you have been injured in a car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. Located in Clearwater, Florida, the law office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. has been serving the Tampa Bay area community for more than 46 years. Innovative practice and proven litigation skills make the firm Tampa Bay’s premier legal team, with a proven track record of success and a reputation for excellence. For more information about Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., visit the firm website at CarlsonMeissner.com or contact the office directly at 877-728-9653.

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Mary Ann Bounacos
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