General Liability and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you were at fault, you may be worried about how you will be compensated for damages arising out of the accident: medical bills, lost wages, or even death of a loved one. In this article, a knowledgeable Orange Park personal injury lawyer explains the basics of liability and Florida PIP protection.
In the state of Florida, there is a mandatory, no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance program that is a part of your car insurance. PIP seeks to compensate insureds up to the limits of their policy, regardless of whether or not they are legally liable for the accident and the damages incurred therein. The purpose of the PIP program is to keep insurance costs low by making litigation over small car accidents unnecessary.
As an owner of an automobile in Florida, you are required by the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). You must maintain both types of insurance throughout the time you are licensed and your car is registered in Florida, even if you live or use your car out-of-state for part of that period. Florida PIP includes partial compensation for economic damages:
- Medical benefits, payable at 80% of the amount incurred by the accident;
- Disability benefits, payable at 60% of any lost wages, lost gross income, and loss of earning capacity; and
- Death benefits, up to $5,000.
The maximum amount payable under PIP for any one accident is $10,000.
If you have medical bills that are not covered by PIP, or if you have “special damages” such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life, you will have to pursue a lawsuit to recover these damages. Keep in mind that if you do sue, you, as the plaintiff, will have the burden of proving each and every legal element of the case. If you are suing under the doctrine of negligence, for example, your Orange Park personal injury lawyer will have to prove: (1) the defendant had a duty of reasonable care towards you; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) that breach caused your injuries; and (4) you suffered damages as a result.
Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that the total amount of damages that you can recover will be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault that you bear for the accident.
Contact an Orange Park Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are worried about getting compensated for your injuries, do not hesitate to contact experienced Orange Park personal injury lawyer from First Coast Accident Lawyers today at 1-855-FAGAN-LAW to schedule a free initial consultation.