Across the US, a handful of states have what we call ‘no-fault’ insurance systems. Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), the idea behind this is that policyholders in car accidents can receive money for lost wages and medical expenses after getting involved in an accident. Regardless of who is to blame, the coverage will be available not only for you but all passengers too. Meanwhile, the other driver will be covered by their own provider.
In these states, of which Florida is one, those with a no-fault policy don’t necessarily have to get themselves into a drawn-out battle with the insurance company of the other driver since most costs can be covered.
Just to keep things confusing, the no-fault system varies from one state to the next. For example, New Jersey offers drivers an opportunity to opt out of this PIP system.
How Does PIP Work?
As long as the expenses are a direct result of the car accident, PIP will normally step up and provide you with the necessary money. However, there’s one important feature that PIP lacks; the ability to receive money for pain and suffering. If you experience a serious illness and you’re left paying significant amounts of money, you can pursue compensation for pain and suffering (we can help at Cannella Legal!).
Depending on your state, the finer details will vary. For example, your medical bills might need to exceed $2,000 before you can make a personal injury claim against the guilty party. Why? Because the states want to reduce the number of small car accident cases going through the legal system.
How Does Coverage Work?
In Florida, the insurance laws governing this whole process request that all drivers on the road have PIP coverage of at least $10,000. Furthermore, you need to receive medical treatment for your injuries within the first two weeks of the accident. If you don’t get this treatment, you may not qualify to receive benefits.
After any applicable deductibles, no-fault insurance has certain limits. This includes;
- 60% of lost wages
- 80% of medical expenses
- $5,000 in death benefits
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to doctor
For those without an ‘emergency medical condition’, the upper limit will be set to $2,500. According to law in Florida, anything that requires immediate medical attention and presents a risk to future health will fall under the ‘emergency medical condition’ label.
Filing for Compensation
Whenever you spend money from your own pocket after an accident, you should keep the associated documentation as proof. If you receive a prescription for certain medication, for example, you might need to send the original receipt. If you don’t have the necessary paperwork, your claim might be limited.
Furthermore, a ‘Wage and Salary Verification’ will need to be completed in order to recover lost wages. Essentially, this document will verify how much you earned in the thirteen weeks before the accident.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the process, you aren’t in a position to concentrate on all the documentation, or you simply need a helping hand, we’re here for you at Cannella Legal. We understand how the process works, we understand what needs to be done to receive reimbursement from the insurance company, and we understand that you want to go through the process with as little fuss as possible.
Will you be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver? Normally, this will be reserved for those with serious and life-changing injuries. For example, this includes broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, amputations, spinal cord damage, and permanent scarring.