Being in a car accident is never on your to-do list. Unfortunately, life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. If you’ve been in a car accident, one of the first things you’ll need to determine is what is covered by insurance. While you may be familiar with your own insurance policies, trying to coordinate with the other driver’s insurance company can be extra stressful.
So, what can you expect from their insurance company? At Lopez & Humphries, PA, we are here to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of by insurers or other parties after a car accident.
Florida is a No-Fault State
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that in the event of an accident, your own insurance covers your expenses. In Florida, this is known as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP protects more than just the policyholder. It includes their children, members of their household, and passengers who lack their own insurance and don’t own a vehicle. It also protects the policyholder and the individuals mentioned above in the event that they are injured by a vehicle as a bicyclist or pedestrian, or as someone else’s passenger.
One of the biggest differences in a no-fault state is that you can’t get compensation for pain and suffering unless your injuries go beyond the serious injury threshold. That means your injuries exceed the limits of PIP coverage, allowing you to pursue further compensation.
You can, however, make a separate claim against the at-fault driver regarding vehicle damages following the accident. As your insurance is only required to pay damages up to the value of your vehicle at the time of the accident, you may not be able to get your car back on the road without filing a separate claim. This separate claim does not have any limitations.
Serious Injuries in Florida Car Accidents
Only serious injuries will be considered for pain and suffering compensation. To cross the threshold of serious injuries, one of the following must happen:
- Permanently lost a significant bodily function
- Been permanently injured
- Experienced severe scarring or disfigurement
- The injured party died because of the accident
If your injuries fall into this category, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit or a third-party car insurance claim to receive compensation outside of what your PIP insurance covers. This includes pain and suffering and any other non-economic damages.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Next Steps
Regardless of whether your injuries fall into the above category, one of the first steps to ensuring that you are properly compensated after a car accident is contacting a reliable attorney.
At Lopez and Humphries, we know that taking legal action isn’t easy without help. When you choose to work with our attorneys, you get the support and legal guidance you need to get the coverage you need or take legal action.
If you are concerned that insurance won’t cover all of your expenses, or that your injuries are severe, don’t wait to seek the compensation you are owed. Call Lopez & Humphries, PA today at 863-709-8500 for a free consultation. You can also contact us through the following online contact form.