If you have only recently moved to Florida, you may not understand the complexities of car accidents and auto insurance in the state. Florida is a bit different than most states, in that they have a no-fault insurance policy. That means that when you are in an accident, your insurance will have to pay for your injuries and damages, regardless of whose fault the accident is.
When people first hear this, they usually assume that this means you can’t get compensation from a negligent party. The truth is that you can, but it isn’t an easy thing to do. The laws and requirements for civil liability and car accidents are very murky waters, and it really takes an experienced attorney to wade through them safely.
What is Florida PIP (Personal Injury Protection)?
Personal injury protection, or PIP, is a part of your auto insurance policy that covers your injuries in case of an accident. It does not matter whose fault the accident is, it will be your PIP that pays your medical bills for the incident. These laws were designed to make it easier for victims of car accidents to get medical treatment in a timely manner.
What if your injuries exceed your PIP coverage?
If your medical treatment costs more than your personal injury protection coverage allows for, you have a few options to take care of the remaining balance. If you can prove negligence on the part of the other driver, you can sue them in civil court for compensation. There are some caps on how much you can be allotted, and it only covers your medical costs in most cases. Other options involve filing a claim with your health insurance or making a financial payment arrangement with the healthcare provider.
Other compensation you could receive for your Florida car accident
Florida wants to limit the number of frivolous lawsuits, so they put a lot of caveats in place that you must meet in order to seek compensation in civil court. There are actually very few instances in which you can get compensation for more than just your immediate medical costs.
Situations in which you may be entitled to file a Naples car accident lawsuit include:
- The medical treatment for your injuries exceeds the amount of your PIP.
- Your injuries lead to significant scarring or disfigurement.
- The car accident injuries lead to a permanent disability.
- If the car accident victim died from their injuries, the family could file a wrongful death suit.
The laws regarding the specifics of these situations is a difficult matter to navigate. It is best to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys who are armed with the knowledge to determine if you have a viable lawsuit.
Even if your situation does qualify for a civil suit, you could still be limited in what you can sue for and how much you can receive. Pain and suffering is not compensation that is usually awarded, but you could get awards for lost wages or lost career, depending on the severity of your injuries.
This can be extremely confusing because more than one qualification might be met at a time, making it difficult to know what infraction to name in the lawsuit. Again, our experienced attorneys are able to handle all of this for you.
If you are in need of an attorney to represent you in your Naples car accident case, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.