Every Florida resident and certain non-residents that own a motor vehicle are required to purchase no-fault automobile insurance. Included in the required insurance is Personal Injury
Protection insurance. Regardless of who was at fault for your accident, your PIP insurance will usually pay most of your medical bills. The benefits payable will depend on the amount and type of coverage that you have purchased. For example, under a basic no-fault PIP policy in Florida, your insurance company will pay 80% of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses, and 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000 depending on when you first received treatment and how seriously you were injured.
In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, your PIP benefits may also pay for prescriptions or household help, plus travel expenses associated with your medical treatments. You may also be entitled to benefits from the party at fault for your accident.
However, if you have purchased an insurance policy with a deductible, your insurance company will not pay for any of your medical bills, prescriptions or lost wages until you have met your deductible amount.
If you receive serious injuries from an accident that results in some form of permanent injury, such as scarring, or permanent physical impairment, Florida law entitles you, or your personal representative, to bring a claim against the at-fault party. This allows you to recover the full extent of your damages above and beyond the benefits provided by your No-Fault coverage. These additional damages include items such as:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Damage to your wage earning capacity
- Future medical expenses.
If you are married at the time of the accident, and you have permanent injuries, your spouse may be entitled to damages as a result of your injury as well.
In addition, if you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, you may be able to recover additional funds for your damages if they exceed the policy limits of the at-fault party, or if the other driver was uninsured.
Because the law can be very complicated and confusing, it is essential that you seek the advice of an attorney if you have any questions. A lawyer can assist you in obtaining all of the benefits that you are entitled to under Florida law.