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Florida Car Insurance Laws

Posted on October 23, 2018 in Personal Injury

Driving in Florida requires carrying at least the minimum-required amounts of car insurance. All drivers must maintain auto insurance policies to pay for their damages in the event of collisions. Florida’s car insurance laws are somewhat unique as a “no-fault” state. Only 12 states in the country currently abide by no-fault insurance laws. Learn how much car insurance you must carry, how to handle a car accident claim, and when you may file a personal injury lawsuit to protect your rights as a driver in Florida.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Amounts

All drivers with licenses registered in the state of Florida must carry at least the minimum amounts of insurance coverage to lawfully use the road. Drivers must purchase adequate car insurance and have proof of insurance on them while they drive, either with a physical insurance card or an electronic version. The following are the required car insurance types and coverage amounts in the state of Florida:

  • At least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). This covers your personal injury costs (e.g., medical bills) whether you caused the crash or not. It will also cover household members, children, and other passengers, as well as your injuries if you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle or a bicyclist or pedestrian.
  • At least $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). PDL insurance pays for other drivers’ property damage repairs or vehicle replacement after a collision. It may not cover your property damages unless you have other, optional forms of insurance.

Drivers in Florida have the option to purchase more than minimum coverage. Other types of insurance available include comprehensive coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles requires an additional type of insurance if you’ve been in an accident or committed certain crimes: at least $10,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. This type of coverage pays for others’ permanent injuries or deaths if the covered driver causes an accident.

Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws

It does not matter who is at fault for a car accident in Florida. All drivers involved will seek initial damage recovery from their own insurance companies, regardless of fault for the collision. Call your own auto insurer and file a claim after an accident. The insurance company will investigate the accident, evaluate your damages, and either deny the claim or offer a settlement. The other driver’s insurance company will not come into play unless your insurance policy doesn’t provide enough coverage.

If your policy limits fall short of your full damages, the other driver’s insurance may cover the gap. Florida’s no-fault insurance rules raise the bar for what types of auto accidents give rise to personal injury claims. Fault-based insurance states permit car accident victims to file personal injury lawsuits in almost all cases, but in Florida your injuries must qualify as “serious” to give you grounds to file a civil claim. Serious injuries include permanent disabilities, loss of limb, multiple bone fractures, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries.

With a serious car accident injury, a personal injury lawsuit will usually result in greater compensation than an insurance claim alone. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver (or another party, such as an auto part manufacturer) could result in payment not only for your medical care and property damage, but also for your lost wages, physical pain, and mental distress. A lawsuit might also result in punitive damages, or additional compensation for the at-fault driver’s maliciousness or gross negligence.

Should You Hire an Insurance Attorney?

Florida’s car accident laws are unique. You may need an attorney to assist you with a car accident insurance and/or personal injury claim after a crash in the Sunshine State. Hiring a lawyer can ensure you get the best possible results for your car accident case. Don’t let a negligent or reckless driver get away with causing you or a family member harm. Obtain legal representation for a strong case against the at-fault driver.