What You Need to Know About the History and Current State of Florida’s No-Fault Auto Liability Law.
History of Law:
The period of the 1970’s was critical for the development of Florida’s current perspective on auto accident liability. During this time, victims of automobile negligence were eligible to go after an at-fault accident party for pain and suffering and injuries with no limits on the recovery they sought. Certainly, from the perspective of the accident victims this was a good thing, but one serious accident could be catastrophic for an at-fault driver paying the price.
One of the other outcomes that this led to had to do with smaller cases being managed. Some small or even frivolous claims would be elevated to settlement value because the insurance company would have to weigh the risks and costs of going to trial against just the costs associated with settling the case out of court. Meaning, pay the claim off. For insurance companies (insurers), this meant major headaches even when the accident at hand was not serious. It gave the power to the accident victims while creating a lot of challenges for the insurance companies.
As a result of these issues, the Florida legislature felt the need to respond. This led to what is now known in Florida as the “no fault” rule. Although it could certainly be argued that there are challenges with Florida’s current approach due to complexity and the confusing nature of this application, it was developed to deal with the problems developed from the no-cap damage eligibility for victims of years past.
The primary idea behind the current law is that in exchange for limiting a victim’s right to sue an at-fault party for pain and suffering in relatively minor accidents, the injured claimant was able to receive relatively fast payment of lost income and medical bills through his or her own insurer. These cases usually involve injuries that are not permanent but are in excess of the $10,000 PIP threshold. The idea here is to give the victim a hassle-free experience in exchange for the delays and costs associated with the previous system. Giving up the rights to go after the other party is done in exchange for a quick and irritation-free payment.
It’s important to understand the application of Florida’s no-fault rule when it comes to personal injury and automobile accidents. In the aftermath of an accident, it can be very confusing to figure out how you’ll adapt to your life in the wake of injuries and lost time at work, but the at-fault system is designed to help you receive aid as quickly as possible in exchange for limiting what else a victim can pursue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law. After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender’s Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire. Mr. Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr. Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006. Mr. Koberlein’s experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City’s interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests. Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area. As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr. Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available. Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved. If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr. Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case. Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments. Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.