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.