Many people are confused when they hear the term “no fault” in relation to a state's personal injury auto accident laws. Florida is one of twelve states that is considered a “no fault” state, but never listen if someone tells you this means you can't sue for damages in a car accident case. No fault, while a confusing term, is in relation to insurance coverage and how damages are approached. Here is an overview of what a no fault state is, how it works and why you are still entitled to compensation for your personal injuries.
No Fault State
There are twelve states in the U.S. that are designated as “no fault” insurance states. Other categories of insurance liability laws include choice no-fault, tort liability and add-on insurance. Each has its own subtle differences in how damages from auto accidents are covered. Florida is considered a no fault state.
What Is No Fault Insurance?
Put simply, no-fault insurance is a concept put in place to help lower the costs of insurance premiums and keep small claims out of court. In a no-fault situation, each insurance company handles the claim of its own policy holder for minor damages and injures regardless of who was at fault in the accident. It does not mean that nobody was actually at fault, but simply that when it comes to minor damages, fault isn't taken into account.
In a no-fault insurance scenario, there is a restricted right to sue based on a monetary or verbal threshold of what defines “serious” damage. Everyone is entitled to personal injury protection if you are in an accident resulting in serious damage that is permanent and significant, meaning that the damage is disfiguring or results in the loss of important body functions.
This means that if your accident results in you being hospitalized for a period of time, or you have to undergo rehabilitation for injuries sustained, or even that you are unable to function for a period of time as you did before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.
Every driver in Florida is required to carry minimum insurance levels to ensure that everyone is protected in case of an accident. These minimum levels are $10,000 in personal injury protection and a like amount in property damage liability. The idea behind this is that if you are found to be liable for damage to another through an accident, this coverage should help to cover what you owe.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Since personal injury law is so complex and tricky, and it can be difficult to prove what constitutes a permanent or disfiguring injury, it is always best when you are involved in an auto accident to seek the services of a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney. These lawyers can protect your rights and make sure that you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet and take control of your life again. If you are in this situation, we are eager to hear your story. Give us a call today for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation about your case. Or, email us your questions or thoughts.