Do You Have Enough Coverage For a Serious Car Accident?

Many Floridians assume the answer to the question posed in this blog’s title is, “yes.” After all, Florida law requires you to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage in order to lawfully drive a car in the state. Isn’t that enough? 

Unfortunately, it’s not enough in many cases. Florida drivers are required to carry only $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) and the same amount in personal damage liability (PDL). Given the U.S.’ high healthcare costs, these policies are not often adequate to cover expenses like medical bills and lost wages after an accident. We’ll explain more about how auto insurance works in Florida and give some advice on coverage you should have. 

Florida is a No-Fault State

Florida is one of about a dozen states that has a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that instead of automatically drawing from the insurance policy of the at-fault driver after an accident, you first turn to your own insurance coverage to handle your expenses—regardless of who is at fault. 

To illustrate how car insurance would kick in after an accident, let’s say you were t-boned by another driver after he ran a stop sign. You fracture your arm and sustain a concussion. Your PIP insurance would cover emergency medical care and other expenses directly arising from the accident, even though the other driver was at fault. At the same time, your PDL insurance would go toward repairing your car. 

You need to also understand that PIP will only pay 80 percent of your medical bills up to $10,000. So, the most PIP would pay out for you is $8,000. Similarly, your PIP will generally pay up to $6,000 of lost wages (60 percent of $10,000). 

Beyond PIP and PDL

So, what do you do if your expenses exceed the $10,000 limit? In that case, you will need to go to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you and the at-fault driver only purchased the bare minimum, then you will need to turn to other means to cover your expenses. 

However, you can avoid this situation by purchasing additional bodily injury liability (BI) and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Many BI policies cover up to a certain amount per person and per accident (like $30,000/$60,000, for instance). This is crucial if you are at fault for an accident and multiple people in the other car were injured. 

UM coverage is important for situations where the other driver, who is at fault, does not have a policy to cover your expenses after your PIP policy is exhausted. Ideally, any driver who causes a wreck in Florida will have enough insurance to cover medical bills for everyone involved, but that is often not the case. Having UM insurance gives you peace of mind that, no matter what insurance the other driver has, you and your family will be covered. 

Our Firm Wants to Help

Florida laws governing auto insurance and the minimum policy amounts each driver must have can be quite confusing. When you’re dealing with the painful aftermath of a serious accident involving you or your family, the last thing you want to worry about is wrangling with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. If there isn’t enough coverage for you in the first place, the situation can seem even more dire. 

Heather Bryan Law understands what going through if you or a loved one has been involved in a serious auto accident. We have helped countless Floridians get the justice they deserve, and we would be honored to assist you. Give us a call at 863-825-5309 to discuss your options with our team today.

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Heather Bryan Law, P.A.

Our firm has experience defending Floridians against all sorts of criminal charges. Additionally, we are well-equipped to handle emotionally charged family law matters and devastating personal injury cases.

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