All drivers in the State of Florida are required to carry car insurance. There are numerous types of required and optional coverages that help if you're involved in a car accident.
Required Vehicle Insurance In FloridaFlorida is a no-fault state. This means that regardless of who causes an automobile accident, your insurance pays for injury medical care and lost
- Property damage liability (PDL) coverage of at least $10,000 to cover property damage that you cause in a collision
- Personal injury property (PIP) coverage of at least $10,000 to cover medical bills and lost wages in an auto crash regardless, of who was the negligent driver
If you're a passenger in a vehicle and injured in an accident, you would file a claim under your own PIP coverage. If you don't own a car, but live with a relative who does, then you would file a claim under this person’s PIP coverage. If neither of these options are available, you would then seek compensation under the driver's PIP policy.
How PIP Benefits Pay Medical Bills and Wage Losses
A typical PIP policy is for the minimum required of $10,000.00 with a 20 percent deductible.
If you're injured in an automobile accident, your health care provider would bill your PIP policy for medical expenses.
However, you're responsible for the 20 percent deductible.
Some medical providers require payment of this deductible at the time medical care is rendered. Others issue treatment without the deductible and request a "letter of protection" or LOP from your lawyer.
This LOP instructs your attorney to protect the doctor's unpaid medical bills. If there's a recovery for damages at the end of your case, your doctor would be paid from these proceeds.
PIP benefits can also be used to cover a portion of lost wages in the event that you're unable to work as a result of your injuries. The lost wages are usually paid at 60 percent of your normal weekly wage. Depending on the extent of your injuries, it's usually advisable to reserve as much of your PIP benefits towards medical care as possible.
If necessary, a portion of your lost wages can be covered by this policy.
Optional Vehicle Insurance In Florida
You also have the option of purchasing additional insurance coverage for more thorough protection after a collision. In addition, you may also have a claim under the negligent driver’s insurance policy.
Possible coverages that can help pay for financial recovery include:
- MedPay. One option to avoid the 20 percent deductible is to obtain the optional coverage of MedPay, which is also known as Medical Payments. This gap insurance provides you with additional PIP coverage and no out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment within the limits of your policy. If your medical care exceeds the total limits of your PIP and MedPay coverage, then the treating physician would likely require a LOP to protect his unpaid bills for your recovery from the negligent driver.
- Bodily Injury Liability (BI or BIL). Drivers carry BI to compensate a victim for injuries caused by that driver's negligence. However, BI is an optional coverage, and the at-fault driver may not have purchased it.
- Uninsured/Underinsured (UM). Another optional policy, it compensates for damages when the at-fault party doesn't have BI coverage, or the policy limits are too low to cover your damages. For example, you have severe injuries with $50,000.00 in medical bills and the BI policy has a $10,000.00 limit.
Since BI policies aren't required in order to drive in Florida, it's highly recommended that you consider UM coverage in the event you are injured through no fault of your own. The costs and policy amounts of coverage vary, but if you can afford even a small optional addition, it may protect you in the long run. A UM policy may be the only money available to reimburse you after PIP or MedPay limits are met.
We Can Help
If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy, you should contact your insurance agent to inquire about your coverage or to obtain additional coverage if necessary. Our skilled car accident attorneys are also here to answer your questions and to assist you in filing a claim with the negligent driver’s and your own insurance companies so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.