Published on August 6, 2015
Unless you’ve already been hurt in a car accident you probably haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about who has to pay for all the medical bills that you get saddled with. Car accidents get expensive fast, and it’s best if you know what you’re going to be dealing with before your mailbox starts filling with invoices. That’s the last thing you need, so let’s figure it out now; who pays?
Since Florida is a No-fault state, your car accident injuries will be paid for by your own insurance, no matter who is at fault for the crash. State law requires you to buy insurance that will cover medical costs up to at least 10,000 dollars. Every driver is covered under their own personal injury protection insurance, and any passengers that have their own policies can also draw on those to cover the costs of their injuries. Your children are covered under your policy, even if they’re not riding in your car.
What if I Don’t Have Insurance?
A lot of drivers in the US try to risk driving without insurance, hoping that if they drive carefully they won’t get caught, and if they get into an accident it’ll be the other guy’s fault. Unfortunately that’s not how it works in Florida. You can only launch a personal injury suit in regard to a car accident if your injuries are considering “serious”, meaning you’ve suffered one of the following:
- Permanent injury
- Significant scarring
Florida doesn’t require people to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, meaning that if the at-fault driver can’t pay, you’re out of luck. It’s a very good idea not to opt out of your UM coverage so that you don’t risk becoming a victim of your circumstances.
Watch Out for Negligence
Let’s say you were driving through an intersection and got hit by a car who was running a red light, but you were texting. Your PIP covers treatment for your whiplash injury, and you decide to take the driver to court about your pain and suffering, and the major injury to your leg. Sounds like you’ll come out ok, right?
Not so fast! If you were speeding at the time of the crash, you might be held responsible for part of that cost. Florida’s comparative negligence law means that a driver who was considered at fault for an accident can bring some of the blame back on you if you take him or her to court. A judge might decide that you were 30% responsible for the accident, and require you to cover that portion of the costs.
What About Ongoing Bills?
In Florida you won’t be able to go back to your insurance company to get compensation for costs that crop up after the settlement has been decided. Since many insurance companies will try to force you to sign a car accident settlement as soon as possible, it’s better to contact us immediately after the accident. We can put you in touch with a quality medical center and a reliable lawyer. Call us at 1-800-INJURED and let us connect you with the right people.
Category: Car Accidents