Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Headed Toward Repeal
We may soon see a major change in how Florida’s car insurance system works as legislators push to repeal Florida’s no-fault system for auto accidents. Proponents of the measure say that it will reduce rates for drivers, but others say it could cause car insurance to spike without weeding out fraud.
Understanding Florida’s no-fault system
Under Florida’s current no-fault model, if you are injured in a car accident, you can file a claim under your own insurance policy which will cover 80% of your medical costs up to $10,000. This system was designed to provide for quicker resolution of car accident claims and to prevent such cases from clogging up the court system.
The new system would require all drivers to carry liability insurance for personal injury in the amount of $25,000. So instead of filing a claim with your own insurance carrier, you would file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurer and then the issue would be managed by an attorney on your side and the insurance company on the other side. These claims are much more likely to require litigation.
How does car insurance work in other states?
If you’re in an accident with a careless driver, you can file a claim on their insurance policy. In cases of severe injury, a lawyer generally handles the claim. Your lawyer litigates the dispute against the negligent driver’s insurance company, and hopefully, a settlement can be reached.
What happens if the other driver is uninsured or flees the scene? In those cases, the states generally require insurance companies to offer every driver an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. The driver can waive uninsured insurance policies, but they do so at their own peril. Those who drive around uninsured typically don’t have deep pockets to sue against. In most cases, without this coverage, the injured driver would be stuck paying for everything themselves.
Florida will require insurance companies to offer $5,000 policies for drivers in accidents with uninsured motorists. The driver can opt out of the coverage. Florida remains one of only two states that do not require a driver to carry any injury liability protection. The other being New Hampshire where drivers are not required to carry any insurance at all. However, if they are at fault in an accident with an outstanding judgment, their license is suspended until the judgment is paid.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury lawyers will become even more important once Florida’s tort system gets into gear. Call the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.