Florida is a no-fault state, which means that when you get in an auto accident, your insurer is responsible for paying the costs associated with the wreck, including medical expenses and lost income while you heal.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need help filing a claim with your insurer to recover these expenses, contact the Crestview auto accident attorneys at Powell, Powell and Powell. We are here to help when your insurer has to pay the losses from an auto accident.
This type of insurance may be more familiar to you as Personal Injury Protection, abbreviated as PIP. The state of Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection. If you chose to carry more than that, your insurance is required to pay legitimate expenses up to the amount of coverage you chose.
The law also requires you to maintain registration of a valid Florida license plate on your vehicle for your Personal Injury Protection insurance to be valid.
When Does Your Insurer Have to Pay?
Most auto accidents in Florida require the insurer pay. The only time you might seek compensation from the other driver is if you can claim serious injury as defined by law. This means you have suffered either permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
When you’ve experienced a minor or moderate accident that doesn’t meet the serious injury threshold, your insurer has to pay the amount of your claim up to the state limit on damages.
While the majority of insurance claims for auto accidents happen from simple accidents involving two or more drivers with valid registrations, there are other instances when your insurer must pay. This includes people riding in your car who have their own PIP, certain licensed drivers who may drive your vehicle or children on a school bus, among other possibilities.
In these instances, the coverage held by the injured person may cover part of the costs associated with the accident, while your coverage takes care of the rest. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to explain when your insurer’s responsibility to pay kicks in.
How Much Does Your Insurer Pay?
An experienced auto accident attorney can help you figure out the total amount you may claim. We’ll start by looking at the expenses related to your accident. This might include ambulance charges, hospital bills, medications such as antibiotics, painkillers or other prescriptions arising from the accident and even in-home care or other qualified assistance you need while you’re healing.
We’ll also figure out your lost wages. Your salary or total wages based on your hourly pay and hours you would have worked if you hadn’t suffered the accident are also the responsibility of your insurer in most cases.
Cooperating with Your Insurer
Generally, you must cooperate with your insurer when you expect them to fulfill their responsibility to pay. This means recording statements about what happened during the auto accident and attending medical examinations by a physician the insurer chooses.
Remember that Florida law almost always requires the insurer pay because Florida is a no-fault state. Work closely with your attorney to be as careful as possible that nothing jeopardizes your case or the possibility of you receiving the maximum payout from the insurance company that you’ve been paying all this time.