If you've recently moved to Florida from a state with "fault" auto insurance laws, you may find yourself still adjusting to the no-fault model that can leave your insurance company on the hook for costs even if an accident is entirely the fault of the other driver. However, proposals to eliminate the Sunshine State's no-fault insurance model have recently gained traction in both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, despite concerns from some that these proposals may increase insurance costs for those who are unable to afford higher rates. Read on to learn more about the aspects of Florida insurance law that are poised to change, as well as how these changes could impact a future personal injury claim against an at-fault driver.
What aspects of Florida insurance law may soon be changing?
Currently, Florida -- along with just a handful of other states -- exercises a "no-fault" auto insurance model that requires insurance companies to pay all damages associated with an accident in which their client is involved, even if this client is not at fault. However, an increase in the number of uninsured drivers involved in accidents and an overall increase in insurance costs has led business owners and lawmakers to seek a more balanced system where the costs of an accident will be more appropriately assessed against the person(s) responsible.
While this may temporarily increase insurance rates for those who are currently without optional coverage (like personal injury protection (PIP) or bodily injury coverage), lawmakers hope the net effect will be a reduction in insurance costs.
How can a move away from the no-fault model impact personal injury claims?
Because your own insurance company, rather than the at-fault driver's insurer, bears financial responsibility for any injuries or property damage you've suffered as a result of an an auto accident in a no-fault state, moving to the more traditional "fault" standard can have a tremendous impact on personal injury claims, especially if this move comes with an increase in PIP limits.
Because Florida drivers are currently not required to carry bodily injury insurance coverage, those who are involved in an accident resulting in injury may be out of luck if either they or the at-fault driver doesn't have some additional insurance coverage on top of that required by the state. While suing to recover medical expenses and other damages is one option, this can often be a time-consuming process when you're already dealing with doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and other inconveniences resulting from your accident.
Therefore, a move away from no-fault insurance coverage and a statewide increase in the limits of PIP and bodily injury coverage required of Florida drivers may help provide an additional source of funding for those who are injured in an accident that's not their fault. If you're fairly certain the total cost of your injuries is less than the other driver's PIP limit, you should be able to negotiate a settlement yourself rather than resorting to a civil lawsuit to seek compensation.
For more information about how car insurance and personal injury works, contact an auto accident attorney or visit websites like http://www.bjhmaldenlaw.com.