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Is Florida a No-Fault State?

Is Florida a No-Fault State?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida has experienced over 100,000 traffic crashes of all types since January 1, 2024. Regardless of their severity, nearly every traffic accident in Florida involves some expense and loss to one or more people involved.

The process for receiving compensation for these losses can differ depending on whether your state follows a no-fault or at-fault model. But is Florida a no-fault insurance state? Knowing how Florida insurance law works is essential to obtaining the compensation you need after a car accident in Miami.

Florida’s No-Fault System

Florida follows a no-fault insurance model. However, if Florida is a no-fault state, what does that mean exactly? States can choose between following an at-fault model or a no-fault model when it comes to car accidents. A state’s choice determines who is responsible for paying damages to injured parties.

In a no-fault state like Florida, each driver is required to carry a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. When you are involved in a Florida no-fault car accident resulting in damage to your car or minor injuries, you file a claim with your PIP policy. Your insurer then pays your claim up to your policy’s limits, regardless of who is responsible for causing the accident.

Is Florida a No-Fault State for Car Damage?

Under the Florida no-fault law, car damage is treated differently than injuries. Specifically, PIP claims only apply to car accidents resulting in injuries. You do not file a PIP claim if your car is damaged or totaled in a wreck. 

In this situation, you could file a lawsuit or claim directly against the driver who caused the accident. If you succeed, this driver would be responsible for compensating you for the damage to your car.

Is Florida a No-Fault Accident State for Every Crash?

No. Not every car accident results in minor injuries or only property damage. Some Florida accidents can leave you or your loved ones with severe and debilitating injuries. The costs associated with these injuries can easily exceed the limits of your PIP policy and leave you in a financially vulnerable position. 

In this situation, Florida’s no-fault insurance law permits you to bring a lawsuit against another driver if that driver’s careless or reckless driving caused the crash and your severe injuries. There are other circumstances that may allow you to escape the no-fault system as well, such as if your case involves a drunk driver.

To prevail and receive compensation, you would need first to prove that you suffered a severe injury as defined by statute. Then, you would need to show that the other driver’s careless actions behind the wheel are what caused the accident to take place.

Another important distinction between these severe injury claims and PIP claims is the availability of non-economic damages. When you file a PIP claim, you cannot seek damages for mental distress or pain and suffering under Florida law. However, if you file a claim based on severe injuries, you can seek compensation for these and other non-economic damages.

Keep in mind that PIP claims are granted regardless of who caused the accident. However, if you sue the other driver for your severe injuries, you must prove you are entitled to compensation by a preponderance of the evidence. 

This requires you to produce evidence and witnesses who, together, can show it is more likely than not that you were injured by another’s careless driving.

Florida’s No-Fault Laws Can Be Complex

Florida is one of only a few no-fault states in the nation. While Florida’s laws can make it easier to receive compensation for medical bills following an accident, the laws can be confusing when your car is damaged or you suffer severe injuries. In these situations, you may need to file a traditional car accident injury claim.

No matter the circumstances of your crash, setting up a free consultation with a car accident lawyer is key to determining the best path forward in obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Miami, FL

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami car accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 937-0191