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Home / Articles / Columnists / Legal Advice /  PIP Insurance And Suing The Other Driver
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Tuesday, March 4,2014

PIP Insurance And Suing The Other Driver

By Deb Geigis Berry  

Florida and several other states throughout the U.S. have what are commonly referred to as “no-fault” laws with respect to automobile accidents. The insurance coverage that is typically required in such states is known as no-fault insurance or “personal injury protection (PIP)” coverage. I will tell you, PIP coverage allows for an insurance company to pay for a covered individual’s losses (to a certain extent), no matter who was at fault for the accident.

 

Under Florida PIP law, individuals who are hurt in accidents can expect to have 80 percent of their reasonable medical expenses covered with respect to any injuries incurred as a result of the accident, as well as 60 percent of his or her lost wages, subject to coverage limits and any applicable deductibles. Accident victims should be aware, however, that there are limits to PIP coverage and a victim’s ability to sue at-fault drivers.

Suing the Other Driver No-fault or PIP insurance comes with a number of limitations of which drivers should take note. For example, the insurance typically does not pay for repairs to your or the other person’s automobile after the accident, unless the auto was parked or stolen. That said, many accident victims are often left wondering, “Who is going to pay for all my damages and pain and suffering?” I will also tell you, in Florida, in order to sue an at-fault driver, it must be demonstrated that the victim sustained a “serious” injury, meaning either a serious permanent injury, an injury that has left significant scarring and/or disfigurement, or an injury that resulted in death. Generally, in exchange for a guaranteed specified amount of money, an accident victim must give up some of his or her rights to sue the driver of the other vehicle; however, some victims might be entitled to sue for various non-economic damages (pain and suffering) if the amount of such damages goes beyond the statespecified threshold.

No-Fault Property Coverage In addition to the PIP coverage that Florida vehicle owners must carry, they are also required to have a minimum amount of no-fault property damage liability. Still, drivers are always encouraged to carry more than the minimum required just in case someone sues and obtains a higher award for damages than is covered by the insurance. Buying larger amounts of liability insurance will not only help to protect an individual’s personal assets, but it can also help ensure that accident victims receive adequate compensation.

Unfortunately, many people are under the mistaken belief that they carry “full coverage” simply because they meet the requirements under state law. However, individuals should bear in mind that state minimums on their own are not considered to be “full coverage.” Certain types of coverage, such as uninsured motorist and collision, are not required by state law. Please contact a knowledgeable PIP attorney to discuss your case.

 

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