Part 1: How to Protect Yourself with Florida Auto Insurance
How do the different insurances in Florida work when someone is involved in a car accident? Florida requires all owners of motor vehicles to have to have a minimum type of insurance called Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP. It is also often referred to as No Fault Insurance. The reason it is called No Fault Insurance is because your insurance company is responsible to pay for 80% of your reasonable, related, and necessary medical expenses regardless of fault and regardless as to if you were even occupying your car. If a vehicle was involved in any way and responsible for your injuries, your car is responsible for paying 80% of your medical expenses, which is most of the time, up to $10,000. You do need to seek medical care and treatment within the first 14 days. If you don’t have what is known as an emergency medical condition, those PIP benefits may be further limited. It’s very important that you seek medical advice or get medical care and treatment as soon as possible. The other type of auto insurance required is property damage insurance or PD. That will pay for the damage that you cause to somebody else’s property. It could be a car or it could by anything from a tree or a fence or private property. If you weren’t responsible for the accident, you would look for the other driver’s property damage insurance to pay for the damage to your car. There are other types of insurance coverage that comes into play such as comprehensive and collision coverage, bodily injury, uninsured motorist, which we will discuss in part two this video.
Part 2: How to Protect Yourself with Florida Auto Insurance
The first type of insurance I want to talk to you about is bodily injury liability. Now assuming you’re involved in a car accident and the other person was responsible for causing the accident, and you sustained injuries as a result of that accident, specifically if you sustain a permanent injury (once you attain maximum medical improvement, which is when they have provided you with all the medical care possible for your injury and the complaints you have are going to be with you for the rest of your life), you can collect for pain and suffering. What insurance applies to that? PIP, or personal injury protection, pays for your own medical expenses and uses your own insurance policy. In this care, you’d look to the other driver to see if they have coverage for bodily injury liability. Now unfortunately, contrary to personal injury protection and property damage insurance, Florida does not require bodily injury coverage, the legislature does not mandate it. You’d need to look into and find out what insurance company and coverage the at fault driver has, so that you’re able to make a claim for your injuries and pain and suffering associated with the car accident through their bodily injury coverage. If the other driver doesn’t have this coverage, you can protect yourself by purchasing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Obviously, the insurance would need to be in place by the time the accident occured, but what UM coverage does is provide coverage to you under your own policy if the other driver has no bodily injury liability coverage or limited bodily injury liability coverage for the type of injuries you sustained. As a word of advice, if you can, try to purchase UM coverage as it protects you and all the occupants in your car.
How does auto insurance pay for property damage in the event of a car accident?
When you’re involved in a car accident Florida law requires you to have PD or property damage insurance. This means that your insurance company will pay for the damage to the property that you caused. There’s an additional type of insurance, which isn’t required by Florida law, but it’s called comprehensive end collision. This means the insurance company will pay to fix your car or cover you if your car is stolen.
What obligations do claimants owe an insurance company concerning a claim in Florida?
Most insurance policies have what’s called a duty to cooperate and it works both ways. It means you, the insured, the person pursuing the claim or seeking the benefits under the policy have the duty to cooperate with the insurance company. This means you must call the insurance compant and report the claim. It’s also important for you to be honest with them. Tell them where it happened, when it happened, and what ahppened. Get a representative’s name, number, and extension and a claim number for future reference.
If I am sued in a car accident injury case in Florida, will my insurance company defend me?
When you’re involved in a car accident case your insurance company has what’s referred to as a duty to defend. This means they’re required to represent you to the limits to your insurance policy. Its important to understand the type of coverage you have available. It is also important for you to notify your insurance company, provide them with copies of records and information as you receive them and to cooperate with them.
What to do if you're in an auto accident during work hours in Florida?
When you’re involved in accident during the course and scope of your employment there are different laws that might apply. If you’re in the course and scope of your employement, which means you’re working and doing your regular job, then workers compensation coverage may be primary. There are certain benefits you may also get from your car insurance company. Its important to consult with an attorney to insure the claim is processed correctly and that you receive all benefits available to you.
How do I determine if the at-fault party in a car accident is insured or uninsured?
It’s always a good thing to get the insurance information from the other driver. Nowadays there are certain apps available, such as the Panter app, or other information that you can use in order for you to determine whether the other individual has insurance. Ask for their insurance card. Be careful though, as people often have old or expired insurance cards. It’s important to have a lawyer, that way the lawyer can call the insurance company to determine whether or not coverage exists.
Why do I need automobile insurance in Florida?
Auto insurance coverage in not only mandated in the state of Florida, with regards to PIP and property damage, it’s a good idea. It provides you with compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. It’s also a good idea to have bodily injury coverage because if you hurt somebody else or injure other people its prudent to be covered.
What are the Florida auto insurance requirements?
I’m Mitchell Panter with the law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro and I want to talk to you about personal injury and specifically automobile insurance coverage. Florida is what we call a no fault state. What that means is that if you’re in an accident in the State of Florida your insurance company is supposed to pay for medical bills. The type of coverage is called PIP, personal injury protection and PIP together with PD, property damage, is all that the law requires in the State of Florida. This does not mean that all of your medical bills will paid 100% by your insurance company. What it means is that your insurance company is required to pay up to $10,000 in coverage at a rate of 80% based on what’s reasonable necessary and related. You have to go after the other driver’s insurance company if they have what’s called bodily coverage in order to make a recovery for the 20% difference or any expenses you have above and beyond the $10,000 covered by your PIP. Another type of insurance is called comprehensive and collision. This means that your insurance company will pay for your property damage to the extent that the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t. It’s good to look to see what type of coverage you have before you have an accident so stop and see what kind of insurance you have now. The last and best type of insurance is what’s called UM, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. And this is the kind of insurance coverage that provides you with coverage when the other driver doesn’t have bodily injury coverage. So you’re in a car accident and the other driver which is very frequent in Miami-Dade County and even Broward and Palm Beach doesn’t have bodily coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage you too can still be covered for the injuries that you sustained and you can recover benefits for the amount of your uninsured motorist coverage. At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we’ve developed a form. It’s called the what do I need insurance form or coverage. It’s a little pamphlet and it’s in English and Espanol tambien and you can have it. All you have to do is go online and look up this video and you’ll be able to see it or go to PanterLaw.com and we’ll have these available for you. Again, it’s important to know what kind of coverage you have before you have an accident. Also you can go on PanterLaw.com and we have an app. The Panter Law app and you can find that it helps you guide you through the process of when you’re involved in an auto accident you can take pictures you can have doctors information you can contact us directly. We encourage you do so. Go on to panterlaw.com or call us at (305) 662-6178. Panter Panter & Sampedro is a law firm dedicated to protecting Florida’s families.