Florida has very specific laws regarding the requirement for drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and setting out a no-fault system for financial recovery after a car accident. In most cases, the law requires that crash victims seek payment for their medical costs and lost wages from their own PIP insurance company, even if they had no role in causing the accident. This system was put in place decades ago to limit the number of personal injury lawsuits that were filed after car crashes in Florida.
However, there are some situations in which PIP insurance simply cannot justly compensate an auto accident victim. This is because most policies have relatively low limits and medical costs have inflated significantly over the past years. Treatment for even seemingly minor injuries can result in thousands of dollars in expenses and treatment for serious injuries can rarely be covered by PIP.
For this reason, the law allows victims to file a personal injury lawsuit if their injuries meet certain criteria. Injuries are considered to be serious enough to warrant a lawsuit if any of the following are true:
- The injury resulted in significant impairment of part of the body
- The injury resulted in permanent disfigurement or scarring
- The victim was left with another type of permanent injury
In such cases, an accident victim may have the right to file a lawsuit. However, it must be determined whether another party may be held liable for their losses. This is because a personal injury lawsuit is outside the no-fault system and instead requires that a plaintiff proves that another party was negligent and should be held liable for their losses.