The Gould Cooksey Fennell Blog

is florida a no fault state for auto insurance

Is Florida a No-Fault State for Auto Insurance?

Florida is one of several no-fault insurance States regarding auto liability insurance. Fault-based vs. no-fault insurance coverage can be a confusing topic. Sometimes people assume that since Florida is a no-fault state, drivers who were at fault for a car accident in Florida should not have to pay for the damages they caused. No-fault insurance policies do not mean that the driver cannot be held liable for his or her negligence. Instead, it means that every Florida driver must carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. 

What is PIP Coverage in Florida?

PIP coverage is a type of insurance that will cover the medical bills and lost wages of a car accident victim, regardless of who caused the accident. Each person who is injured in a car accident will use his or her PIP insurance policy to pay the cost of medical care and other losses. In an at-fault insurance state, drivers have the option of filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, their own insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.  

In other words, drivers in an at-fault State have more options to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. In Florida, drivers must turn to their PIP insurance protection to cover the first $10,000 of their medical expenses and lost income.

What if the Costs Exceed $10,000?

There are some exceptions to the no-fault insurance law in Florida.  First, a person whose medical bills and lost wages total more than $10,000 may recover those economic damages from at-fault drivers or their insurance company. The victim does not have to prove that he or she has a permanent injury to recover these economic damages. 

Another exception applies to accident victims who have suffered a permanent injury from a car accident.  Where an accident victim proves permanent injury, he or she may recover economic damages and also damages for intangible items like pain and suffering and loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life. Florida law defines a permanent injury as the following:

  • significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
  • permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement;
  • significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
  • death

Whether an individual has suffered a permanent injury is a question for the jury.  Permanent injuries vary from case to case and need not be visible injuries.  For example, most traumatic brain injuries involve permanent damage, as do injuries to the discs in the back and neck.

A final exception applies for out-of-state insurance policies that may not have PIP coverage at all.  For Florida accident victims with insurance coverage from another state, the rules and requirements will depend on the policies involved as well as the law of the state under which the policy was issued.

Consult With a Florida Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident due to a negligent or reckless driver, working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help you. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, our lawyers have helped many Florida residents recover the full amount of compensation they deserve after being injured in a car accident. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

About The Author

Share Now:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter


* Our attorneys and staff value your privacy and will not share your personal information with any third-party entities.