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Florida’s no-fault law affects every single case involving a car accident it’s about the most confusing aspect of insurance law as it relates to our car accident claims as you can get many of you have heard of the term Florida no fault insurance. Florida follows for car insurance a no-fault system of insurance and what this means is everybody in Florida is required to have their own no fault insurance to cover themselves regardless of who’s at fault in the accident for their medical bills and lost wages now this policy of no fault is also known as p.i.p, pip or personal injury protection coverage. So whether you hear people refer to it as your no-fault insurance your PIP insurance your p.i.p insurance or your personal injury protection coverage that’s all referring to the same thing.
And what that is, is a ten-thousand-dollar policy of insurance that follows you around in whatever car you’re in and its primary in Florida to pay for your first ten thousand dollars of medical bills and lost wages and it pays eighty percent of each and every medical bill that submitted and sixty percent of any lost wages that are submitted. Now even though you’re not at fault you can be sitting at a red light and get rear-ended if you are taken to the hospital or you seek medical treatment your PIP or no fault insurance is going to be the primary insurance for the first insurance that is responsible for paying your medical bills. Even if the at-fault party has insurance and they accepted liability and even if you have your own health insurance.
For further explanation I can tell you that people are surprised when I tell them that even after the claim is over, your own insurance your pip or no fault insurance is not entitled to get any of their money back from the at-fault party’s insurance company and that doesn’t seem to be very fair. And it’s kind of an antiquated system we’ve had this system since the early nineteen seventies but here is how I explain why that system makes sense for the insurance companies.
If you can imagine back in the early nineteen seventies the state legislators called up the heads of the insurance companies to Tallahassee and they said we’re going to change our system from requiring everybody to have bodily injury liability coverage to cover the person you injured – a system where you are required to have this pip or no-fault coverage. So they get all the heads of the insurance companies up to Tallahassee and they explain this that even if you’re insured isn’t at fault you’re going to have to pay out up to ten thousand dollars of their medical bills and you’re not going to be entitled to get any of that money back from the at-fault party’s insurance company or the at-fault party and you can imagine and the heads of the insurance companies look at the legislators and said well why would that be a good deal for us if we have to pay our own insurance medical bills even if they’re not at fault and we can’t get our money back from anybody and the legislature said here’s why we think you’re going to believe this is a great deal for you. The reason is that that in exchange for having to pay out of the ten thousand dollars in medical bills and lost wages for their own insurance when their insurers get sued the injured person is required to prove that they have a permanent injury as a result of the accident in order to be entitled to any money for pain and suffering death so the insurance companies knowing that every single personal injury claim involves a claim for pain and suffering damages they jumped on that deal because they know that over the course of a year or ten years they’re going to pay out less in personal injury claims even if they have to pay out up to ten thousand dollars for their own insurance medical bills.
It’s not a great system I have been fighting to get the Florida no-fault system repealed, hopefully in I think the legislature has set the year 2018 or 2019 as a possibility where we go back to a system of mandatory bodily injury coverage and no fault system. But that’s what we have to live with for right now this is our system that’s been in place since the nineteen seventies and then until it changes the Florida no fault system requires everybody to have pip coverage and that good coverage is required to pay out the first ten thousand dollars in medical bills and lost wages.
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