Can I Collect Injury Compensation Beyond Insurance Policy Limits in Florida?
Bill Allen | July 12, 2023 | Personal Injury
Florida is a no-fault state for car insurance. Drivers are required to carry $10,000 in PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage. If you are involved in a car accident, you file a claim with your PIP insurance company regardless of who caused the crash. However, PIP coverage is limited.
No-fault insurance pays up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. One night in the hospital with diagnostic tests could exhaust your insurance policy limits in Florida. What can you do then? Is there a way to collect injury compensation beyond the insurance policy limits in Florida?
Other Sources of Injury Compensation After You Exhaust Your PIP Insurance Limits in Florida
Your PIP insurance provider is not required to pay benefits above the policy limits. However, there could be other sources of compensation for car accident injuries.
Liability Insurance Claims
Liability car insurance compensates victims for injuries and damages sustained when an at-fault driver causes a car accident. While liability insurance is not required in Florida, the driver who hit you might have coverage. If so, you could have a claim against them.
Florida insurance laws permit accident victims to file liability claims if they sustain a “serious injury” or if their losses exceed their policy limits. Serious injuries include disfigurement, permanent injuries, significant loss of a bodily function, and fatal injuries. The liability insurance company would only be liable up to the policy limits.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
Generally, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and the accident caused your injuries. If so, the jury could award you damages. However, if the at-fault party does not have money to pay the claim, filing a lawsuit might not be the best way to recover compensation for a car accident.
Employer Insurance or Liability
If your car accident was caused by someone working when they caused the crash, their employer could be liable for damages. Vicarious liability applies when a worker causes injuries while acting within the scope and course of their employment. An employer might have far more resources to pay an accident claim than the person who caused the accident.
Umbrella Insurance Policy
An at-fault party might have an umbrella liability insurance policy that could cover the car accident. An umbrella policy pays for damages that exceed the regular policy limits. A typical driver might not have this coverage, but a trucking company might.
A vehicle owner could potentially be liable for damages under general negligence. They could be responsible if they allowed someone to use their vehicle and they knew the person should not be driving.
Multiple At-Fault Parties
In some cases, other parties could share liability for the cause of a car accident. For example, the manufacturer of a defective tire could be liable for damages if a tire blowout caused a car accident.
How Can You Help Strengthen Your Car Accident Case to Recover Compensation for Damages?
The steps you take immediately after a car crash and in the days and weeks after the accident can help protect your right to fair compensation for damages. Steps to take after a car crash include:
- Call 911 to report the crash to the police. Do not allow the other driver to convince you that you can exchange information and leave the scene.
- Never say you are sorry or imply that you could be partially to blame for the accident. Florida contributory fault laws changed recently to add a 51% bar rate for contributory fault.
- Take pictures and make a video of the accident scene, including pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash. Documenting the accident scene can help prove how the accident occurred.
- Do not refuse medical care for injuries. Saying you are okay or fine implies that you are not injured. Prompt medical care is crucial after a car accident.
- Document your damages by keeping copies of bills, invoices, and payment receipts. Take photographs of your injuries to help show the extent of the injuries.
- Do not provide statements or answer questions for an insurance adjuster without legal advice.
Contact a Gainesville car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. A personal injury lawyer assesses your case to determine all potential sources of compensation. There could be additional ways to recover money for your accident claim that you are unaware of until you speak with a lawyer.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
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