Whose Insurance Pays for Car Accident in Florida? Find Out

June 13, 2024

Car accidents can be financially draining, especially if they occur through no fault of your own. In Florida, navigating the complexities of auto repair costs involves understanding no-fault insurance laws, policy limits, and potential additional avenues for expense recovery.

Overview of Florida's No-Fault Car Insurance Laws

Florida operates under no-fault insurance laws, meaning each driver’s insurance covers their own medical bills and car repair costs, up to a certain limit, regardless of who caused the accident. According to Florida Statutes § 627.736, drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and property damage coverage with limits up to $10,000. This coverage handles immediate expenses resulting from the accident.

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Handling Expenses Beyond Policy Limits

Exceeding Coverage

If the damages exceed the $10,000 coverage limit, drivers may need additional avenues to cover the remaining expenses. This can include pursuing claims against the at-fault driver.

Reimbursement for Deductibles

Payment of deductibles, which typically range from $250 to $2500, might be necessary before repairs. This can seem unfair if the accident wasn’t your fault. You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover the deductible and any other costs exceeding your policy's coverage.

Filing a Claim with Your Insurance

Prompt Reporting

Inform your insurance company quickly to avoid claim denial. They will guide you through the claims process and, if applicable, may provide a rental car while waiting for your vehicle to be repaired. If your claim is denied, legal assistance can help contest the decision.

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Identifying Other Liable Parties

Additional Insurance Coverage

Evaluate if other policies you hold, like underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, could help pay for the damages. The at-fault driver’s insurer may cover repair costs exceeding $10,000 as well as other damages. Potential coverage includes past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, diminished earning potential, disfigurement, mental anguish, and wrongful death damages if applicable.

Liability of Third Parties

Other parties might be liable, such as government entities for road maintenance failures, mechanics for repair errors, and parts manufacturers for defective parts. To establish liability, gather evidence such as crash reports, traffic camera footage, photos, witness statements, and medical records.

Legal Deadlines

Claim Deadlines

Each insurance company has its own deadlines for claim submissions. Under Florida Statutes § 95.11, personal injury and wrongful death claims generally have a two-year filing period. Shorter time frames might apply when suing government entities.

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Seeking Legal Assistance

Professional Guidance

If you're struggling with the claims process, legal help is available. Contacting firms such as Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can provide the support you need to navigate the complexities of auto repair costs and ensure fair compensation.

Being informed about Florida's no-fault insurance system and understanding your rights and responsibilities can significantly impact your ability to recover funds after an accident. Taking prompt action in filing claims and seeking legal support will help protect your interests in the aftermath of an accident.

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