Changes to Florida’s No-Fault Insurance SystemJacksonville Accident News
States that follow a no-fault insurance system say that a driver’s own insurance will pay for their resulting damages up to their policy’s limit. This type of system does not take into account who was responsible for causing a traffic collision which is why it is called no-fault. For example, let’s say you are on the road taking your child to school. After you drop your child off, you begin to exit the parking lot but a car behind you slams into the rear of your vehicle causing you physical bodily harm and damage to your automobile. The car that hit you from behind is the reason that your vehicle is damaged and that you are hurt, but it is your insurance company that you would submit your claim to so that your damages are paid for. By contrast, in a fault-based system, you would submit your claim to the insurance provider of the liable party that hit you and was responsible for your accident.
In a no-fault state, you use your own insurance provider to pay your damages. But, there are cases where you need more money than your insurance provider will pay. If you meet very specific requirements, you may be able to sue the party that caused your accident and your injuries for more money. Circumstances where death resulted or the harm that was inflicted was so substantial it caused life-long debilitation, loss of a limb, extensive disfigurement, or other serious permanent damages could qualify.
If you were injured in an accident in Florida, it is best to work with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Sheftall Law has the Florida personal injury attorneys that know the system and how to protect individuals who were injured by the reckless actions of another party. With more than 40 years of experience providing effective legal counsel and representation to victims of injury accidents in Jacksonville, Scott Sheftall is a Jacksonville car accident attorney that can help you with your Florida personal injury claim and fight on your behalf to ensure that you see the best possible outcome.
Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Florida adopted the no-fault system in 1971. The state was only the second in the nation to take on this system and it was officially put into effect in the month of January in 1972. Then, just recently, the state passed Senat Bill 54. This bill repealed the no-fault system that Florida has been using for more than four decades.
SB 54 says that bodily injury coverage will now be a minimum of $25,000. The bill also makes MedPay optional for drivers with an optional death payment of $5,000 through MedPay. Also, the bill changes how automobile injury claims are managed. Advocates of the change cite a study from the Office of Insurance Regulations in Florida that shows that it is more cost-effective to do so. Additionally, changes to the laws will address the rampant fraud in the Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” system that will also lead to reduced costs.
Prior to repealing the PIP system, Florida was one of 12 states plus Puerto Rico that used it. Most states followed a tort system where a person could sue a negligent party that caused their harm. The states that use the no-fault system include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Is There Opposition to SB in Florida?
As with any legislation, there are supporters and then there are dissenters. There are three senators in the state that argue vehemently against Florida’s SB 54. These senators say that there are not enough comprehensive studies that talk about changing the system that can show that doing so would result in lower costs. According to Senator Jeff Brandes, one of the senators opposed to the bill, Florida insurance rates are very high already and the change in the system will not make the costs better, but instead, make them rise.
It was not just the three senators who had issues with the bill and the system change. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association also dissented against the bill. The APCIA reported that rates would rise on top of increasing the number of people who do not buy the insurance and then become uninsured drivers.
Regardless of the reasons why there are those that approve of the bill and those that do not, drivers who end up in a Jacksonville car accident will need to obtain compensation. How this happens can be confusing especially with fluctuating systems and laws. To ensure that your Florida personal injury claim is handled properly and you acquire maximum recovery, call the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law today. If you do not know how to navigate the complex legal system in Florida especially when the rules are changing you could jeopardize your claim. That means you may not be able to secure as much money as you need or you may not recover any financial compensation.
Speak with a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Today
The reality is that no one wants to be the victim of an injury accident. With the changes in regulations in Florida’s fault system filing a Florida personal injury claim can be more confusing than ever. The good news is that you do not have to figure out what the process is and how to build a claim by yourself. The Jacksonville car accident attorneys at Sheftall Law not only can examine your case and help you, but they also want to advocate on your behalf. Our dedicated Jacksonville personal injury lawyers are committed to helping victims of vehicular accidents in the greater Jacksonville area get as much as possible from their Florida personal injury claim.
You can have your questions answered and obtain effective legal counsel after your Jacksonville car accident by calling Sheftall Law and scheduling a free consultation at (904) 638-7712. The legal system is difficult to navigate, and when you are recovering from physical bodily harm your health and wellness must be focused on first and foremost. Let the competent Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law handle your legal challenges.