Legislation Changing Florida’s No Fault Automobile Liability Insurance Scheme Passes

Committees in both houses of Florida’s Legislature have passed legislation that would make major changes to Florida’s current no-fault automobile liability insurance law. Although the legislation has not been passed by the full Florida House or Senate or signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott, it is expected to reduce the premiums that most Floridians pay to obtain automobile liability insurance. Given that Florida has some of the highest accident rates of any state, it would also ensure that the driver at fault in an accident pays for the damages suffered by the victims. Accident victims would no longer be required to subsidize drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents by being required to pay a portion of the first $10,000 in medical expenses and income losses they may incur in connection with injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver. In essence motorists must pay part of their own injuries caused by another drive through PIP, which cause increased insurance premiums, as they are required by Florida’s current automobile liability insurance scheme.

The new legislation would require that every motorist carry a minimum bodily injury insurance coverage of $25,000 to ensure that the injuries suffered by anyone the motorist injures in a motor vehicle accident would be covered by the insurance of the driver at fault in the accident. The new insurance requirements are estimated by the legislation’s sponsors to result in a reduction of approximately 8% in insurance premiums, or an average savings of $81 per Floridian driver. If signed into law, this new legislation could begin as early as 2018.

Current Florida Law Regarding Automobile Liability Insurance

Florida’s current automobile liability insurance scheme is a no fault system, meaning that your automobile liability insurance will cover certain types of damages suffered in a motor vehicle accident, no matter who was at fault in causing the accident. Under the minimum PIP coverage required under Florida law, an accident victim’s own insurance covers the first $10,000 in medical expenses and income losses that the accident victim suffers regardless of who was at fault in the accident. This includes 80% of any medical expenses for injuries suffered in a crash (the victim pays the other 20%). PIP also covers 60% of any lost income caused by the motor vehicle accident, for example if the victim was forced to miss work to attend doctor’s appointments or receive treatment. Once an accident victim has reached the $10,000 in coverage that is provided under his or her own PIP policy, then the accident victim can look to the other driver and/or his or her insurer to satisfy any damages over and above the $10,000 in medical bills and income losses the victim may have suffered in the accident. The problem many drivers, attorneys and others have with the current insurance scheme is that drivers who are injured are in essence forced to pay for their own damages. The proposed changes to Florida’s PIP law are an effort to address this issue and make the situation more equitable in requiring the responsible party and their insurer to cover the damages caused by that driver.

Contact Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Florida

Regardless of what Florida law requires now or in the future as far as legally required automobile liability insurance, the experienced personal injury attorneys of Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley are here to represent you if you have been a victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Our personal injury attorneys have over 150 years of combined legal experience representing those who have been victims of motor vehicle accidents. If you, a family member or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed Adams today for a free consultation at contact@schwedlawfirm.com or 877.694.6079.

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