Orlando Auto Insurance Lawyer
Across the State of Florida individuals are driving vehicles without any insurance coverage, or without the proper insurance coverage, to protect themselves and their loved ones. Every year thousands of motor vehicle accidents occur, resulting in injuries and sometimes death. An accident can occur to anyone at any time, usually when least expected. It can place the victim and their family in significant financial strain. Each day we come across individuals who have been involved in automobile, motorcycle, trucking, or pedestrian accidents and believed they had “full coverage” to protect themselves and their loved ones under their insurance policy, only to learn their insurance company and their agents had not fully explained to them all of the coverage available to them and the requirements of Florida law. Contact our experienced Orlando auto insurance lawyers today for more information or assistance.
Florida law requires all owners of motor vehicles (with four or more wheels) to carry a minimum of $10,000 of property damage (PD) liability insurance and $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Although not required by law, many drivers buy other types of insurance coverage in addition to the mandatory PIP and PD liability insurance. Common optional coverage includes: bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payment, towing, rental reimbursement, and accidental death and dismemberment.
The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault System, also known as PIP insurance, covers you, up to a limit of $10,000, regardless of whether you cause (are “at-fault”) for the accident. PIP insurance requires that your medical bills be directed to your own automobile insurance carrier or that of your household relative if you do not own your own car. You may have up to a $1,000 deductible under this coverage. Thereafter, your insurance company will pay seventy-five percent (75%) of the usual and customary charges for emergency services and care provided by any hospital, eighty percent (80%) of all reasonable, necessary and lawful medical, chiropractic, diagnostic, and transportation services related to injuries suffered from your car accident, and sixty (60%) of your lost wages up to a total of $10,000. PIP insurance is not required for owners of motorcycles. It is important to note that by making PIP mandatory under Florida law, it also places what is commonly referred to as a tort liability (no fault) threshold on automobile accident injury cases. This “threshold” is crossed if an injury from an automobile accident results in a significant and permanent loss of an important body function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring, disfigurement, or death.
Since most accidents also involve damage to property, Florida mandates that all automobile insurance policies also carry Property Damage Liability coverage that pays for damage you cause to another person’s property in a crash involving a motor vehicle. A fence, telephone pole, building, mailbox, or another motor vehicle are all examples of “property” that is covered under this insurance. You may be subjected to a deductible of up to $500 for this coverage under your insurance policy. Property Damage Liability insurance is not required for motorcycle operators unless a driver is required to prove “financial responsibility” due to traffic violations or failure to pay for damages they caused in an accident.
Many people question what happens to the portion of their medical expenses and lost wages that is not covered by PIP or exceeds the amount of coverage permitted by PIP. Since PIP insurance does not cover all of the medical expenses, insurance companies offer medical payments insurance that covers medical expenses beyond those covered by PIP which result from accidental injury. Medical payments insurance differs from bodily injury liability coverage in that it covers the medical expenses of you, members of your family, and your passengers, regardless of who is “at- fault.” This applies whether you’re in your car, someone else’s car, or are struck by a car while walking.
It is important to note that the at-fault party or tortfeasor can also be held accountable for the portion of your medical expenses and lost wages that is not covered by PIP or exceeds the amount of coverage permitted by PIP. This can be done by making a bodily injury liability insurance claim to the at-fault person’s insurance company. If the at-fault person purchased bodily injury liability insurance coverage, it would pay for any injury or death caused to others when their car is involved in an accident, up to the limits of the policy, and will also pay for their legal representation if they are sued.
It is important to note that in Florida you have the right to bring a claim against the at-fault party even if the accident was partially your fault. This is based on the concept of comparative negligence that compares the fault of all the parties involved in the accident and reduces the amount of damages due to the injured person by the percentage of fault that is assessed to them for the accident. Thus, it is not necessary to prove that someone else is 100% responsible for the accident to recover damages for your injuries. This is true for claims involving negligence, including motor vehicle accidents, as well as personal injury and premises liability cases.
What happens if the at-fault party did not have any insurance or did not have sufficient bodily injury liability insurance to cover your damages? In those situations, Florida law permits that claims be made to your insurance company up to the limits of uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage purchased under your insurance policy. This insurance only pays if your are struck by someone who is “at-fault” and does not have insurance, or did not have sufficient bodily injury liability insurance to cover the total damages you sustained. This applies whether you are riding in your car, someone else’s car or are struck by a car as a pedestrian. It pays for your medical expenses and lost wages (beyond your PIP coverage), as well as for bodily injury, sickness, disease or death resulting from the accident.
Contact Experienced Orlando Auto Insurance Lawyers
If you have been involved in an accident, it is vital that you do not talk to any insurance investigator, sign any papers, or accept a settlement before talking to an automobile insurance claims lawyer. Many claims, especially those involving injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, have long-term consequences that simply are not accounted for by insurance companies. Insurance companies have a team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys whose goal is to minimize the amount of money they pay to accident victims.
Therefore, it is important that you seek the advice of an automobile accident insurance lawyer in order to protect your right to fair compensation. Contact Israoui Law and allow our experience to go to work for you. At Israoui Law our Orlando auto insurance lawyers are dedicated to representing the injured and not insurance companies. We work side by side with you to ease the worry of having to fill out forms, request information, and speak to insurance adjusters. We allow you to focus on what is most important – getting well and recovering from your loss. At Israoui Law, we understand your concerns and will do our best to ease your burdens. We will dedicate the necessary resources to ensure that you are adequately represented and your rights are protected. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your loved ones with regard to any potential case. There is never any charge for an initial consultation and we are happy to schedule appointments at your home, in a hospital or at a location that is convenient for you. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. If for any reason there is no recovery, then we receive no fees or costs. Simply stated, we are paid fees and costs only if you win. At Israoui Law, personal attention matters.