In Florida, the driver who received a ticket for causing the crash is not automatically responsible for all of your medical bills. Even if you received a ticket and were deemed partially responsible for causing the accident, you are not necessarily responsible for your or the other driver’s medical bills.
Potentially, negligent drivers or defendants could pay for up to 20% of medical bills for the other driver, that personal injury protection (PIP) doesn’t pay, and up to $10,000 if their negligence caused injuries.
Remember, Florida is a no-fault state, and PIP applies regardless of fault.
If you are insured to drive in Florida, you are required to carry auto insurance. Your auto insurance will automatically include $10,000 of PIP coverage which is required by law in Florida. Even if you were at fault (or partially at fault) for causing the car accident, your medical bills will still be covered by your PIP insurance.
Facts about PIP:
- You will receive up to $10,000 for medical bills.
- If you don’t have an emergency medical condition, you receive $2,400 for medical bills.
- PIP insurance will cover up 10 $10,000 for lost wages.
- There is an additional $5,000 death benefit paid to beneficiaries.
These facts remain true unless the no-fault threshold is reached.
What Is a No-Fault Threshold?
Florida no-fault legislature requires a driver’s insurance company to pay the drivers and passengers injuries where eligible. However, a driver or passenger can take the other driver to court and sue for damages if their injuries and those costs reach a permanency threshold.
The only way a car or truck’s driver or their passengers can take the other driver to court for economic damages is if their injuries meet certain requirements.
In Florida, an injury must cause:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- A permanent injury
- Significant permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Death of the driver or passengers in the vehicle
These injuries must be diagnosed by a professional or a doctor.
If you have reached the limit of your PIP insurance and you still require compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you can speak to a car accident lawyer and sue for damages.
Passengers Have Options
Passengers have to contact the driver’s insurance company or their own. (as a side note, that passengers should be wearing seatbelts)
If you were a passenger in the car during the accident and you are a member of the household of the driver, then the driver of the car is usually responsible for medical bills which will usually be taken out of the Driver’s PIP.
If you are not a member of the driver’s household and you have your auto insurance, then you will likely be covered under your PIP insurance.
If you are one of the 25% of Florida drivers that are not covered by insurance, then you will have to speak to a Florida personal injury lawyer. You may have to sue the driver to receive compensation to cover your medical bills.
Timeline of a Typical Personal Injury Claim After A Car Accident
- Peter is injured in a car accident. He is not at fault for the accident, and he is injured as a result of the trauma caused by the car accident.
- Peter is rushed to the hospital after the accident or visits the hospital very soon after the accident because he is experiencing pain or discomfort because of injuries caused by the car accident.
- Peter hires an attorney at Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Our attorneys discuss the case with Peter step by step and advise him through the entire process.
- Throughout treatment, Peter is collecting medical bills which include an ambulance trip, a hospital visit, several specialist visits, special tests to check for injury, a few months of physical therapy, and a spine injection by a pain management doctor to help him deal with the discomfort and pain.
- Peter keeps all his medical records and then submits these bills to his health insurance company. There are a few specialist tests and a pain management injection that are not covered by his health insurance, but Peter’s Steinger, Greene & Feiner attorney speaks with the doctor who agrees to wait for the settlement to get paid back.
- After six months of care, Peter has finished his treatment and is finally discharged by his doctors.
- Peter’s Steinger, Greene & Feiner attorney prepares a settlement package that will ensure that Peter is compensated for everything from medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
- Peter’s Steinger, Greene & Feiner attorney begins negotiation with the lawyers at the insurance company. Over the next few weeks, Peter’s attorneys will fight to ensure that the insurance companies properly compensate Peter for this accident.
- If Peter’s attorneys believe that the insurance companies are not acting in good faith, they will push for a trial. The attorneys at Steinger, Greene & Feiner never back down.
- If a settlement is reached, the Steinger, Greene & Feiner attorney will contact Peter’s health insurance and ensures they are paid. Usually, the attorney is able to secure full payment from the insurance company, while the health insurance companies request 20%-30% reimbursement.
- Peter’s attorney then negotiates with specialists and other doctors on Peter’s behalf to get a discount on those bills.
- Peter then receives his settlement or damages check minus the decreased bills, and a contingency fee (33%-40%) that is given to his lawyer.
If you have been injured in an accident that was not entirely your fault, your medical bills should be covered by your insurance company and the other driver. Speak with a lawyer to learn more.