What Happens if I Don’t Have PIP Insurance and Get Hurt in an Accident in Florida?
PIP, or “personal injury protection,” is the main type of auto insurance we use under Florida’s no-fault insurance system. Virtually every driver in Florida is required to have this type of insurance, but there are some situations where you would not necessarily have PIP. If you don’t have PIP when you are required to, it can be a real problem after a crash.
If you are a Florida driver and you do not have PIP, then you could be in violation of Florida’s requirement for auto insurance. After a crash, you usually rely on your own PIP insurance to pay for medical bills, so being unable to draw on this insurance could mean paying more out of pocket. While you might be able to sue in some cases, you could still ultimately lose out on compensation. If you are an out-of-state driver, rules are different about what happens if you do not have PIP coverage.
For a free review of your car accident case, reach out to the Florida car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer at (954) 866-1750.
PIP Requirements in Florida
All drivers in Florida are required to carry no-fault insurance. Under Fla. Stat. § 627.733, all Florida drivers with cars registered in Florida must carry insurance, and § 726.736 states what benefits your insurance must have. Chief among the required auto insurance is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Your PIP coverage must, according to § 726.736, contain $10,000 worth of coverage that will provide at least 80% of the total cost of medical benefits and 60% benefits for lost income and earning capacity. No insurance company in Florida is permitted to give you insurance under these requirements, so if you have a Florida insurance policy, it should cover at least these minimums.
There is also a requirement for property damage liability, also at $10,000, which will cover damage you cause in a crash. There is no injury liability coverage required in Florida.
What Happens if You Don’t Have PIP Coverage in Florida?
If you are supposed to have PIP coverage and do not, it means you will be hard-pressed to get damages paid for in the event of a car accident. In fact, you might need to work with a Florida car accident lawyer to even get damages in the first place through a lawsuit.
First, not having insurance can mean getting a ticket. Driving without insurance is illegal in Florida, and it will likely get you a ticket if you are involved in a car crash, the police check for your insurance, and you don’t have coverage. But what’s more important is how the lack of insurance will affect your recovery of the various damages your accident caused you.
Second, if the driver who hit you has insurance like they are supposed to, then. Stat. § 627.737 might protect them from having to pay for certain damages. You will have to file a lawsuit and prove the driver was at fault before you can get them to cover any of your damages. You generally cannot sue for pain and suffering under Florida law, but if you have serious injuries, you can also sue the driver for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. These damages are never covered by insurance, but you can still sue for them if your injuries are sufficiently serious, such as when you have permanent injuries or face the death of a fetus or death of a loved one in the crash.
Are Any Drivers Exempt from PIP Requirements in Florida?
There are a few exemptions where drivers do not need to carry PIP in the first place when driving in Florida. If you are not required to carry PIP, then the fact that you did not have PIP should not hurt your case, but you should always check with a lawyer about your requirements for coverage.
First off, certain qualifying taxis have separate insurance rules under Fla. Stat. § 324.032 and do not have to follow the same PIP requirements as other drivers.
Second, these PIP requirements only apply to people who live and register their cars in Florida. If you were driving in Florida but you are from out of state, you do not need to have a Florida insurance policy or follow the rules of Florida’s no-fault system.
This is different for people in Florida renting a car; since that car is registered in Florida, it usually must have insurance on it following Florida’s minimum insurance requirements. Nonetheless, if you are from out of state and driving your own car registered in another state, then you should be okay after a crash.
This might allow you to sue for damages that you would normally get from your own insurance – but remember that Florida drivers do not need to have liability insurance. This could make it harder to get damages from the other driver, as they do not have the insurance coverage you might be used to in your home state to cover the injuries they cause. Even so, other optional policies attached to your car insurance might help cover you as well.
Third, there might be special situations where you can have a different type of surety instead of an insurance policy. However, this is rare, and you would likely know if you already meet this requirement or not.
Lastly, there is a major exception for PIP insurance in Florida: motorcycles. Motorcycles do not need PIP insurance, and you would not be expected to have PIP insurance if you are driving a motorcycle. As such, not having PIP will not set you up for any specific issues as long as you do have the normal insurance you need for a motorcycle. However, you will often need to rely on medpay coverage or a lawsuit for damages.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers Today
Call The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer at (954) 866-1750 for a free case review with our Miami car accident attorneys.