Will My Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident in Florida?
With warm weather, sunny beaches and plenty of outdoor activities, Fort Lauderdale attracts thousands of visitors daily. Whether a local or tourist, however, large crowds and heavy traffic increase the risk of accidents. Nobody wants to plan for a car accident on his or her beach vacation, but it is an unfortunate reality for many people’s lives. One of the worst fears after a car accident is that insurance premiums will increase. If you are in an accident in Fort Lauderdale, contact the car accident lawyers at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Understanding Who is at Fault
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means, after an accident, nobody receives blame for causing the incident (in the eyes of the insurance companies and the law). It is for this reason that Florida residents must have Personal Injury Protection insurance, as the insurance companies must provide coverage for damages.
While fault is a non-issue for paying damages, it does have implications in other aspects of insurance and claims following an auto accident. Litigants pursuing a personal injury claim in Florida, for example, will need to establish fault in order to receive damages. Fault in the context of injury cases refers mostly to the concept of negligence – where one motorist willfully failed to follow safe driving laws, or knowingly endangered another driver.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, insurance is a special requirement for all Florida drivers. The intent behind this coverage is to pay out in the event of accidents, regardless of who is at fault for the collision. PIP, however, pays a maximum of 80% of medical expenses as well as 60% of lost wages should the injury cause you to lose work.
Following a crash or accident that uses PIP insurance, your premiums should not increase. As PIP is no-fault, it pays out irrespective of who causes an accident. Insurance companies cannot raise insurance rates without a legally valid reason, and using PIP is not an excuse.
PIP payments or eligible payments reduce final payments from all personal injury settlements.
Contact Your Car Insurance Provider
You should always file an incident report and claim with your insurance provider after an accident, no matter how big or small it may have been. This is often a requirement imposed by the insurance companies as well, and failing to report a collision may forfeit your coverage.
Many drivers involved in an accident will try to hide the event from their providers, believing that it will increase their insurance rates. This should not happen in most circumstances, particularly if you are not at fault.
Insurance companies must have a legal and valid reason to raise your rates. If your insurance company deems you at fault, or partially at fault, for an accident, they considered it a reason to raise rates. This is regardless of whether or not you use your insurance, as you must still report the incident to the company.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today!
After a car crash, your number one priority is your own safety. Once you have received adequate medical care, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney about your case. Whether you press charges or not, an experienced lawyer can best advise you on your requirements and situation. Having an attorney is also protection against abuses from the insurance company. Remember, it is illegal for insurance companies to cancel your policy without adequate reason.
If you were recently in an accident and experienced a rate change or cancellation from your insurance company, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today to set up your free consultation.