Florida car insurance rates are ranked among the highest in the nation, and many people blame that on components of automobile insurance laws. Specifically, the no-fault insurance scheme and personal injury protection (PIP) requirements affect drivers’ costs of normal operation and the allocation of costs for auto accidents.
All that may be about to change. As passed by the legislature, the provisions of Senate Bill 54 would replace the no-fault PIP system with a scheme that includes required bodily injury coverage. What does that mean for Florida drivers? And what happens if you’re injured in a car accident? Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyers explain some of the changes that could affect you.
What’s the Difference Between Personal Injury Protection and Bodily Injury Coverage?
The existing PIP provisions provide modest protection for covered motorists if they are injured in an accident. The driver’s insurance primarily covers the driver. Bodily injury coverage, which is already required in virtually every other state in the country, protects others when the covered driver causes an accident. In theory, requiring bodily injury coverage should shift the burden to irresponsible drivers when they drive while impaired or allow distractions to take their attention away from the road.
Our Fort Lauderdale Automobile Accident Lawyers Can Assist with Demonstrating Fault
Under the no-fault PIP insurance scheme we’ve been used to, it was often not critical to determine which driver was at fault for causing an accident because the driver’s PIP coverage would cover less severe injuries. However, the new scheme is likely to focus more on which party is at fault for causing a collision. Experienced automobile accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale understand how to investigate to determine the causes of crashes and the amount of fault attributable to each party.
Differences Drivers Might See Under the New Auto Insurance Laws
Much of the focus on getting rid of the no-fault PIP system has hinged on insurance rates. Many believe that fraudulent PIP claims and bad-faith lawsuits have inflated insurance rates to unnecessary levels. The hope is that the new plan will lead to lower rates, but only time will tell.
The new auto insurance scheme will definitely affect the handling of car accident cases. In many cases, injured motorists will no longer need to demonstrate their injuries result in over $10,000 in damages to sue the driver responsible for the collision. Unless further amendments are made, even drivers operating without insurance coverage will be able to sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
With the determination of fault a key issue in many more accidents, it becomes critical to take prompt action after a collision. Our automobile accident lawyers often assist clients by collecting and preserving evidence while it is most readily available. As time passes, it can be hard to find witnesses, the accident scene is likely to change, and video footage showing incidents before, during, or after an accident could be erased or lost.
Learn How the New Insurance Laws Affect Your Right to Recover After a Collision
Unfortunately, no one can tell you what will happen with your auto insurance rates when a car insurance change is signed into law. However, seasoned Fort Lauderdale automobile accident attorneys could explain how the changes affect your ability to recover if you have been injured in a car accident. The knowledgeable legal team at the Maus Law Firm could also walk you through the steps involved in a claim and help fight to obtain fair compensation under the new insurance scheme. For a free consultation to learn more, contact us now.