Who Pays for the Medical Bills After a Car Accident in Florida?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
One of the biggest worries that people have after an auto accident is how they are going to pay for their medical bills. After an accident, you could be facing bills from emergency treatment to any type of physical therapy or rehabilitation – even surgery.
Understanding your rights under Florida law and who is responsible for paying your medical bills can help you get the coverage you’re entitled to.
Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Florida requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) car insurance, which is the first option to cover your damages after the accident, even if you weren’t at fault. These policies cover up to 80% of your medical bills after an accident and 60% of lost wages due to the collision, with a limit of $10,000.
Florida is a no-fault state with regard to auto insurance, and all drivers must carry PIP to legally operate their vehicles.
The remainder of any medical bills may be covered by your regular auto insurance policy or that of the driver who was responsible for the accident.
Florida’s Other Insurance Laws
The state initiated the PIP requirement to reduce the need to prove liability in minor collisions. However, there are other laws that determine who is responsible for your medical bills if you didn’t cause an accident and if:
- You suffered significant injuries
- The injuries are permanent
- The accident resulted in the death of another person
If one of these is the case, you could have a personal injury case against the at-fault driver. A personal injury attorney can ensure that the at-fault driver compensates you for the injuries you suffer and a diminished quality of life resulting from the accident.
What Are Other Options for Compensating Me for My Medical Bills After an Accident?
In addition to filing a claim with your PIP coverage, you have other options for covering your medical bills.
For example, you may have a higher cap than the state minimum on your PIP or opt to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, which can pay for bills over the $10,000 minimum.
In other cases, the other party’s regular (not PIP) car insurance policy is required to pay for your medical expenses. However, for their insurance to pay, you’ll need to establish liability and file a claim, plus you must have suffered a catastrophic injury as discussed above.
If the other driver was working at the time of the accident, whether a commercial truck driver or someone using a passenger vehicle for work, then their employer may also share some of the blame.
For example, suppose a commercial trucking company pushes their drivers to work longer than regulation hours or is negligent in the hiring and supervision of the drivers, resulting in your wreck. In that case, the company could be liable, too (but this is rare).
Other third parties might have contributed to the cause of your accident as well. Suppose you or the other driver are operating a vehicle with a design flaw or manufacturing defect, which caused the accident. In that case, the car company could be liable for faulty consumer products. Or the city might have knowingly allowed unsafe road conditions, such as cracked roads or potholes, which caused the accident.
Who Will Pay My Medical Bills After a Clearwater Car Accident?
Determining the cause of the accident and who is to blame, if anyone, is the first step in identifying who will be paying for your medical bills. You’ll have to determine the severity of the crash and whether PIP coverage is your only avenue for compensation or whether you have a valid personal injury claim.
A personal injury lawyer can also help you determine the parties responsible for paying your medical bills.
Contact the Pinellas County Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,