Who Pays For Damages After an Car Crash in Florida

When a car accident occurs, it is likely for the vehicle to experience a certain extent of damage due to the collision. The major concern in this case for the drivers involved is to come to the conclusion as to who will pay for the damage to their vehicle. 

Generally, in case of a car accident claim, there are mainly a couple of facts you need to be certain about:

  • who is at fault for the crash
  • which are the insurance policies that cover the collision

Make sure you have collision coverage. This comes handy in case you are self-responsible for a car crash. Also, make sure your medical insurance covers your medical expenses. If you do not have this coverage, you will have to pay your losses on your own and might end up burning you pocket! Thus, you can rely on your auto-policy insurance carrier to get your losses covered up in this case. Also, keep in mind that this is the sole way to attain compensation in such a case.

A police report alone after a traffic accident is not sufficient for a foolproof evidence of fault.  It is attributed by the fact that the police officer was not on the scene at the time of the accident. Thus, the police bear no personal account of the crash as it occurred. But, an accident expert can use a police report to form an opinion as to who was at fault, if no one is really sure of the actual person or party who is at fault.

Most times, insurance companies use the fact of the person or the party who received the traffic accident ticket as evidence of fault. They further use that citation to conclude who is at fault. If fault is uncertain, then the issue calls for a trial to decide this critical fact. A professional and well-reversed personal injury lawyer, more specifically a car accident lawyer might argue against this assumption. It is more likely that the traffic accident is not your fault. In these cases, your damages should be covered by the insurance policy of the person who caused the crash. However, they might not have insurance. If so, then your own collision insurance policy comes into the picture again.

It might be the case that you are hurt in a car accident. This time special insurance coverage is applicable in Florida. In Florida, the law states that it is essential for a driver to carry a certain kind of insurance called personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance policy pays 80% of your medical expenses as per the PIP policy limits. PIP also covers lost wages. It is a “no fault” insurance. It implies that PIP covers medical expense claims for the insured in cases where he or she is not concerned about who was at fault. However, a time limit applies to the collection of medical benefits under your PIP policy.

For victims who weren’t at fault and whose PIP coverage doesn’t cover all their medical expense claims, medical insurance along with other types of insurances, is applicable.

As the case may be, the insurance company of the driver who was at fault can be held liable to pay the accident victims’ claim. Also, the injured party might ask for the recovery of pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of career in future pertaining to earning capacity, long term care needs, surgery costs, etc.

In case you are a victim of a car accident, you must consult an experienced personal injury lawyer such as the Schiffrin PA. Consult before you file a claim to learn about some of the basic issues that can arise with such claims. Issues that usually arise are the type of evidence required to strengthen your claim and the type and value of compensation that you deserve and should recover. Schiffrin PA offers free initial consultation.

Here are some primary set of factors that should be taken into account to hold the actual party responsible for the accident:

  • Collision Coverage

There are a good number of drivers who continue to drive uninsured. IAs mentioned earlier, there might be cases where the at-fault driver does not have insurance. There might be an alternate case where the insurance companies refuse to admit that their insured driver was at fault. In such cases, non-fault drivers have no other option but to entirely rely on their own collision coverage. When a driver follows his or her own collision coverage, he shall be needed to pay a certain amount after which the repair cost shall be covered by the insurance provider.

  • Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability or PDL is the major component that allows non-fault drivers to get proper compensation for their car damage. Property damage liability comes into play in cases where the drivers cause damage to another individual’s property, be it as cars, fences, or any other form of property. It is essential for drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability in Florida. The victim receives compensation when the at-fault driver’s insurance company agrees that its insured driver was responsible for the accident.

  • Coverage related to At-fault Collision

In Florida, a driver’s own auto insurance covers his or her damages when applicable. It is the same even if the driver caused the accident. However, this is possible only when the driver has purchased his or her own collision coverage insurance. As stated earlier, the at-fault drivers are bound to pay from their own pockets if they have no collision coverage.

  • Other Coverage Options

When both parties have the required insurance coverage, the non-fault driver has the upper hand to decide how the car damage will be paid for. Thus, the non-fault driver can avoid paying the personal collision coverage by using the other driver’s insurance. But, going through one’s own collision coverage has its own share of benefits like the rights to a quick and economic dispute resolution.