Florida Car Accident Compensation Laws

What does Florida have to offer? How about Miami, also known as "better Southern California," as long as you don't mind hurricanes. And Gainesville, where Tim Tebow became a household name. Not to mention Disney World and the world-class pro sports teams throughout the state. All those attractions mean there's plenty to do throughout Florida, but if you're headed there, you'll want to be familiar with the state's rare "no fault" car accident laws, which could be as much of a pain when it comes to car accident compensation as the accident itself -- especially for out-of-state drivers who lack the right kind of insurance.

Below, you'll find a chart laying out the Florida car accident compensation laws, as well as detailed explanations of key aspects of the laws.

Statute of Limitations

Four years from date of accident (Florida Statutes Title 8, Ch. 95, Sec. 95.11)

Limits on Damages

Non-permanent injuries are covered by the state's PIP insurance laws. (Florida Bar Information on PIP)

Other Limits

None.

'No Fault' and 'Pure Comparative Negligence' Rules

The first thing to know is that Florida is one of only a handful of states that has "no fault" car insurance and accident compensation laws. This means, for accidents in Florida, you'll have to file a claim with your own insurance, under "personal injury protection (PIP)" coverage, for your injuries resulting from an accident.

However, if the injuries are severe and permanent, you can file a claim against the other driver, and if necessary, a lawsuit. Also, if you are making a claim for damage to your car, "no fault" does not apply, and you will file a claim with the other driver's insurance.

In determining fault, Florida is a "pure comparative negligence" state. If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will compare fault -- calculate percentages of fault for each driver -- and reduce damage awards accordingly. For example, if a driver suffers $1,000 in damages after a fender-bender, but was found to be 40% percent at fault, her recovery will be limited to 60% of her damages -- here, $600.

Limits on Damages

Florida has few limitations on car accident compensation, once the "no fault" insurance rules are accounted for, other than a time limit for filing cases.

For personal injury claims involving permanent injuries (remember, anything less is handled through your own state-mandated insurance and cannot be part of a lawsuit) and for property (including auto) damage claims, there is a strict time limit for filing a legal case, know as the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit.

Get a Free Claim Review from a Florida Car Accident Attorney

"No fault" insurance laws make Florida claims tricky, as they require you to go to your own insurance first for non-serious injuries, plus pursue a claim for property damage with the other driver's insurance. Who is to say whether an injury is serious enough to fall outside of the PIP laws? Stop wondering and obtain a free claim evaluation from an experienced attorney on how your claim fits into Florida's complicated system and how much compensation may be available.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.