In Florida, drivers must have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). Personal injury protection means your insurer pays for medical expenditures and pays wage loss benefits after every motor vehicle accident, irrespective of who caused the collision. Property damage liability means drivers who cause collisions pay for damages. When injuries are serious, a driver who causes a collision may also be sued by collision victims.
Knowing rules for insurance coverage is important so you will understand what to do in the aftermath of a crash. You need to know how to report a Florida car accident so you can protect your interests and ensure you get covered losses paid for, rather than being forced to pay out of your own pocket for damages.
What you need to know about reporting your car wreck
Under Florida's personal injury protection laws, drivers must seek treatment within 14 days to get their costs covered by their PIP policy. Policyholders are eligible for just $2,500 in insurance coverage unless a medical doctor, dentist, physician's assistant, osteopath or other designated physician determines they have an "emergency" medical condition. Soft tissue injuries like bruising and soreness are not generally considered emergency medical conditions that make policyholders eligible for the full $10,000. To make sure injuries and losses are covered, see a doctor right away.
Policyholders may seek treatment only from limited types of medical professionals if they wish to be reimbursed by their PIP coverage for any services. Acupuncture and massage therapists may not provide reimbursable treatment to collision victims.
Because Florida's PIP rules are strict regarding types of coverage and requirements for obtaining benefits, crash victims need to notify their insurers right away after an accident and must be certain they read their insurance policies carefully. Interpreting fine print in insurance contracts can be complicated, and insurance companies are not looking out for collision victims so those harmed in accidents may wish to get legal advice regarding their coverage, estimated losses and legal options.
To notify your insurer of the accident, call the toll free number listed on your insurance card and on your insurance policy documents. You will be assigned a claims representative who will guide you through the filing process.
If injuries were serious or death occurred and another driver was responsible for the motor vehicle accident, there is another layer of complications. The other driver's insurer may be liable for covering some losses after a motor vehicle collision caused by the policyholder.
Drivers need to make sure they exchange contact information from the other motorist, including insurance information. Crash victims can negotiate a settlement with the insurer of the driver who was responsible for the accident. If no settlement agreement is reached, the victims may go to court to pursue a claim for compensation.