A major car accident has the potential to change a person’s life. The violent impact of a car collision can inflict devastating injuries on a car’s occupants. Regardless of who caused the accident, the future lives of all parties involved will most likely be irreversibly affected by the event. On top of that, the cost of medical care for individuals and families doesn’t seem to be going down.
Decades ago, the legislature passed a law that required insurance companies to provide personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for their insureds to address the issues of mounting medical expenses and the increasing burden of injury claims on Florida’s courts. In exchange for the insurance company’s agreement to cover the medical costs of policyholders, people would surrender their right to institute a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages arising from a car accident.
Thus, Florida’s no-fault system was born. However, recent legislative efforts toward repealing Florida’s no-fault laws have emerged. Are these efforts something to be concerned about? This blog delves into the issues implicated by repealing Florida’s no-fault laws.
Addressing Unintended Consequences
From the outset, securing Florida’s system of no-fault personal injury protection coverage faced a turbulent journey. During the 1970s, scammers discovered how easy it was to file fraudulent PIP claims for a payout. As this scheme came to light, the Florida legislature amended the no-fault laws to combat deception and fraud.
Today, the legal requirement for insurance companies to provide PIP benefits is threatened by legislative efforts to repeal Florida’s no-fault laws. Earlier this month, Senator Jeff Brandes (R) introduced a proposal for the upcoming legislative session. Senate Bill 896 (SB 896) seeks to eliminate Florida’s no-fault system and the requirement for all motorists to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage by 2021.
The proposal calls for a reversion back to an insurance system based on liability coverage. Opponents of Florida’s no-fault insurance system argue that liability coverage is a better and fairer approach to compensating injured victims because benefits would be contingent on proving fault, paralleling the adversarial nature of the civil justice system. Some states such as California do not have a no-fault system of benefits for injured drivers.
However, opponents point out that undoing the PIP laws would cause more damage by eliminating a significant contingency plan for lower-income individuals and families. Those resistant to PIP repeal also argue that the proposed bill would impose a substantial burden on Florida residents overall because they will be required to purchase $30,000 of bodily injury liability coverage.
Regardless of whether or not PIP repeal is a good idea or not, dismantling the system will dramatically change the way car accident injuries claims are handled.
Explore Your Legal Options with Politis & Matovina, P.A.
If you or one of your loved ones suffered devastating injuries from a severe car accident, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of medical recovery. At Politis & Matovina, P.A., we are committed to practicing litigating personal injury matters such as car accident injury claims. We are committed to advocating for your right to recover compensation for injuries you sustained in a car accident.
Call Politis & Matovina, P.A. at (386) 333-6613 to arrange a free consultation regarding your rights under Florida law.