Florida’s personal injury law has good intentions but it's become susceptible to fraud. It helps anyone who's injured in accidents collect money to pay for treatment. However, many cases of fraud has pushed insurance companies to raise premiums, hurting insurance policy holders as a result.
Everyone needs to have coverage. No one can tell when an accident will happen, so it's best to be prepared.
How injured individuals can collect damages
Anyone who’s injured—from vehicular accidents, slip and fall, and even dog bites—will have the right to get access to medical treatment and claim damages and even file a lawsuit against another individual (or company) who caused the injury.
Under the law, individuals who were injured as a result of another person's negligence can claim money as damages as long as he acts quickly. He must:
- Write everything about the accident/injury
- Get the names and contact details of potential witnesses
- Provide evidence of the injury, like photos
- Get in touch with a personal injury firm, like the Killino Firm Miami branch
A lawsuit should be filed within the statute of limitation, or the deadline in which a case can be filed. It should be easy to collect damages as long as you prove that the other party has caused the injury.
An exception in Florida’s personal injury law
Florida is considered a No Fault state and that has a significant impact on the state automobile injury laws.
Here, anyone who’s been in a car accident can collect money for medical treatments and damages, regardless of who caused the accident.
That means even if you are the cause of a car crash, you’d still be eligible to get paid. Drivers in Florida are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. The minimum amount of coverage per person is $10,000.
The insurance can be used to pay for medical treatments. Aside from that, you can also file a case against the other party if you suffered serious injuries, to collect compensation for losses incurred. Examples include lost wages caused by being away from work, medical expenses (past, current, and expected), emotional distress, and other costs that resulted from the injury.
Problem with Florida’s personal injury law
Although the No Fault coverage sounds good because it assures that you are guaranteed to get money, it opens the possibility for fraud. The law has very good intentions but the current situation has caused distress to insurance holders.
The premiums have increased significantly and drivers are having a difficult time paying for the insurance. How’d that happen?
It’s because of the nature of the injury law. Because anyone is eligible to get compensation, fraudulent individuals have devised so many ways to collect money even when there’s really no accident.
People can fake car accidents, wrongfully declare the medical costs, adding occupants to the reports, solicit money for accepting treatment, and refer patients to medical providers in exchange for something.
All these have pushed insurance companies to shell out millions of dollars and as a result, they’re forced to raise the premiums insurance holders have to pay. According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, the number of new drivers during the 2006 – 2010 period has remained the same while the recorded collisions actually went down. However, the number of PIP claims has increased and a huge amount has been referred to the Division of Fraud.
Obviously, something needs to be done. And just recently, a new law has been passed that set new limitations on how much a person can get after getting into a car accident. Hopefully, this new bill would fix the problem with fraud claims and keep insurance premiums affordable.