Does the No-Fault Law Apply to Florida Drunk Driving Accidents?

Florida is one of the few states in the country that has a no-fault insurance law. The point of a no-fault car insurance law is to simplify the system and eliminate the need for unnecessary car accident claims. While this system may seem beneficial, no-fault car insurance laws can have drawbacks for car accident victims.

On one hand, if you’re injured in a car accident, you don’t have to prove negligence against other drivers to get your medical expenses covered. On the other hand, no-fault insurance makes it difficult to seek justice when you know someone else is in the wrong.

Personal Injury Protection Insurance

All drivers in Florida are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This insurance protects drivers when they get in a car accident regardless of who was at fault. This $10,000 will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, but PIP insurance doesn’t cover property damage such as damage done to your vehicle in a car accident. PIP insurance also won’t allow you to recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

If you’re hit by a drunk driver in Florida, you must resort to your PIP insurance before you can file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. Once you’ve exhausted your PIP insurance coverage, you can take legal action for any damages that exceed $10,000. You can bypass the no-fault law completely if your injuries are disfiguring or life-altering. 

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable

Because of the no-fault law in Florida, drunk drivers won’t be held accountable under civil law if your injuries don’t exceed the limits of your PIP insurance policy and you don’t suffer severe injuries. However, drivers may face criminal charges for driving under the influence. Most drunk driving penalties become significantly more severe when a driver injures someone while driving under the influence

Although Florida limits your right to compensation with their no-fault insurance law, there are still ways to demand justice against a drunk driver in both the criminal and civil court system. Discussing your situation with a Miami or Tampa car accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your claim. When someone’s negligence changes the course of your life, they should pay the price for what they’ve done. A no-fault law in Florida doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for bad behavior.