The Florida Legislature is in action and several bills are up for consideration this year that may significantly affect the rights of personal injury victims.
The bills that I would like to discuss are House Bill 273, House Bill 719 and Senate Bill 420. Together, the effect of these bills is to fundamentally change the way automobile collision cases are handled in Florida. These bills seek to remove Florida’s No-Fault or P.I.P. (personal injury protection) laws that require all parties injured in an accident in Florida to be responsible for the first $10,000.00 of their own medical bills, no matter who’s fault an accident is. These bills currently being debated in the Florida legislature seek to replace that system with a “fault” system where the party that is at fault for a traffic crash, not the injured party, would be responsible for carrying mandatory bodily injury insurance coverage to pay for injuries caused to another party.
This “re-write” of our automobile accident laws will be the first major change since the early 1980’s and some say is long overdue. The insurance industry would argue that chiropractors, MRI companies and other medical practitioners take advantage of the current no-fault system, billing for excess services that are not necessary or for over-billing for services that are. Either way, they would argue the current system is rampant with fraud and a change is necessary.
On the other side, the medical providers would argue that the system should remain as it is so that medical treatment could be guaranteed for anyone injured in an automobile accident, no mater who is at fault.
If the changes are made to the current system, as sought in these bills up for consideration by the Florida legislature, it will be even more important to have the right personal injury lawyer representing you if you are injured in a car accident in Florida. Under this new system, if it happens, your lawyer will have to prove it is the other party’s fault or NONE of your medical bills will be paid.
If this “fault” system will work, it will be necessary for each driver to be required to carry at least $25,000.00 of coverage for injuries they may cause to others. Even this may not be enough. You will then need to consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy to pay for your injuries that may be above and beyond the coverage available to the party that was responsible for your injuries. With the escalation of medical bills, with an MRI or CT Scan in a hospital costing over $5,000.00 in some situations, it is critically important to require all drivers and owners to carry enough coverage to pay those whom they harm.
If the legislature does not make the minimum required bodily injury limits high enough, millions of Floridians will be left unprotected from car accident medical bills. Please check your uninsured motorist coverage before the legislature acts and make sure you have enough to cover a hefty hospital bill and possible future loss of earnings or ongoing medical expenses.
If you have questions about Florida’s current No-Fault system or the ramifications of a switch to a “fault” based system for car accident cases in Florida, feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns and I will respond on social media to share your question and my response with others. Also, I am offering a free review of your auto insurance policy to all Florida residents.
If you think you might have a case that we can help you win, please call me today for a FREE consultation: 954-583-8999 in Broward, 239 403-3728 in Naples and throughout the state of Florida at 877-GluckLaw.