I own a car in Florida but was involved in an accident in my friend’s car; I do not have to use MY insurance, do I?

In Florida, your OWN insurance pays your medical bills for any car accident that you are in. YOUR insurance follows when you are in a car accident, whether your are in your car, in someone else’s car, on a bike, or even walking. And who is at fault does not matter either. This is part of our no fault system as it pertains to car accidents. So long as there is an accident, your personal car insurance pays the medical bills following a car accident that you are involved in. Generally, the no fault or PIP (personal injury protection) pays 80 percent of the medical bills up to $10,000.

Another car caused an accident and my child’s car seat was in the car; does the other person or their insurance have to replace that?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Whether to replace a child car seat or booster is something beyond the scope of this blog and I would defer that issue to your local fire department or expert on child car seats.

Legally, however, the person that causes an accident is responsible for any resulting property damage. In fact, Florida law requires all car owners to maintain property damage insurance that will pay for damage to your vehicle and any other property damage, like child car seats and boosters. Thus, you are allowed to make a claim against the other person’s insurance for replacing child car seats and boosters following an accident and based on the NHTSA, you should replace these items following an accident.

I was in an accident in Florida and my Florida PIP is paying my medical bills; why is some of my settlement going to pay doctor bills if the PIP paid the bills?

Generally, Florida’s no fault PIP (personal injury protection) insurance pays 80 percent of the medical bills (generally not 100%) and pays up to $10,000.00. You may also elect up to a $1,000.00 deductible. Thus, generally ALL of one’s medical bills are NOT paid through PIP and there are generally balances at the end of a case. Part of what the lawyer will seek from the at fault insurance company are the 20 percent balances, the deductible (if applicable) and any bills that go over and above the $10,000.00 of PIP.

Your lawyer may seek to get any unpaid medical bills reduced by the medical provider pursuant to a personal injury settlement and that is a big part of what the lawyer does at the end of the case.