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.
It seems counter intuitive but generally your OWN insurance pays your medical bills following an accident in Florida. This is part of our no fault laws in Florida which requires everyone that owns a car to have PIP insurance that pays 80 percent of your medical bills (and 60 percent of your wages) up to $10,000.00.
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.
Fault definitely matters!
In terms of who pays your medical bills, Florida is a no fault state and your own insurance pays your medical bills, regardless of whether you are at fault or not. That is the no fault laws in Florida.
Now, in terms of who pays to fix the car, we are on a fault system. So if another person causes the accident, their property damage insurance coverage (which happens to also be required) will pay to fix your car if they are at fault.
Lastly, in terms of who pays you for your injuries (unpaid medical bills AFTER PIP, pain and suffering, etc.) we are also on a fault system. Thus, if the other car is at fault their bodily injury coverage (which is generally not required) will pay you for your injuries.