Due to Florida’s no-fault laws, your insurance will pay for your auto repair after an accident you did not cause in Florida. However, if the costs of damages exceed your policy limits, you may qualify to recover additional compensation elsewhere.
This article will outline how no-fault laws work in Florida, getting reimbursed for your deductible, and who else may be held liable for your auto repairs after a car accident you did not cause in Florida. This information is for reference only, but our lawyers can provide you with legal guidance for your specific car accident case.
Florida No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
Florida is a no-fault state, which means each driver carries their own insurance to cover medical bills and car repairs up to a certain amount.
More specifically,Florida Statutes § 627.736 requires drivers to carry PIP and property damage coverage policies of up to $10,000. If your medical bills or repairs exceed this amount, you may be on the hook to pay for the remaining expenses.
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Reimbursement for Your Deductible
You will likely have to pay a deductible before your car repairs. The amount will vary based on the details of your insurance policy but usually ranges between $250 and $2500.
This payment might seem unfair if the crash was not your fault. However, you may be able to file a third-party liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. No-fault laws do not absolve liable parties of responsibility entirely.
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company
After a car accident, call your insurance company to inform them about what happened, and they will guide you through the process of filing a claim. It is critical that you speak to your insurance company quickly, as delays can cause them to deny your claim. You may also be eligible for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
If your insurance company attempts to deny your claim, a car accident attorney on our team can help you fight back.
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Who Else May Be Liable for Your Car Repairs
Depending on the details of your case, other parties or additional insurance policies may cover your car repairs costs if they exceed your own policy’s coverage.
Here are a few additional parties who may be held liable:
Additional Auto Insurance Policies You Carry
Even though Florida law only requires you to carry $10,000 of property damage, you may have additional coverages. For example, you may have insured the full value of your car, or you may have chosen to carry under or uninsured motorist coverage. These policies may pay for additional repair costs.
The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
You may be able to hold the at-fault party’s insurance company liable for your deductible and repair costs over the cap of $10,000, in addition to other damages, such as:
- Past and upcoming medical expenses: For hospital stays, blood work and other lab tests, pain medications, surgery, assistive medical devices, and follow-up visits
- Lost wages: For the wages you weren’t able to earn since your injuries kept you from working
- Diminished earning potential: For the money you won’t be able to make in the future because you have to take on a lower-paying job
- Pain and suffering: For the physical limitations your injuries inflict on you
- Disfigurement: For changes in your mobility or appearance
- Mental anguish: For the trauma stemming from the accident
If your loved one passed away from a car accident, you can file a claim for wrongful death damages, like funeral and final medical expenses.
Depending on the details of your case, a third party may have contributed to the accident and should be held liable for your car repair costs. Some examples of such parties are:
- A city government entity if they failed to clean up debris or repair a broken traffic signal on time
- A mechanic if they didn’t detect a faulty car part or installed the wrong part
- A parts manufacturer if they sold a defective part to the dealership or repair shop
- Another road user if they didn’t abide by the rules of the road
It might be difficult to name the liable party in the accident. However, evidence such as the crash report, traffic camera surveillance, photographs of the car crash scene, witness accounts, and your medical records, among other forms of documentation, can help us conclude who is liable.
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How Long You Have to Sue the Other Party for Your Auto Repair and Other Damages
Your insurance company will dictate how long you have to file a claim with them; the same goes for the other party’s insurer. However, if you want to file a lawsuit against them, Florida enforces its own deadline.
PerFlorida Statutes § 95.11, the state generally allows four years for personal injury claimants and two years for wrongful death claimants to file their lawsuits. If you are taking action against a government agency, then the time frame is even shorter.
In any case, it is important to act now, as you may be unable to collect damages if you wait to file past the applicable deadline.
Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers After a Car Accident You Didn’t Cause in Florida
If your insurance is refusing to pay your auto repair claim or you are overwhelmed by the legal process after your car accident, you are not alone.
Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 to receive a free consultation with one of our team members. Our partners work directly with clients just like you to help recover compensation for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and other damages.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Additional Areas of Practice:
- Car Accident
- Risk of Elderly Drivers
- Truck Accidents Caused by Aggressive Drivers
- Accidents in Dangerous Intersections
- Failure to Yield Accidents
- T-Bone Truck Accidents
- Drunk Driving
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