If you or a loved one is involved in a Florida car accident, you can only hope that the at-fault driver carried bodily injury liability coverage to cover your unpaid medical bills, lost wages and other damages. That’s because bodily injury liability coverage is not required in Florida – yet.
The Florida Legislature is on track to change all this very soon. CH/SB 19 was referred to Banking and Insurance; Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services; Appropriations yesterday. If this law passed, there will be massive changes to insurance coverage after a Florida car accident.
Presently, all registered owners of vehicle are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and Property Damage coverage. They are not required to carry bodily injury liability (BI) coverage. Your Personal Injury Protection coverage, also known at No-Fault coverage, provides up to $10,000.00 to pay for medical expenses and lost wages incurred because of a car accident even if you did not cause the automobile accident. Property Damage provides coverage to the owners of property you damaged because of negligence. This could be their vehicle or other property. However, there is presently no requirement for all registered owners to carry bodily injury liability coverage.
The proposed law changes this. The new law would eliminate the Personal Injury Protection coverage requirement, but adds a requirement for $25,000.00 in bodily injury liability coverage. The property damage requirement would stay at $10,000.00. This is both good and bad.
It is good that there will be a requirement for drivers to take responsible for the damages they caused by requiring them to carry bodily injury liability coverage. Just these past weeks, I met four different families who were injured in car accidents caused by drivers who failed to carry bodily injury liability coverage. They are left owing medical bills that PIP does not pay and cannot be compensated for other damages. However, the elimination of PIP coverage is bad because if these at-fault drivers didn’t have the finances to purchase bodily injury liability coverage now, how will we know if they will purchase it when it is required? If these people don’t follow the proposed law by purchasing the mandatory bodily injury liability coverage and PIP is not required, these four families would be left responsible for ALL of their medical expenses caused by the car accident instead of just the remainder not covered by PIP.
Stay tuned to my blog articles to see whether this mandatory bodily injury liability law passed. In the meantime, drive safely and watch out for those who don’t!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.