Will My Insurance Rates Go Up if I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
First, it is important to understand that Florida car owners have different types of insurance. Our Florida car accident attorneys understand the main types. It's important to know which type of insurance you have before you are involved in an accident.
There are two types of liability insurance
Liability insurance means that there must be a showing or agreement that the person covered by the policy caused harm to someone else. There are two types of liability insurance:
- Property damage liability (PPL). If a vehicle owner damages someone else’s car or front lawn, this insurance pays the damages. It provides protection for the owner of the car, a family member of the owner, and anyone else covered by the policy.
- Bodily injury liability (BIL). This insurance pays pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that a vehicle owner causes. Unlike most states, Florida does not require that car owners carry BIL. It is wise to carry up to the most you can afford.
Florida Added Protection
- Personal injury protection (PIP). This no-fault policy applies to the car owner and family members. It applies to anyone riding in the car who doesn’t have a registered vehicle and who doesn’t have their own PIP. It covers pedestrians, bicyclists, and children riding on a school bus. Florida car owners are required to have up to $10,000. This insurance pays for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages – up to the policy limits. Medical bills over $2,500 need a showing that the victim has an emergency medical condition (EMC).
PIP also covers some death benefits up to $5,000. A mileage allowance for doctor visits is also included. PIP doesn’t’ pay for pain and suffering or lost wages.
- This is a no-fault coverage that covers the 20% that PIP doesn’t’ cover. It also covers medical bills over $10,000. Payments are available up to the policy limits.
- Uninsured/underinsured insurance. If a driver causes your injuries; the driver’s insurance should pay for your pain and suffering and uncovered medical bills and lost wages. If the driver didn’t have insurance, then your UM/UIM insurance pays. If the driver didn’t have enough to cover your whole claim your UM/UIM insurance pays the difference.
- Collision insurance. This insurance pays for your car damage if you cause an accident.
- Comprehensive insurance. This insurance pays for car damage due to an act of God or your control. Examples include theft, fire, and hurricanes.
What types of claims and accidents affect your coverage
Respected Florida car accident attorneys know why liability is the key factor.
- If it’s clear that you weren’t at fault.
- Generally, victims should not worry that filing a claim affects their liability insurance premiums. For the most part, the reverse is true. The person who caused your pain or wrongful death is the person who needs to worry. If a driver speeds, drives while drunk, or drives while distracted – then that driver’s insurance premiums should increase.
- If someone else caused your injuries, then filing a UM/UIM claim or a collision claim should not affect your insurance premium rates.
- Filing a personal injury claim should not affect any no-fault claims. PIP and Medpay are no-fault claims.
- By statute, Florida Statute 626.9541, insurance companies cannot raise a car owner’s premium
- If someone responsible for the accident reimbursed you
- The car has a judgment against the person responsible.
- If the car owner:
- was not convicted of a moving traffic violation
- and another driver involved in the accident has a moving traffic violation conviction.
- If you were somewhat at fault.
- The Florida statute also prohibits raising premiums on the following basis. The insurance company doesn't have good faith information that the insured was “substantially” at fault for the accident. So, if you were a little bit or even partially at fault – that’s not enough. You have to be substantially at fault for your premiums to rise.
The substantial requirement applies to:
- Liability insurance
- Any combination of the above
Get help from our experienced Florida car accident attorneys
Our Florida car accident attorneys answer your questions. We understand litigation is scary. We explain that insurance companies can’t penalize you for filing a legitimate claim. At Lulich Attorneys and Consultants, we are respected for our ability to obtain strong results. To speak with a strong advocate, please phone us at 772-589-5500 (Sebastian) or 772-774-7771 (Vero Beach) now. Click Here to start the process by filling out a Free Case Evaluation.