If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be feeling uncertain about how you should proceed with your insurance claim. At the Shiner Law Group, we understand Florida’s insurance programs can be exceedingly complex, particularly if you have sustained a physical injury in a motor vehicle collision involving motorcycles or commercial vehicles.
Our experienced and award-winning attorneys identify Florida’s different types of insurance programs and how you can protect your legal rights in the event of an accident:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Florida law requires motorists to carry a minimum personal injury protection policy of $10,000. This is sometimes referred to as “no-fault” insurance. Personal injury protection benefits permit accident victims to recover financial compensation from their respective insurance company to cover medical expenses incurred from treatment and rehabilitation, periods of disability, lost wages or reduced earning capacity, and wrongful death. (Personal injury protection benefits are not offered to motorcycle accident victims.)
If a car accident victim was wrongfully killed by the at-fault party, personal injury protection benefits will also cover the funeral expenses if the burial costs were paid by the decedent’s surviving family members.
Bodily Injury (BI)
Bodily Injury Insurance (BI): Bodily injury insurance is a type of auto insurance that covers victims in the event another party’s negligence contributed to physical injury and property damage. In many accident cases, the injuries sustained often go beyond bodily harm, and bodily injury insurance also permits victims to recover compensation for emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may cause the victims to experience disturbing dreams and flashbacks. Other signs of emotional trauma may include mood changes and a reduced ability to perform daily functions.
While a car accident victim may not have bodily injury insurance coverage, an experienced car accident attorney can help you recover compensation under certain conditions.
Uninsured Motorist (UM)
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: If a car accident victim has sustained physical injury or property damage, they may be entitled to financial compensation through UM auto insurance if the at-fault party was uninsured or underinsured. If your insurance company claims do not provide UM coverage, or if the insurance company negligently denied UM coverage, your car accident lawyer can advocate on your behalf to secure coverage.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) Insurance: GAP insurance is an optional auto policy provided to Florida drivers that helps cover the difference between the amount owed on the vehicle and the car’s cash value at the time of the collision—not the original value. For example, if you owe $10,000 on your vehicle and the car’s value is $5,000, if the vehicle is in need of replacing, GAP insurance will help you cover the $5,000 difference after your deductible.
It is important to note, however, that while GAP insurance can provide additional coverage (and even cover theft and negative equity), it does not cover other property damage or physical injury caused by the accident. Additionally, deductible costs, engine failure, and wrongful death are not covered under GAP policies.