Firm Logo

Can You Sue in a No-Fault Accident in Florida?

Florida’s no-fault insurance system stands out as a topic that often confounds drivers. At the heart of this system is a principle designed to streamline the process of dealing with minor car accidents—essentially, each driver’s insurance covers their own costs, irrespective of who was at fault. However, this leads to a pivotal question many Floridians find themselves asking after an accident: Can you sue in a no-fault accident in Florida?

Can You Sue in a No-Fault Accident in Florida

The assumption that no-fault laws completely eliminate the ability to pursue legal action for damages beyond immediate medical expenses is a common misconception. In reality, Florida law does provide avenues for legal recourse, contingent upon certain conditions being met

Can You Sue in a No-Fault Accident?

The straightforward answer is yes, but with notable caveats. Florida’s no-fault insurance is designed to cover personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, which include medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident. However, the law also acknowledges situations where the severity of injuries and the impact on the victim’s life justify legal action beyond claiming PIP benefits.

The key factor enabling you to sue in a no-fault accident in Florida is meeting the “serious injury” threshold. This threshold is a legal standard that determines the types of injuries that qualify an individual to pursue additional compensation through a lawsuit.

What is the ‘Serious Injury’ Threshold?

Florida law specifies that to sue for damages such as pain and suffering, the injuries sustained in the accident must be considered “serious.” But what constitutes a serious injury? According to Florida statutes, serious injuries include those that result in:

  • Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
  • Death.

These criteria set a high bar for pursuing litigation, ensuring that the courts are reserved for cases where the damages truly exceed what no-fault insurance can reasonably cover. If your injuries meet these criteria, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages beyond what your PIP coverage provides.

How to Pursue a Lawsuit After a No-Fault Accident

Initiating a lawsuit following a no-fault accident involves several critical steps:

  1. Gather Evidence: Documentation of your injuries, medical records, and any other evidence related to the accident will be vital. This includes photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and police reports.
  2. Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer: Navigating the complexities of Florida’s legal system is challenging. Consulting with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases can provide you with the expertise needed to assess your situation and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.
  3. Proving Negligence: To win a lawsuit, you must prove that the other driver was at fault due to negligence. This involves demonstrating that they failed to act with reasonable care, leading to the accident and your injuries.
  4. Calculating Damages: Your attorney will help you determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses related to the accident.

Considerations Before Suing After a No-Fault Accident

Before deciding to sue, it’s important to consider:

  • Statute of Limitations: Florida has a time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits, generally four years from the date of the accident. However, it’s advisable to act sooner to ensure that evidence remains fresh and witnesses’ memories are clear.
  • Potential for Recovery: Assessing the likelihood of a successful outcome and the potential recovery amount is crucial. Sometimes, the costs and emotional toll of litigation may outweigh the potential benefits.

Contact Lawlor, White & Murphey Today

While Florida’s no-fault insurance system limits the ability to sue for minor injuries, it does not completely bar legal action for those who have suffered serious harm. Understanding when and how you can sue in a no-fault accident is crucial for anyone navigating the aftermath of a collision in Florida. Seeking advice from a seasoned personal injury attorney can help clarify your options and ensure that your rights are protected in these complex legal waters.  Contact Lawlor, White & Murphey today at 954-525-2345 or book a consultation online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Settlement /
Medical Malpractice
Settlement /
Slip & Fall Injury
Recovery /
Medical Malpractice
Verdict /
Slip & Fal Injury
8362 Pines Boulevard, #410*Pembroke Pines, Florida 33024(954) 525-2345map + directions
3014 Indian Trace, #164*Weston, Florida 33326(954) 525-2345map + directions
6574 North State Road 7, #349*Coconut Creek, Florida 33073(954) 525-2345map + directions
43 South Pompano Parkway #228*Pompano Beach, Florida 33069(954) 525-2345map + directions
1802 N. University Dr., #212*Plantation, Florida 33322(954) 525-2345map + directions
1908 Southeast Port Saint Lucie Boulevard*Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952(772) 918-9823map + directions
3986 South Tamiami Trail*Venice, Florida 34293(941) 214-9786map + directions
© 2024 Lawlor, White & Murphey. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer.Site Map.