If were injured in a car accident while riding in a vehicle, you may wonder whether you can make a claim against one or both of the drivers. Depending on the circumstances, the answer to this question may be yes. Here’s a look at some of the important details that may affect your ability to file a car accident lawsuit.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that all drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This insurance covers the policyholder rather than the vehicle, following you around wherever you go and protecting you even if you’re a passenger.
If you don’t have your own car insurance, you may not have personal injury protection. However, Florida law allows PIP coverage to be shared by relatives who live in the same household. For example, if you live with your parent and he or she has PIP, then their coverage can extend to you. This shared coverage applies to siblings, parents, children, and domestic partners who live in the same home.
If you do not have your own PIP or live with a relative who has PIP, then you can make a claim against the PIP of the person who was driving the vehicle. However, the insurance company may conduct a full investigation prior to paying out a benefit.
Filing a Car Accident Claim Against Your Driver
If PIP is not enough to cover the costs of your damages, you may need to file a car accident claim against the person who was driving you. However, to receive compensation, you’ll need to prove that the driver was negligent.
Since the driver is likely to be a friend, you may be hesitant to take this step, but it’s important to remember that you are filing a claim against the driver’s insurance company, not against them directly. This may also be the only way for you to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering beyond what PIP covers. If you suffered serious injuries, you may have no other choice.
Exception for Relatives
Many Florida insurance policies do not allow family members who live in the same household to file a claim against each other. If the driver of the vehicle was a relative who lives with you, you’ll need to contact an experienced car accident attorney to help walk you through your options.
Filing a Claim Against the Other Driver
If the other driver’s negligence contributed to the accident, you may be able to file a car accident claim against them. If both your driver and the other were negligent, for example, if one failed to use a turn signal and the other was speeding, you may be able to make a claim against both of them.
Consult with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
The circumstances surrounding the car accident that caused your injuries could impact your ability to make a claim. Scheduling a free case evaluation is an excellent way to learn about your options so you can decide on your next steps. Contact us today to consult with a member of our legal team.