Florida Legislative Session 2017 Ends Without Passing Mandatory Bodily Injury

Car Accidents

While HB 461 (2017) passed in the Florida House of Representatives, it failed in the Senate in 2017.  HB 461 would have repealed Florida’s no-fault law for car accident insurance and would have mandated that all drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage in the event that they cause injury or death to another driver.  In addition, SB 1766 (2017) which also would have functioned to repealed the no-fault law failed in the Florida legislature.

No-Fault Insurance Lives To See Another Day

With the failures of these bills in the Legislature, Florida’s problematic no-fault car insurance law remains the law of the land.  HB 461 would have required all drivers to carry insurance limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.  Under the existing law, Florida drivers are not required to carry any bodily injury liability insurance except that they may get their driver’s licenses suspended if they cannot “respond in damages” of at least $10,000 after an accident.  This is a serious matter that the Legislature really should fix for the sake of people getting injured without any sort of compensation for liability and for those who get their licenses suspended.

Florida’s no-fault law provides for prompt payment of 80% of your medical expenses (up to a limit of $10,000) after a car accident.  You are responsible to pay the 20% unpaid balance unless you have purchased extended PIP or medical payments coverage to make up the difference.  The problem with PIP/No-Fault is that most people are still on the hook for 20% of their medical balances when the accident wasn’t their fault and there may not be a settlement coming to cover it because bodily injury is not mandated.

As I am on the front lines in the battle between people and their insurance companies, the biggest complaints that I get about PIP/No-Fault is that people question 1) why their insurance company has to pay when the accident wasn’t their fault and 2) why they have to pay the 20% balance when the accident wasn’t their fault.  For working families, this is often an unexpected expense after a car accident in Florida.

Mandatory Bodily Injury Would Not Fix All Of The Problems

The problems with the system are much bigger than no-fault vs. mandatory bodily injury.  While no-fault provides prompt payments without regard to fault, it has been the subject of widespread fraud for many years (that is one of the reasons why State Farm and other large automobile insurers supported the bill).  On the other hand, a mandatory bodily injury system would slow down payments to those injured in accidents even more than they already are, but it would eliminate a lot of the fraud in the system.

Contact A Lakeland Personal Injury Attorney For Help With Your Car Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident in Lakeland, Florida, you should contact a Lakeland personal injury attorney for a free appointment with an attorney.  We can help you sort through the different types of insurance and make the appropriate claims.  In addition, if your case requires litigation, then we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.  Call today to set your free case review.

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