Insurance Rates Increase in Florida Regardless of Fault, Study Finds
Florida and several other states follow a “no-fault” insurance system. Unlike the fault-based system followed by the majority of other states, in a no-fault state like Florida the insurance carrier of each individual involved in a crash pays for the accident related medical treatment that their insured client incurs under the injured person’s personal injury protection coverage. It does not matter which driver was actually “at fault” in causing the crash. This arrangement can be beneficial to injured drivers, as they will generally recover compensation for their injury related medical expenses more quickly than if a determination as to who was at fault needed to be made.
The Downside to “No Fault” States
However, the promise of having one’s claims paid in a timely manner comes with some drawbacks. Most notably, as indicated in a recent Consumer Federation of America study, a driver’s insurance rates can increase – by as much as $132 in Jacksonville, according to the study – even if the driver him- or herself did nothing wrong or did not contribute to the crash. Other states that follow a no-fault scheme experience similar results: in Queens, New York, the average increase was $401 after a single accident. In Baltimore, Maryland, drivers involved in a crash could expect their premiums to increase by about $258 on average.
Not all No-Fault States Follow This General Rule
Legislation can blunt the impact of this type of scheme. For example, in California and Oklahoma legislators have passed laws that specifically prohibit insurers from raising premiums on drivers who are involved in a crash but who are not at fault. Thus, conceivably, Florida legislators could move to protect Florida drivers from the premium increase they experience by passing a law similar to California’s and Oklahoma’s law. (Passage of such a law may seem desirable by drivers, but may have adverse consequences on the insurance market in Florida.)
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Florida Car Wreck?
Knowing that Florida is a “no-fault” state, some drivers may wonder whether they have any use for a Florida car wreck attorney after a car crash. The answer is a resounding yes: while some car wrecks simply result in each driver’s insurance carrier paying their client’s claims, where one driver is clearly at fault and causes catastrophic injuries to the other driver, a car crash lawsuit may be necessary in order to recover an appropriate amount of compensation. An attorney can assist in you in charting a course of action designed to help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
The Florida car wreck law firm of Roman & Roman P.A. is committed to helping victims of traffic collisions recover the compensation they need in order to meet their medical expenses and other losses. We can help you understand when Florida’s “no fault” law will apply and when you may be able to seek additional compensation through a car crash lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company. Contact Roman & Roman P.A. today at (877) 767-1032 and discuss your car crash case with our experienced and dedicated legal team.