What is the PIP Exemption for DUI Victims in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that after most car accidents, the victim must first make a claim with their own insurance carrier under their personal injury protection coverage (PIP). However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule, and experienced drunk driving accident lawyers can help to make sure you understand these exceptions before accepting a settlement from an insurance company.
DUI Crashes Are Exempt
Unlike the majority of car crash cases, when the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, the injured victim does not have to first make a claim for PIP under their own policy. This is due to the Crime Victims Exemption to the law, which can be found at FLA. STAT. 624.128.
How the Exemption Works
Instead of filing your claim with your own insurance carrier, you have a right to immediately pursue litigation against the drunk driver in many cases. Arguably, this law applies to any crime, so if the other driver was fleeing the police, involved in a high-speed chase, or engaged in dangerous racing activities, your attorney may be able to immediately pursue compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company first. This expedites the timing of your compensation and allows you to hold the responsible party directly accountable.
Why the Crime Victim Exemption Matters
After most car crashes in Florida, you have to file with your own insurance company. There are several key provisions that limit your ability to pursue compensation from the other driver. In order to have a right to file suit against the other driver, you must show that your injuries were severe and that your medical expenses exceed the PIP threshold. Therefore, if you suffer a minor injury or your medical bills are not very high, you may be forced to let your own insurance company cover it, while the other driver is protected from any responsibility.
Likewise, insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate when they know that you can directly sue their insured driver for negligence. Therefore, if the other driver was committing a crime at the time of your injuries, you should let your attorney know right away so they can advise you on the appropriate steps necessary to protect your rights.
Contact Roman & Roman, P.A.
For over 100 years, the family of attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. have been serving the Tampa Bay Area. If you were injured by another driver’s careless or illegal conduct, you have a right to hold them accountable and get compensation for your injuries. But don’t wait. There are very strict deadlines on getting the compensation you deserve. If you miss the deadline, you could forever lose your rights.
It’s completely free to speak with an attorney about your injuries, so you have no obligation and no risk for giving us a call. To learn more about our firm or our services, stop by one of our conveniently located offices, or visit us online today.