A Florida woman who relied on a customized minivan to help her drive despite her quadriplegia is seeking help replacing the vehicle that was deemed irreparable after she was rear-ended at an intersection. Although insurance offered her $25,000, that total falls two-thirds short of what she needs to replace her specially modified model, which allows her to board with a wheelchair ramp and operate the vehicle with special hand controls and an onboard computer.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to try to make up the difference, and it lists that the insurance compensation was based on the age and mileage of her van and obviously does not take into account the replacement value of a specialized vehicle. Nor have they factored in how her quality of life has been radically altered. According to the driver’s friend, being able to drive is central to the woman’s ability to be self-reliant, and her vehicle was totaled at no fault of her own.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Which brings us to Florida insurance laws and the concept of no-fault car insurance, also known as personal injury protection (PIP). Florida ascribes to this type of auto insurance along with twelve other states. The concept was meant to speed the medical insurance compensation process by taking out the often lengthy and contentious step of proving who is responsible for an accident. It has a person’s own insurance pay for any injuries up to the limits of their policy.
In Florida, PIP coverage is mandatory, and the minimum allowable PIP coverage is $10,000, which takes care of medical bills up to the policy limits. After that, any additional compensation would need to be sought from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit. With PIP, in order to seek additional damages or sue the other party for your medical costs, there are some restrictive conditions that can make navigating the process more tricky than in other states, such as proving that you were severely injured or disfigured.
Also mandatory is at least $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). This insurance is there to cover someone else’s property, such as their vehicle or real estate when you are at fault for an accident. So in these cases, fault will need to be proven.
Get More with Help from a Miami Car Crash Attorney
The above story is referenced as an example of someone suffering more financial hardship after an accident than insurance is willing to pay. Whether things could’ve been handled differently is unknown, as limited details of the case are given. All too often, however, insurance companies offer settlements that are inadequate. Many people don’t realize that just because an insurance company makes an offer, you don’t have to accept it.
Lavent Law is a Miami-based law firm with experience in car accidents and personal injury law. We know all the ins and outs of Florida insurance laws and how to get our clients the settlements and payouts that they deserve, whether it be complications with PIP cases or proving fault to get you the most property damage compensation. We work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t need to pay us unless your case is won. You can call now to arrange a free, no-pressure consultation at 305-440-0450 or reach us through the contact form below.