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Rear-End Collisions: Am I At Fault?

Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 | By: George Andriotis
Rear-end collisions in Florida can be a nightmare. No-Fault laws make it nearly impossible to recover any damages and you are often left footing the bill.

Rear-End Collisions: Am I At Fault? Familiarizing yourself with Florida No-Fault laws, along with what your insurance policy covers will help if you’re the victim of a rear-end collision.

Florida No-Fault Laws

Designed to keep monthly insurance premiums low by providing quick payouts, Florida No-Fault laws have assisted in limiting injury liability claims, lawsuits and fraud. However, critics of these laws believe they inhibit driver accountability and protect “at fault” drivers.

Because no one driver will be found “at fault” for an accident, some warn that these laws actually lead to more DUI’s, speeding and reckless driving. It has also been suggested that medical clinics tend to exaggerate injuries due to the quick payment involved.

Florida Requirements

Florida requires a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage to legally operate your vehicle on the road. But just because it is enough to get you on the road, strictly buying PIP coverage is not always in your best interest. Many people do not understand that it will not cover bodily injuries.

What Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Don’t be fooled. Insurance companies want to maximize their profits and minimize their expenses. From the minute we pay for our policy, they are trying to ensure that we are provided coverage that will limit their responsibilities and still make it legal for us to operate a vehicle. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re getting.

Don’t just take the insurance provider’s word for it. Read the fine print. Research the laws. Understand how your future may be impacted by your decision.

What Insurance Companies Provide- PIP

Florida No-Fault laws allow insurance companies to offer lower premiums. Many policyholders are attracted to PIP insurance because of the low-cost involved and it’s the minimum insurance required by state law.

PIP insurance covers the following:

  • Minimum of $10,000 PIP
  • Minimum of $10,000 No-Fault Property Damage Liability (PDL)
  • PDL covers medical, surgical, funeral and disability benefits
  • Survivors benefit
    • In the event you are killed in an accident, No-Fault provides income to your family
  • Other family members
    • Covered even if passengers in another car or injured while a pedestrian
  • Tangible Property
    • Pays up to a specified amount if the accident damaged buildings, street signs or any other tangible property.

However, PIP does not cover:

  • Repairs to your vehicle
  • Repairs to another vehicle
  • Costs related to the replacement of your vehicle
  • Medical bills

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are very common and can lead to severe property and bodily damage. Despite the Florida No-Fault laws, if substantial injury has been caused by a rear-end collision, a claim can be filed. If you find yourself in a serious auto accident resulting in bodily injury, you will need to consult with a personal injury attorney.

Determining Who Is At Fault

If you have found yourself needing to file a claim due to severe injury, determining who is at fault is essential. There are different scenarios that can determine who is at fault and an attorney can review these with you to assist in your claim.

Common Rear-End Collisions

Common rear-end collisions usually result from a vehicle rear-ending another while;

  • Stopped at a light
  • Stopped on the freeway
  • Stopped at a stop sign

However, the other driver is not always guilty of the collision.

Uncommon Rear-End Collisions

There are more uncommon scenarios that can result in you being fully or partially responsible for an automobile accident.
Some examples of these types of scenarios are:

  • Merging improperly
  • Following to close
  • Stopping in a roadway

When determining fault, it is important to review your accident with an attorney.

The Financial Burden of an Auto Accident

As of 2012, there are a reported 418,000 accident victims treated in emergency rooms each year, according to representative of the Florida Hospital Associations. Of those, only 30% to 40% have PIP coverage, taking a toll on hospitals treating patients but waiting to receive payment.

However, hospitals aren’t the only ones affected by auto collisions. Auto accident victims are often left severely injured and with a huge financial burden. If you or someone you know has been involved in a severe rear-end collision, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

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