Do I Have Insurance Coverage If I Wasn’t Driving My Car During a Car Accident?
If you have an accident while driving someone else’s car, Florida laws say that you should have coverage under the vehicle owner’s insurance.
Under state statutes, personal auto insurance follows the vehicle first, and the driver second. This means that, as long as the vehicle’s owner gave you permission to drive the car and their policy does not specifically exclude you, their insurance should cover your accident.
Florida is a no-fault state—meaning that each person involved in the crash has coverage under their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, no matter who was to blame. However, some severe injuries allow you to step outside the no-fault laws and pursue damages from the other driver or their insurance company.
This means that, if the accident occurred because of another driver’s negligence, that person’s insurance may cover severe or permanent injuries you suffered, as well as damages like lost wages, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
If you were not driving your car during a car accident, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand how state laws may affect your compensation. Call us at 800-747-3733 today for a free consultation.
How Will State Car Insurance Laws Impact My Case?
By law, Florida vehicle owners must carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. This coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and associated costs for the vehicle owner, members of their household, passengers who do not own their own vehicle, and drivers who borrow the vehicle with the owner’s permission.
Florida law also requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum of $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) insurance to cover damages that may result from an accident. This coverage also extends to other drivers who use the vehicle with permission.
If you have car insurance for your own vehicle, your PIP coverage should also cover your accident. However, these coverages will only apply if the vehicle owner did not have insurance at the time of the accident.
The Florida statutory insurance requirements will likely change again in 2018, however, as new laws take effect and new coverage limits apply. Our car accident attorneys can help you interpret these complex insurance laws.
What If I Drove the Car Without Permission?
In most cases, if you drive someone else’s car without permission and have an accident, your own car insurance policy would cover any resulting damage and injuries you suffer.
If you do not carry insurance because you do not own your own car, it will be much more difficult to recover compensation. This scenario falls under the Florida legal doctrine of “dangerous instrumentality,” which holds the car’s owner responsible for damage their vehicle caused. This generally only applies if they gave you permission to drive their car, however.
If you were driving someone else’s car without permission at the time of your accident, contact us immediately so we can begin working on your case.
Does It Matter Who Was at Fault for the Accident?
As Florida’s insurance laws make this a no-fault state, for many accidents, each driver’s own insurance policy covers their injuries and damages. However, if another driver caused the accident—and if your injuries exceed the serious injury threshold in terms of severity—you may have grounds for filing a legal claim to recover additional compensation.
To pursue an injury accident claim against another driver, your injuries must be significant, life-threatening, or permanent. Alternatively, if you lost a digit, limb, or organ, or if you lost the use of some part of your body, you likely have legal standing to pursue additional damages.
Even if you were partially to blame for the car crash, we can still recover partial damages on your behalf under the state’s comparative fault rules.
Under these rules, state law reduces the amount of damages you can recover based on your degree of fault. If you were 20 percent to blame for the wreck, for example, we can help you recover up to 80 percent of your total damages.
Our attorneys can help you understand if the serious injury threshold applies in your case.
How Can a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you sustained crash-related injuries—even if you were driving someone else’s vehicle—you still need appropriate medical treatment. If you are struggling to get your injuries and lost wages covered, the car accident lawyers at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help.
Contact us for a no-cost case consultation today. We can explain your legal options and help you figure out the best way to get coverage for your damages. You can reach us any time at 800-747-3733 to talk directly with a Florida car accident lawyer.