Do I Pay a Deductible If Not at Fault in a Car Accident?

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If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident caused by another driver in Florida, the path forward can be challenging. The cost of car repairs is high, and because Florida is known as a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, it can make obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled that much more complex. You might be wondering “do I pay a deductible if not at fault in a car accident in Florida?” If you find yourself in this challenging situation, don’t wait to reach out and consult with an experienced Florida car accident attorney.

No-Fault Coverage

Because Florida is a no-fault state, motorists are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is insurance designed to cover medical expenses and lost income – at a certain percentage – regardless of who is at fault. The idea is to speed up the process and cut down on the number of car accident lawsuits, which tend to clog up the courts.

PIP does not, however, cover property damage to your vehicle. For these repairs, you’ll turn to your property damage liability (PDL) coverage, which will likely include a deductible that will need to be paid prior to your car’s repairs being made.

However, if your car suffered considerable damage and another driver is responsible, you can seek compensation that covers your deductible and those losses that exceed your coverage through the at-fault driver’s car insurance coverage.

Do I Pay a Deductible If I’m Not at Fault?

In Florida, you will likely have to pay the deductible for damage to your car upfront –to have the repairs completed and your total losses calculated. If the damage to your vehicle, however, exceeds your coverage, which can quickly be exhausted, you can recoup your additional losses by filing a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Although Florida is a no-fault state, it does not mean that the at fault driver is absolved of responsibility for the damage they cause.

Who Pays for Car Damage in Florida?

If your car is damaged due to another driver’s negligence, the claim for these damages may go through your car insurance coverage but you will be responsible for your deductible (usually set at $500 or $1,000 depending on your policy). Alternatively, you may be able to have your car repaired by the at-fault driver’s insurance company assuming there is no dispute as to who caused the accident (e.g., a rear end collision). Although, getting the repair work done by your own insurance company can often be the quickest way to get you back on the road again.

Do You Have to Pay Your Deductible If It Was a Hit-and-Run?

When the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident, it puts you in an even more serious bind. Your PIP coverage will kick in for your medical bills and lost income after such an accident, and you’ll turn to your PDL coverage for the damage to your car.

However, you will be responsible for covering your deductible. It’s important to note that if the at-fault driver is identified and found, you can seek compensation for your losses exceeding your coverage through that driver’s insurance provider.

An Overview of Car Accident Claims

If a negligent driver causes you to be injured in a car accident, all the following losses can apply:

  • Property damage to your car and its contents
  • Medical expenses, which may include the cost of ongoing healthcare needs
  • Lost income, which may include lost earning potential
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can complicate other categories of loss and can be especially difficult to overcome

The other driver’s negligence in the matter can take many forms, including:

  • Failure to adhere to the rules of the road
  • Distraction
  • Exhaustion
  • Excess speed
  • Impairment
  • Aggression

If your car was seriously damaged, there is a good chance that you were also injured by the impact of the accident, which means your medical costs and lost earnings will be addressed by your PIP coverage. In contrast, your PDL policy will cover property damage to your vehicle.

The overall losses you experience in even a relatively minor car accident can quickly outpace your coverage, and your policy will not address the pain and suffering you experience. As such, moving forward with a claim against the at-fault driver may be the best option, and a dedicated Florida car accident attorney can help you with that.

Do I Get My Deductible Back?

If the losses you incur in terms of damage to your car exceed your coverage, you can seek compensation for the excess amount through the at-fault motorist’s coverage, which may include reimbursement of the deductible you had to cover to have your car repaired.

An Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Help

If your car’s been damaged by another driver’s negligence, you might think you’re stuck covering your deductible, but that may not be the case. The Florida car accident attorneys at Eltringham Law Group have a wealth of experience helping clients like you recover on their complete losses, including their deductibles.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call us at 561-944-6746 today.

Car Accident Case FAQs

Do I need an attorney?

Having a seasoned car accident attorney in your corner can significantly improve your ability to obtain fair compensation that covers your complete losses.

What is PIP coverage?

PIP coverage refers to coverage for personal injury protection, which is insurance designed to take the matter of fault out of the equation when it comes to medical costs and lost earnings – but not damage to your vehicle – in a car accident.

Why isn’t the at-fault driver held responsible?

Even though Florida is a no-fault state, the at-fault driver can be held responsible when the damage they cause exceeds the injured party’s coverage. Once your policy has been exhausted, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

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