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Who Needs Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Benefits in Florida?

Posted by Fred Koberlein, Jr. | Nov 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

Who Needs Personal Injury Protection?

Even though the state of Florida has some common minimum security requirements in place for vehicles, not every vehicle is necessarily mandated to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The law governing this, which was most recently amended in 2007, contains the details related to who must carry PIP and what situations are exempted from this requirement. Those who are required to comply with PIP coverage but do not face penalties.  PIP coverage becomes important in the wake of a Lake City car accident.

The Basics

Every person who owns or has registered a motor vehicle (outside of taxis, school busses, and limousines) must have PIP coverage in effect continuously. This coverage must remain in effect for the duration of the licensing or registration period. PIP coverage allows any person injured to seek compensation from their own Insurer (insurance company) for certain losses, such as, medical expenses, death benefit, and lost income suffered from an automobile or car accident.   The total an injured person may seek from their Insurer is ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00).  Any amounts, in excess of $10,000.00, necessary to make the injured person whole may be recovered from the at-fault driver.

It's important to understand what it means to be an owner of a motor vehicle in the sense that ownership requires PIP coverage. Florida Statute 627.733 (1) outlines what is considered an owner. Courts have upheld that the name on the title is not the “litmus test” by which vehicle ownership should be solely determined.

Taxis, Busses, and Limousines

As mentioned above, these types of vehicles are explicitly stated in the statutes as not being required to have PIP insurance, because they are known as vehicles for hire. Usually, these vehicles are already bonded or insured under a separate system. Determining whether a vehicle falls into this exemption or whether it should actually be considered a motor vehicle as interpreted in these statutes has to do with the used definition of a motor vehicle itself:

“Any self-propelled vehicle with four or more wheels which is of a type both designed and required to be licensed for use on the highways of this state and any trailer or semi-trailer or semi-truck designed for use with such vehicle and includes:

  • Private passenger motor vehicles like sedans, station wagons, or jeep vehicles. If the vehicle is not being used for business or professional purposes, this definition also includes motor homes, campers, and vans.
  • Commercial motor vehicles, encompassing all vehicles outside the scope of the private passenger vehicle definition

Vehicles meeting this definition must carry $10,000 in minimum property damage coverage. If a person fails to obtain this coverage where it should have been in place, the individual is considered “self-insured” with regard to PIP coverage.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Not maintaining PIP coverage means that a person could be held personally liable for benefit payments in the state of Florida. This individual would be seen to have all the “rights and responsibilities” of an insurer. If the uninsured vehicle is in an accident, the uninsured person may be held responsible for the $10,000 PIP threshold in addition to any other insurer obligations. An individual who foregoes this coverage may be exposing himself or herself to serious risk in the form of liabilities, and will not have any immunity from tort liability. A vehicle owner should be completely sure that his or her vehicle is not required to have PIP coverage before hitting the road without PIP in place.

If you have questions concerning your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or at-fault coveragecontact us at Koberlein Law Offices, PLLC and we will answer your questions free of charge.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein, Jr.

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.

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