There are a ton of misleading advertisements out there related to automobile accidents and your entitlement to ten-thousand dollars ($10,000) as a result of being involved in a car accident. These personal-injury-attorney ads are most frequently seen on day-time television and heard on the radio to or from work. There are multiple variations, but many of them sound something like: If you’ve been in a car accident, let the law offices of X & Y get you the $10,000 you are entitled to under Florida law!
The problem is that, for many people, this sounds like all you have to do is call the Law Offices of X & Y to receive your 10K check!
So, what’s really going on?
The $10,000 is a reference to Florida’s No-Fault Statute (which is found in F.S. 627.736). Florida law requires every automobile insurance policy issued in Florida to include $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Unfortunately, contrary to what many are led to believe due to misleading advertisements; this does notmean that you, the person in the auto accident, will simply be written a check for 10 grand!
What it means is that if you are the named insured (i.e. the person who bought the car insurance policy); or you are a relative of the named insured (that lives in the same household); or you are the person who happened to be driving the covered vehicle (with the permission of the named insured); or you were a passenger in the covered vehicle; or if you were struck by the covered vehicle (but not while in another car)…. you are entitled to receive up to $10,000 for 80% of your medical bills (caused by an injury in the covered vehicle); 60% of any loss in income or earning capacity from an inability to work (caused by an injury in the covered automobile); and certain death benefits regardless of who was at fault in causing the automobile accident.