Everyone is required by law to carry auto insurance on their vehicles—but that does not mean everyone actually has coverage. In fact, Florida has one of the highest rates of individuals not having auto insurance in the country. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida’s percentage of uninsured drivers was 26.7% in 2015.
While being involved in a relatively minor accident with someone who does not have insurance in Florida may not be a big deal, it can be a huge issue in more severe cases. Regardless of the severity of your accident, it is a good idea to involve a Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
No-Fault Insurance and PIP Coverage in Florida
Florida, unlike most of the rest of the country, has a no-fault system when it comes to car accidents. Under this system, you will first turn to your own insurance to recover property damage and physical injuries. The minimum coverage in Florida is:
- $10,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $20,000 per crash
- $10,000 in property damage liability per collision
- Personal injury protection liability of $10,000 per person, per accident
It is this personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that applies to your own bodily injuries. The minimum PIP coverage will not go very far if you are involved in a severe accident, however.
If your injuries are more expensive than your coverage amount, then you can sue the other driver for the difference in damages.
Collecting from an Uninsured Driver
While you can always sue an uninsured driver, obtaining any money from this individual can be a challenge. In most situations, the reason that they do not have insurance is that they cannot afford to pay for it. If they cannot pay for insurance, they likely don’t have money to pay for your injuries either. Your personal injury attorney will be able to do some investigation to see if it will be worth the time and effort to sue the at-fault driver if they do not have insurance coverage.
You can also report an uninsured driver to the Florida Bureau of Motorist Compliance. Once you have a judgment against an at-fault party who did not have insurance, they can help you enforce the judgment by taking action against that person’s license and registration until the debt is paid.
Other Insurance Coverage Options
You may have additional insurance coverage that will be helpful if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. These coverages are “add-ons” to the minimum policy requirements.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – this type of coverage applies to drivers and passengers if the at-fault driver does not have any insurance coverage
- Underinsured motorist coverage – if the driver has some insurance, but not enough to cover your damages, underinsured motorist coverage may be able to make up the difference
- Collison coverage – this type of coverage applies to property damage to your vehicle if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, or you have been involved in a hit-and-run
You may not even realize that you have these types of extra coverages, so it is a good idea to read through your policy to see how your insurance can help.
If you have been involved in an accident, you have legal options that you should discuss with a South Florida car accident attorney. Call The Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman, P.A. to set up a free consultation: 954-438-1000.