According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2019 Florida ranked well above the national average in terms of both deaths from motor vehicle crashes per capita and deaths per vehicle mile traveled. The state suffered over 3,000 traffic fatalities that year.
Many survivors face financial troubles caused by medical bills and lost earning capacity when they discover that even with a solid personal injury case, the defendant (that is, the at-fault party in the accident) lacks the insurance resources to pay their claim.
Many of these financial hardships can be avoided if the injured driver purchases adequate uninsured motorist coverage.
Our experienced Pensacola, Florida auto accident lawyers will explain what you should know. For a free consultation, please call (850) 444-4878 or send us an online message today.
Florida’s “No-Fault” Auto Insurance System
Florida administers a “no-fault” auto insurance system. Florida requires its drivers to carry $10,000 in PIP insurance for their injuries and injuries to their households, children, and passengers.
Florida’s Uninsured Motorist Problem
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019 Florida had one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the United States, with just over 20% of drivers uninsured.
This figure doesn’t even take into account the fact that any Florida driver who carries only the legal minimum insurance coverage is tremendously underinsured for anything even approaching a serious injury.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
Uninsured motorist coverage in Florida covers you if you suffer damages inflicted by a driver who was driving without insurance or who had too little insurance.
Generally, the same insurance policies also protect you if the responsible motorist was underinsured rather than completely uninsured. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance in Florida protects you from the consequences of the irresponsibility of other motorists.
Does Florida Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage is optional. We believe it to be a practical necessity, however, and many options are available.
Imagine that you find yourself facing a serious personal injury, a deadbeat defendant with no economic resources, and no Florida uninsured motorist coverage.
Another option, if it is possible, might be to find an alternative defendant—someone who is at least partially responsible for the accident—with better insurance coverage or the resources to pay your claim.
Such defendants might include:
- A commercial trucker;
- An on-duty Uber or Lyft driver;
- An on-duty employee whose employer possesses significant financial resources;
- The manufacturer of a defective product that contributed to the accident;
- A state or local government that failed to properly maintain roads, traffic lights, etc.; or
- A bar or nightclub that served alcohol to the defendant before the accident (under Florida’s dram shop law).
The suitability of any of these defendants depends on the presence or absence of certain circumstances surrounding your case. A good lawyer will know how to locate alternative defendants and hold them liable.
We’re Ready For Action
Failure to maintain uninsured motorist coverage in Florida might save you money in the short run, but it could devastate your finances in the event of a serious accident.
But we can help you explore your options if you find yourself facing a situation involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident. After all, we’ve been helping injured victims since 1913.
To schedule a free consultation, call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon at (850) 444-4878, or simply fill out our online contact form. And remember, you won’t owe us a dime in legal fees unless we win your case.