Unlicensed and Uninsured Driver Operating Unregistered Vehicle Kills Three in Charlotte County, Florida

A recent accident involving an unlicensed, uninsured motorist driving an unregistered vehicle in Charlotte County on Florida’s West Coast killed three motorists. According to a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) report regarding the accident, the unlicensed driver was driving his truck, with a trailer in tow, when he struck the side of a Chevy Colorado truck that had just entered an intersection. The driver of the Chevy as well as the two passengers in his pickup truck were all killed. The unlicensed driver, who was not injured in the accident, was cited by the FHP for driving without a driver’s license, driving an unregistered vehicle, and having no vehicle insurance. This tragic accident just highlights the enormous problem of uninsured drivers on Florida’s roadways. This is a particular problem when the uninsured driver causes an accident.

Uninsured and Unlicensed Drivers: A Particular Problem in Florida 

According to the Research Council’s most recent statistics on the incidence of uninsured motorists on the nation’s roads, one in every eight drivers on the road nationwide is uninsured. This rate is even higher in Florida, where 26.7% of the state’s motorists were uninsured in 2015 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). This placed Florida first among all 50 states. However, this unfortunate distinction also places Florida residents and visitors at particular risk of being involved in an accident and not having the normal options to seek compensation if they are injured by an uninsured driver.

Am I Protected under Florida Law if I am Injured by an Uninsured Motorist?

Pursuant to Florida law, every person who operates a motor vehicle in the state is required to carry automobile liability insurance. However, recognizing that many motorists choose to ignore this law and drive without insurance as reflected in the statistics discussed above, all auto liability insurers are required under Florida law to offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage equal to the policyholder’s Bodily Injury Liability Coverage. The policyholder must reject the Uninsured Motorist Coverage if for some reason they do not want it but that is not advised.

If, like most Florida drivers, you elect to carry uninsured motorist coverage and are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, then your own insurance will help to cover at least some of the damages suffered as a result of the accident up to the limits of your particular policy. However, if you have suffered damages in excess of the policy limits of your particular uninsured motorist coverage, then you remain free to sue the uninsured motorist directly for your damages not covered by your own insurance.   

Even if you have chosen not to carry uninsured motorist coverage, that does not mean that you are without recourse if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. For example, an injured motorist can always sue the uninsured motorist him or herself for any injuries suffered in an accident caused by the uninsured driver. This can sometimes be in vain if the insured motorist has no assets against which to recover any damages. However, depending on the scenario, the uninsured driver may have been driving for work or some other scenario in which it may be possible to hold a third party accountable for his actions. 

Contact the Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Schwed Law if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A., many of our firm’s cases stem from motor vehicle accidents in which our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries or have been the victim of a wrongful death caused by someone else’s negligence. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 150 years of combined legal experience and we have represented thousands of accident victims, including many who were injured or killed in accidents in which the other driver was uninsured. Our attorneys are creative, outside the box thinkers who will find a way to obtain the maximum possible compensation under Florida law for you or your loved ones no matter how difficult doing so may be. Therefore if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an unlicensed motorist in Florida, contact our experienced attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.

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