Florida’s Uninsured Driver Problem
Florida routinely ranks as the state with the most uninsured drivers in the country according to virtually any survey conducted by either a government agency or private research organization. If you have been involved in a Florida motor vehicle accident and the other motorist is uninsured or underinsured (that is, he or she does not have sufficient insurance to cover your full damages), then you may have limited resources against which you can pursue recovery for the damages and other losses you may have suffered.
However, this does not mean that you are out of luck. Instead, you still are entitled to sue the driver that caused your injuries through his or her negligence in a civil lawsuit in the Florida courts. If you succeed in proving your case against that driver, then his or her assets would be up for grabs when it comes to executing on the judgment you have against that individual. In many instances, an experienced and determined attorney will be able to use the tools at his or her disposal to make you whole for your injuries and damages suffered as a result of the underinsured or uninsured driver’s negligence.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida
Florida’s sky high rate of uninsured drivers is one reason it is essential to have underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage if you are a driver in Florida, even though this coverage is not required to be carried by Florida motorists under Florida law. The number of uninsured or underinsured drivers on the state’s roads makes the incidence of accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers not only exceedingly common, but this problem is exacerbated by the fact that Florida motorists are not required to carry the very type of insurance coverage that would help to protect them in the event they are involved in an accident with a motorist who is not carrying sufficient (or any) insurance to cover the accident victim’s damages and financial losses as a result of the underinsured or uninsured driver’s negligent actions.
Like all states except New Hampshire, Florida requires every motorist to carry a certain minimum ($10,000) amount of personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage protection ($10,000) in the motorist’s respective automobile insurance policy. This requirement has been hotly debated in recent years, however, in favor of a new requirement that would instead require every driver to carry insurance that would cover damage and losses caused by the negligent him or herself. Nevertheless, the Florida Legislature has yet to replace the current mandatory PIP scheme in Florida.
UM insurance provides coverage when a driver is involved in an accident with a motorist who either is not carrying insurance at all or is not carrying enough insurance to cover the damages and/or injuries they cause. UM coverage becomes effective when the damages or personal injuries suffered as a result of the accident exceed the amount of coverage of the negligent driver or, if the negligent driver had no injury coverage, the UM coverage under your policy becomes the primary protection for your damages. UM coverage is essentially insurance to cover a driver for the risk that another driver chooses not to carry sufficient (or any) insurance.
What Are My Options to Recover My Damages and Other Financial Losses?
You are involved in an accident in Florida and the other driver, shortly after rear-ending you and the two of you pulling over to the side of the road, tells you that he or she does not have insurance or has minimal insurance. Your heart instantly sinks because your car appears to have been totaled and you are in immense pain as a result of the accident. However, do not despair in such an instance if this occurs to you, because you are not barred from pursuing legal action against the driver for your damages. Even though in most circumstances an injured motorist would look to the negligent motorist’s insurer to pay the damages and financial losses suffered by the injured party as a result of the negligent driver’s actions, the negligent driver him or herself is ultimately legally responsible for the consequences of his or her conduct. Therefore, there is nothing to stop a motor vehicle accident victim from filing suit against a negligent motorist in order to make yourself whole for the damages and/or financial losses you suffered as a result of that uninsured or underinsured driver’s actions.
Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley If You Have Been Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver in Florida
The personal injury attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley are experienced in situations where a driver who has caused an accident may have little to no insurance but the person may have assets that can be executed against to help our clients to recover their damages associated with the injuries caused by that person’s negligence in causing a motor vehicle accident in which one of our clients is injured through no fault of his or her own. We are experienced in searching for assets that may be hard to find or which another attorney may not be able to discover because they are not experienced or creative enough to know where to look. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which the other driver was carrying little or no insurance, then call us toll free at 877.694.6079 or email us today to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.