All states in the U.S., with the sole exception of New Hampshire, require motorists to carry basic liability coverage on their auto insurance policies. In Florida, the minimum limits are $10,000 for bodily injury liability, and $10,000 in property damage. Drivers in Florida are not required to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, but the way things are headed, it would be a good idea if they did.
The Highest In The Nation
Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM) insurance provides coverage for those who are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance. It also provides coverage if they have insurance, but don’t carry high enough limits to pay for the damages they have caused. Too many people take their chances by not carrying UM, but this is very unwise.
Unfortunately, Florida drivers face a two-part problem.
Florida has one of the highest accident rates in the nation. In 2017, there were:
258,672 total car accidents
107, 113 accidents that resulted in injuries
1,799 fatalities that resulted from auto accidents
Florida is also home to the highest population of uninsured motorists in the country. In 2015, it ranked number-one in the country, with 26.7% of drivers lacking auto insurance.
Combine a high number of car accidents with a low number on uninsured drivers, and you have a recipe for disaster.
What This Means For Drivers
Since Florida is a no-fault state, the majority of accident claims are paid by your own insurance company. They typically pay out around 80% of your medical bills and related expenses. But what about the remaining 20%? Medical bills and hospital stays can be expensive. If you acquire just $50,000 in medical expenses, and your insurance policy covers only 80%, that’s still $10,000 left unpaid.
If the at-fault driver has enough auto insurance coverage, it should be taken care of by their company. If they do not have insurance, and you carry UM on your policy, it will be taken care of by your company. If they do not have insurance, and you do not carry UM, you will be left scrambling to come up with a lot of money to cover your injuries and expenses.
How To Get Blood From A Stone
Your only recourse is to bring about a lawsuit to recover your compensation from the other party. Chances are, if the person was not carrying insurance, they don’t have the finances to repay what they owe. However, a good auto accident lawyer can help you through the process of getting what you deserve.
Even if the at-fault party has limited resources, or if they are non-compliant in repaying the settlement, your lawyer can help you collect. Payment schedules are always the first place to start, but they aren’t always followed. Your lawyer can work to enforce wage garnishes, real estate liens, and even personal a personal property levy to get you something for your damages. Don’t get stuck with a bill you don’t deserve. Get the help you need to recover what you’ve lost.