It is standard practice in Florida, and in all the other states, to make sure you have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel of a car, and as a no-fault state, Florida has some of the toughest traffic laws and regulations in the entire country. Having helped victims of car accidents for over 20 years, our Miami car accident lawyers have seen and handled all types of auto accident cases. The most valuable advice we give our clients everyday deals with their auto insurance coverage and how to make sure they are protected in the event of an accident.
Why do I need auto insurance?
Most Florida drivers procure an auto insurance policy only because it is illegal to drive without one. Otherwise, if they were left to their own devices, they would be quite happy to do without insurance. What comes as a shock is the fact that one in four Florida motorists has absolutely zero coverage.
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What happens if I am not at fault for the accident but I don’t have insurance?
In Florida, any person who owns a vehicle is required to carry property damage insurance (which protects against damages to someone else’s vehicle) as well as PIP—Personal Injury Protection—which actually protects YOU independent of whether you are at fault or not.
PIP covers up to $10,000.00 in medical bills related to an automobile accident. If you are involved in an accident, and you need medical assistance, your PIP must pay the first $10,000.00 of medical bills. It does not matter if you were at fault for the accident or not. Your PIP insurance has to pay the medical bills.
Even if you have health insurance, given Florida’s mandatory PIP protection, your health insurance will deny payment of the first $10,000.00 of medical bills related to an automobile accident. That means you may be responsible for paying up to $10,000.00 in medical expenses.
What Happens if I am at fault for the accident but I don’t have insurance?
Involvement in a car accident in Florida without auto insurance means that you may be facing criminal charges, depending on the extent of the damage, injury, and liability for causing the accident.
For instance, if you are an uninsured driver involved in an accident in which victims are injured and property worth more than $500 is damaged, then you might have to bear the entire cost on your shoulders if you are the one who is at fault. In addition to that, there is also a good chance that your driver’s license will be suspended until all of those expenses and costs have been paid. If the other person involved sustains an injury, that person has a right to pursue a civil lawsuit against you to reclaim the damages sustained.
In addition, Florida state law, as ruled by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will demand that you carry additional coverage for the next three years (a requirement of the SR22 Certificate) with higher limits than those dictated by the no-fault laws, along with coverage for bodily injury liability. In short, you will probably end up having to purchase about ten times the minimum legal coverage at the end of the day.
Looking at the penalties and punishments for driving without insurance coverage detailed above, the seriousness of the problem should be perfectly clear. The good news is that while the laws and regulations are truly strict, they cannot be applied to you as a driver until it is absolutely clear that you deserve it.
Contacting A Miami Car Accident Lawyer
Our Miami car accident lawyers are dedicated to representing those injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, or pedestrian accidents. Our lawyers are ready to help you handle your claim across the State of Florida. We provide free consultations, and we are available to speak or meet with you at your hospital or home. Give our office a call at 1-866-597-4529 or 305-441-0440 or email us at [email protected]. Our team is ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve.