It’s an undisputed fact that automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries and death in the United States. As Florida’s population booms, there will be more and more drivers on our roadways and, in turn, an increase in the likelihood of auto accidents. Compounding this issue, is the fact that Florida drivers are not required to carry bodily injury liability insurance to pay for the injuries they cause to other people. Unfortunately, it is very likely there will be no insurance from the at-fault driver if you or a loved one are injured in an accident that was not your fault. Being told that there is no insurance to compensate you for your severe and permanent injuries, suffered at the hand of an at-fault driver, can have a devastating, if not detrimental effect on the injured party and their family. Bills begin to pile up along with the pain, anxiety and stress of being left in a place of uncertainty and suffering. The good news, however, is that much of this suffering could be avoided if the Florida Legislature would join with virtually every other state in this country and pass a requirement for mandatory bodily injury liability insurance for Florida drivers.
Minimal Insurance Coverage
Currently, Floridians are only required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in insurance for their own medical expenses and lost wages (known as PIP or Personal Injury Protection) regardless of fault and $10,000 in coverage for damage to another person’s car. The sad reality is that most times, the ER bill can use most, if not all, of the $10,000 PIP benefits. This means that if you are in an automobile accident that is not your fault, the likelihood that there will be no insurance from the at-fault driver/owner is extremely high and you will be required to personally pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, etc. beyond the $10,000 of insurance. Moreover, there will be nothing to compensate you for your pain and suffering as a result of the auto accident unless you have uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage.
This law needs to be updated to require this coverage on all vehicles on the road affording Floridians the protection deserved should they suffer injuries at the hand of someone else. To enact this change, Florida residents need to reach out to their local representative and demand a change to the current law.
R. Samuel Dunaway III, Esquire is a civil trial lawyer that has over 11 years of experience representing those injured by the unexpected and unforeseen. I am a practicing personal injury attorney in Orlando. I am licensed to practice law in the States of Florida and Georgia.