Having auto insurance isn’t a choice in Florida; it’s a requirement. Personal injury protection (PIP) in the amount of $10,000, as well as property damage liability (PDL) in the amount of $10,000 is required under Florida law. In addition to driver’s license suspension or revocation, a driver who is found without the proper amount of auto insurance could find themselves in criminal court.
Despite all of this, one thing remains true: approximately 23 percent of Florida drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council. This is the fifth highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the entire country. What does this mean for you? It means that your first priority should be to learn how to protect yourself in the event that you become the victim of an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
An auto accident can completely derail your life, especially if you can’t find a way to obtain compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and the pain and suffering you’ve endured as the result of someone else’s negligence. Under these circumstances, most people wonder whether suing the at-fault driver is a sensible legal remedy for attaining recovery.
If the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, then you will need to find a different way to obtain damages. Unfortunately, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver might not result in the outcome you need, because they might not have enough funds. It’s often the case that people who drive without auto insurance do so because they simply can’t afford to pay the insurance premiums, and if they can’t afford their premiums, it’s unlikely that they’ll have enough money to cover your losses.
A judge may order the at-fault party to cover your damages by making monthly payments, but you shouldn’t rely on those payments as your sole source of recovery. If the at-fault driver owns valuable property or investments, those assets could potentially be liquidated in order to satisfy your judgment. However, you should be aware that ultimately, you may get very little or nothing from the uninsured at-fault driver. This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage becomes indispensable.
In many cases, the wisest route for quickly obtaining the compensation you deserve is through your own personal auto insurance policy. To do this, you should first determine whether you carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, of which there are two types: one that covers for bodily injury, and one that covers for property damage. Whether the at-fault driver had no auto insurance whatsoever, or their coverage limits aren’t sufficient to cover your damages, UM coverage may fill the gap between what you’re being given by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and what you need in order to make yourself whole again after an auto accident. UM insurance is optional in Florida, but it is an invaluable tool for recovering financially.
Don’t be surprised if your insurance company denies your UM claim. In fact, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to wrongfully reject these claims, or else drag their feet in giving you the payment you deserve. To keep as much money in their pockets as possible, some insurance companies will argue that your policy does not include UM coverage. While this could be true, don’t just take their word for it. Instead, contact Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., where you’ll find highly-qualified and compassionate auto accident and personal injury attorneys who can review your insurance policy, inform you of your rights to compensation, and if necessary, take your case all the way to litigation. The attorneys at Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., have helped countless people who were in your position, yet they never fail to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of each and every case.