No one wants to be involved in a car accident, and many of us take the appropriate precautions in order to prevent one from happening. We practice defensive driving, refrain from using cell phones or texting, obey the speed limit, and respect other drivers. The law requires us to wear seatbelts, so that in the event we are in a car accident, we’ll be more likely to escape uninjured. The law also requires us to carry car insurance to cover any damages we might cause in an accident. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow these common driver safety practices, and even though it is legally required, there are still drivers who refuse to wear seatbelts. As for insuring themselves and their vehicles, there are high rates of drivers on the road today endangering themselves and others by failing to buy the legal minimum of car insurance coverage. If you’re injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, how will you get compensation for your damages? While we may have no choice in who we share the road with, there is legal recourse available should you suffer injuries or property damages as the result of an uninsured driver.
Florida Uninsured Motorists
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), while the overall number of uninsured drivers has decreased nationwide, as many as one in four Florida drivers are still driving without car insurance. A 2014 study by the IRC estimated that there are over 3 million uninsured motorists in Florida, ranking it second highest in the nation. (California ranks 1st, while Texas ranks 3rd). Unfortunately, drivers who do pay for insurance often end up footing the bill for those who don’t. In 2012, the IRC estimates that over $2.6 billion was paid in uninsured motorist claims.
To combat the high cost of damages caused by drivers without insurance, many states now require motorists to buy additional insurance for themselves to cover these uninsured drivers. Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your own car insurance policy can help to offset the amount of damages you incur if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance. To date, Florida does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, though car insurance companies are obligated by law to at least offer this additional coverage to their customers.
Holding Uninsured Motorists Accountable
If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who is uninsured, there are legal remedies available. You may be able to file a petition in Florida court seeking financial compensation from the uninsured driver for any medical expenses or property damages you suffered as a result of the accident. If the court rules in your favor, you will receive a judgment that awards you damages, which the uninsured driver is required to pay. You can enforce a court judgment against an uninsured driver through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Simply send them a certified copy of the judgment, along with the crash report, and they will suspend the at-fault party’s license, tags and registration until the judgment has been paid.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, or if the amount of insurance the driver has isn’t enough to cover your damages, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we can help you receive compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys will fight for your rights to get the compensation you deserve.