According to a 2015 study by the Insurance Research Council, 26.7 percent of individuals residing in Florida are uninsured motorists. An uninsured motorist refers to a driver who either lacks bodily injury liability coverage or is completely uninsured. If you happen to be involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, there is a greater than one in four chance that the other driver does not carry bodily liability coverage.

Under Florida law, only two types of car insurance coverage are required: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL). All motor vehicle owners and registrants must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. Many individuals choose not to purchase bodily injury coverage (BI) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) due to the additional cost. However, opting out of these coverages and driving uninsured can be highly risky.

What happens if the person responsible for the accident does not have auto insurance coverage?

If the other driver does not have bodily injury coverage (or is driving without insurance), the only type of coverage that will compensate you for your damages is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of a motor vehicle crash with an at-fault driver who lacks bodily injury liability insurance. On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when you are involved in a motor vehicle crash with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are insufficient to cover your damages.

PIP Insurance: Who Is Covered?

Regardless of fault, Florida No-Fault insurance, also known as PIP, covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000. PIP extends coverage to children, household members, and uninsured passengers, as long as they don’t own a vehicle. If passengers have their own insurance, they’ll receive coverage for their injuries under their own policies. PIP also protects injured children on school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists involved in motor vehicle accidents. To qualify for PIP benefits in Florida, victims must seek medical attention within 14 days of the incident.

Property Damage Liability (PDL)

If you or a family member is responsible for damaging someone else’s property or motor vehicle, PDL insurance covers the costs of those damages. When a collision occurs, it is crucial to preserve all evidence, such as taking photographs at the scene and gathering relevant documentation, before meeting with me.

In the state of Florida, owning a motor vehicle requires carrying PIP and PDL insurance. Due to the additional expenses associated with additional coverage, many Florida drivers choose to carry only these two types of required insurance. However, it is important to note that carrying the minimum insurance does not constitute “full coverage”.

Bodily Injury Liability (BI)

Although not legally required, carrying bodily injury liability coverage as a driver in Florida can offer significant benefits. This coverage provides compensation for injuries or fatalities to others if you or someone driving your car is involved in a crash. Your insurance company will cover the costs of injuries up to the policy limits and provide legal representation if you face a lawsuit. Even if you or a family member causes injuries while driving someone else’s vehicle, your insurance company will still pay for them. Additionally, this coverage extends to others who drive your car with your permission. Furthermore, it offers legal defense if you are sued by an injured party while driving uninsured.

Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

Given the uncertainty of whether the party at fault in an accident possesses bodily injury liability coverage or is without insurance, it is advisable to obtain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage may serve as your sole means of recovery if you find yourself involved in an accident with another driver lacking bodily injury coverage or if you are the victim of a hit-and-run incident.

FGB Law Is Here To Help You With Personal Injury or Uninsured Driver Accidents

Having car insurance is of utmost importance during unexpected times of need. The benefits of being covered far outweigh the cost of PIP, PDL, BI, and UM. In the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle crash caused by another driver’s negligence, it is crucial to find an experienced law firm that can navigate the complexities of insurance laws and has the resources to litigate your claim. Equally important is ensuring that the law firm you choose has a proven track record of success in trials. At FGB Law Firm, we possess extensive knowledge and experience in handling personal injury and wrongful death claims. We are here to help you move forward with your life, allowing you to recover peacefully without the burden of dealing with insurance companies or paperwork. Contact us today at 941-979-9010 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.