Ah, Florida – Leading the Country in Drivers with No Insurance
There are a lot of people around the country who really seem to get a kick out of poking fun at the state of Florida. Whether it's hanging chads, crazy criminals or corrupt politicians, it seems there is no end to the amount of ridicule heaped on the Sunshine State. Some of it is frivolous fun; some of it is pretty serious.
In the case of people driving around without any auto insurance, or without adequate insurance coverage, Florida leads the nation. Think about that for a second. According to a recent study by WalletHub, Florida ranks as the worst state in the country when it comes to uninsured or under-insured motorists. Almost a full quarter of Florida's licensed drivers, 23.8%, are driving around without any auto insurance at all.
The reasons for this dubious distinction are many. For example, Florida has some of the most minimalist requirements for what type of insurance a person needs to legally be on the road. This translates to a huge number of drivers electing to purchase the bare minimum required just to be ‘legal', which is usually a financial decision. So many people feel that, ‘hey, I'm covered in the eyes of the law, so no big deal'. But the sad reality is that if you happen to be involved in a car, motorcycle, bicycle or truck accident and the other driver has no insurance or is not adequately covered, you can be in for a world of hurt – beyond any physical injuries you may have suffered as a result of the crash.
When you're hurt in a car accident, your life can be turned upside down. Not only will you need to get your car or bike repaired, (or get another one if it is deemed totaled), you may have suffered extensive and long-lasting personal injury. You'll need to seek treatment immediately, and maybe even surgery, medical treatment or rehabilitation that could last the rest of your life. You'll most likely be facing a mountain of medical bills, and the unimaginable mountain of paperwork hassles that go along with them. If your injuries are serious enough that you are rendered unable to work, who's going to put food on your table?
Right now, drivers in Florida are only required to carry $10,000 worth of personal injury protection, commonly known as PIP coverage, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. As you can likely imagine, those kinds of limits are woefully inadequate to cover the medical care and vehicle damage costs in the case of a serious accident. If you're hurt because of another driver who has no insurance, you have extremely limited options when it comes to financially putting your life back together. You can either attempt to receive financial compensation from your own insurance carrier, or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In either of those two scenarios, you will be in for a long, arduous battle. (For more details about just how difficult it can be to receive fair and adequate financial compensation from your own insurance company, please click here).
Around Southwest Florida, especially during this busy ‘snowbird' season, our roads are packed full to the limits – well, often beyond the limits, frankly. It only stands to reason that with such a dramatic increase in the numbers of cars, trucks and motorcycles on the road, the odds that you may be in a serious crash increase dramatically.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D'Alessandro & Noone deal with tragic situations every day in which someone suffers a serious injury – or even a fatality – and have no idea where to turn for help in taking care of all the related expenses involved. We advise people to invest in more auto insurance coverage than the minimum required by state law, and to always purchase uninsured motorist coverage. This will be essential in obtaining fair financial compensation in the event you are hurt in a crash caused by someone who is driving around without auto insurance coverage.
Next time you're out on the road, take a look at the person in the car next to you. There is a very real and scary chance they have no auto insurance. We may be immune from some other harsh realities of life that afflict other states, like the wicked snowstorm now gripping the northeast, but the fact is that living in sunny Florida will be of no solace if you're hurt by an uninsured driver.
We help people every day who have had this unfortunate circumstance. If you've been hurt and feel you may be entitled to financial compensation, please give us a call. It doesn't cost a penny to sit down and talk about your specific situation. In fact, you won't owe us a thing unless we are successful in obtaining a favorable insurance settlement, or if the case ends up going to trial, a favorable jury verdict.
Please be careful out there, stay focused and free from distractions while you're behind the wheel, and make an appointment with a trusted and qualified personal injury attorney to review your auto insurance coverage. It will end up being one of the smartest decisions you'll ever make.