Florida Auto Accidents & The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

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This Blog by Pasco County Accident Attorney Scott McPherson helps explain the need for Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida.

I have met with thousands of automobile accident victims over the last 18 years, and one of the most common and unfortunate scenarios is when someone is injured – through no fault of their own – but there is insufficient coverage to cover the person’s losses. Put bluntly: It happens all the time!

The issue of inadequate insurance coverage following an accident is especially a problem in the State of Florida. This is because of the absence of a legal requirement that the vast majority of Florida’s drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage. What is “Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?” It is that coverage that, when carried by an at-fault motorist (or owner of a an at-fault car), will be made available to compensate the non-negligent injured victim of a car wreck. Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature has seen fit to make certain that a great number of motorists injured in Florida will be left without available insurance coverage to cover their personal injury claims (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.).

This all leads to the subject of this blog, which is that carrying Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage is so vitally important in Florida. However, to better illustrate this point, it is first beneficial to compare Florida’s law to that of another state. I’ll compare Florida to Minnesota’s law, although it could really be any number of other states.

In Minnesota, each motorist is required to carry a minimum of $30,000.00 per person (and $60,000.00 for 2 or more persons) in bodily injury liability coverage in the event that his or her’s negligence hurts another motorist(s). In Florida: The requirement is $0.00 in coverage!

This all leads to the point: Given that Florida lawmakers are evidently fine with motorists carrying no coverage to protect other motorists they negligently injure, it’s is VITALLY IMPORTANT that BEFORE an accident, each driver in this state purchase uninsured motorist coverage. This simply cannot be recommended strongly enough in the State of Florida!!

What is Uninsured (or Underinsured) Motorist Coverage? It is that coverage on a motorists own automobile insurance policy that can be used to cover the losses sustained by another motorist’s negligence.  Essentially, if you are injured by the negligence of one of many Florida motorists who do not have liability coverage, then your uninsured motorist will “stand in the shoes” of the at-fault motorist, just as though he did have coverage.  Why is it so important in Florida to have uninsured motorist coverage? Because as just discussed, Florida does not require most negligent motorists to even have coverage that will compensate the innocent injured motorist.

Please protect yourself and your loved one by purchasing as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford. I recommend at the very least $100,000.00 for anyone, and many times far more depending on a person’s circumstances. If you do not do this, you may unfortunately wind-up one of countless Floridians each year who learns that his or her injury automobile accident claim will not be adequately covered.