How Florida’s Auto Insurance Laws Ruined One Woman’s Life
Each state is allowed to set the law concerning the insurance requirements for each of their drivers. But some state’s laws are more expansive than others. Florida is one of only two states in the country that does not require drivers to carry liability coverage in the event of personal injury. Instead, Florida has a no fault system where drivers can make claims on their own insurance policy.
So what happens when a driver is so severely injured that their medical expenses are far in excess of both their health insurance coverage and their personal injury protection policy? In that case, they can file a lawsuit against the other driver in order to recoup the remainder of their damages. However, if the other driver doesn’t carry liability coverage, then they are forced to sue them directly. Unless that individual has an estate worth suing, most personal injury lawyers wouldn’t take the case because it wouldn’t be worth it for them to try to draw blood from a stone.
One woman discovered this the hard way after she was struck by a reckless driver in a pickup truck. She had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital where she underwent two knee replacement surgeries and a hip replacement. The ongoing cost of medical care will likely drive her so deep into debt that her only recourse will be to file for bankruptcy.
Understanding Florida’s Auto Insurance Laws
Florida has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. While every driver is required to carry a $10,000 policy in personal injury protection, only 50% of Florida drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage. This is the policy that would pay out in the event that someone is seriously injured.
Typically, a Florida driver is only allowed to sue another driver if they sustained a “serious injury”. Logistically, they only would attempt to sue another driver if their expenses were greater than the amount of insurance they carry. If the other driver doesn’t carry bodily injury liability coverage, then they are left filing a lawsuit directly against the other driver’s assets. If the other driver has no assets, they can discharge the amount in bankruptcy even if the injured driver wins their lawsuit against them. This creates a situation where some drivers never get the compensation they need to satisfy the medical debt they incurred through no fault of their own.
While there has been much discussion about changing Florida’s insurance laws, Florida has the same no fault system that it’s had for the last several decades. Some have suggested moving to a tort system like other states where drivers file claims on another driver’s insurance policy to recoup damages. Yet those with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses are often left in the same position as the woman mentioned above with policy minimums barely scratching the surface.
Talk to a Miami Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can file a claim on your behalf and attempt to recoup medical expenses, lost time from work, and pain and suffering damages. Call us today for a free consultation.