Personal injury accidents and uninsured drivers

According to a national study by the Insurance Research Council, roughly one out of every four Florida drivers is uninsured. For the victims of serious personal injury in car and truck accidents, this can make a bad situation much worse. The Florida total of uninsured drivers is much higher than the national average of 13.8 percent. The state is among the top five in percentage of drivers who do not have insurance coverage for accidents that lead to bodily injury.

A side effect of the troubled economy is an increase in the number of people who stop paying their insurance premiums. In addition, Florida is one of the few states where drivers have the option of maintaining insurance coverage for damage to vehicles and structures, without also buying the personal injury protection (PIP) necessary to compensate accident victims. The consequence of this is higher insurance premiums for other drivers and the possibility that if you are hurt on Florida roadways, you may have more difficulty in obtaining proper compensation for your injuries. Legislators have debated changes to the PIP requirements in Florida and are expected to revisit the issue again soon.

For the injured, the best hope for compensation is generally their uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. While it is not ideal to have your own insurance company pay for an injury caused by another, it is often the only recourse for the victims of negligent driving.

Source: Florida Today, “Florida ranks high in uninsured drivers,” by Dave Berman, September 17, 2011.