Every single month you pay your insurance policy. You budget for it; you make sure it is paid. And then the unforeseen happens, and you do not have the money to pay the installment. Car insurance is short-term insurance, which means that you pay for the month in the month. If you don’t pay, you don’t have cover for that month.
In 2011, the Insurance Research Council found that almost 14% of drivers in the United States do not have insurance coverage, which means that the likelihood of being in a car accident without insurance held by both parties is much higher. If you do have car insurance, there are six basic aspects that are covered in the policy. It is important to first understand these before you can understand what happens if you are uninsured.
What does car insurance cover?
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that are caused to the driver and the passengers during the accident. Next up is property damage liability. This covers the repairs to the other vehicles involved, as well as buildings, fences, etc. Collision insurance covers the damage that is caused to your vehicle and property. This pays out regardless if it was your fault or not. Personal injury protection is the cover that pays out for the injuries that you and the passengers in your car sustained. Comprehensive cover is there for when the damage to your vehicle is caused by incidents other than accidents. These incidents include vandalism and natural disasters. The last component is the coverage for the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This covers costs and damages that are caused by a hit-and-run driver, a driver without insurance or a driver who does not possess adequate insurance coverage. Can you imagine the financial consequences if you are uninsured and you get sued for all the above mentioned?
Florida is a no-fault state.
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. It means that if a motor accident happens, each driver’s insurance must pay for the damages regardless of who is at fault, which can be tricky as well as frustrating.
If you are uninsured and you are the one to cause an accident, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for that damage to that driver’s vehicle. If the other driver that is involved is also uninsured or underinsured, it is a good positive thing for you, as they are then responsible for their repairs and the cost attached.
Auto insurance policies cover the basics such as damage and medical bills. If the accident has caused permanent physical damage, injury or disability, then they can pursue a civil lawsuit against you. It is best to seek legal advice immediately.
If you are uninsured and you are in an accident with another vehicle whose driver is also uninsured, then you have a bit of problem. You will then be liable to pay for the damages to your car. Medical expenses, wages lost, and other property damage will also be out of your pocket. Even if you have another form of insurance, it will not be covered because you did not have motor vehicle insurance.
There will also be a penalty that you will face because you drove without insurance. This penalty is usually a fine or a suspension of your driver’s license. When you want to reinstate your driver’s license, it will cost you about $150. After that, it is $500 for every subsequent violation. If you do not have the funds to pay for the reinstatement and is caught driving without a license, you will face more penalties and even jail time.
When you have sustained serious injuries or are left permanently disabled, you can file a civil lawsuit against the other driver. The driver who is at fault. With this lawsuit, you will be able to recover, among other expenses, pain and suffering and medical expenses. To determine whether you have a case concerning a car accident without insurance, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer.
What is comparative fault law in Florida?
In the state of Florida, they have a comparative fault law. This means that both parties can be at fault and both can be held financially responsible for damages done, especially in a car accident without insurance coverage. When you are in an auto accident with another driver that decided to disregard a red light, you would probably think that the other driver is 100% at fault. However, if it is found that the other driver’s vehicle was not fully functioning, that driver can also be held at fault for damages. The driver that disregarded the stop light might argue that if the other driver’s vehicle was functioning at 100%, the impact of the accident might have been smaller. A judge might then come to the conclusion both parties were responsible for a portion of the damages.
It is incredibly dangerous to drive without insurance, even if you live in Florida where you will be liable for your damages. The problem does not just exist with the actual damages of the vehicles; the problem lies with the civil suits that could potentially be brought against you. As mentioned, the driver, as well as all the passengers involved, can hold you personally responsible for permanent injuries or disability. This comes at great cost, and you can even lose your home. Also, a legal defense in these type of lawsuits can be costly.
To Insure or Not to Insure?
Lastly, if you do not have insurance, you are on your own. The same can be said if you are in a car accident without insurance. The medical bills alone will bankrupt you if you are seriously injured. Lawsuits take a long time to come to a conclusion and reach a verdict. You cannot bargain on getting any form of compensation from a civil suit. Your life can be ruined by not having insurance on your vehicle in an accident. There are multiple policies that offer affordable car insurance on the market. If you do the research, you will be able to find insurance that falls into your budget. The bottom line is that you do not want to be the unfortunate person that is in a car accident without insurance.