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Nicoletti Walker Law Group May 12, 2015

Last month, a study revealed that Florida is the worst state to get into a car crash due to the number of uninsured drivers and minimal state insurance requirements. Over 23 percent of Florida drivers do not have car insurance and hit and run crashes were also up 23 percent in the state in 2014. Florida has close to 250,000 vehicle crashes every year and, in 2014, 80,000 were hit and run crashes, where nearly half of the victims were pedestrians. These auto accident statistics are dismal for the sunshine state.

Florida Law and Hit and Run

In Florida, the minimum liability coverage is extremely low compared to other states: $10,000 per person involved in an accident, $20,000 total for all injured parties, and $10,000 total property damage coverage.

Florida does require personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for all drivers (which also covers passengers), but although PIP insurance will cover up to 80 percent of your injuries and 60 percent of your lost wages, this is sometimes not enough to compensate a victim of a car accident.

Florida also abides by the comparative negligence rule if both drivers are found partially at fault for the accident. This means your total compensation can be reduced by the percentage you are found at fault (for example, if your injuries are worth $50,000 but you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, your total compensation would be reduced to $40,000).

Florida is known as a no-fault car insurance state, which means that if you have been injured in a car accident, your own insurance company will initially address compensation for injuries and losses regardless of who was at fault in the accident. In order to hold another driver liable for your injuries, you would need to suffer from permanent injury or significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement and file a liability claim with the other driver’s insurer or a personal injury lawsuit against them.

Fortunately, Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed a law that makes leaving the scene of a crime a second-degree felony requiring a mandatory minimum four-year sentence for a driver convicted of fleeing the scene of a fatal crash, which will hopefully reduce the number of hit and run accidents in the state.

Protect Yourself

Adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy can offer you additional protection against accidents with uninsured drivers, but you can still face serious injuries and damages if you’ve been in a serious car accident. A Clearwater car accident attorney can help make sure that you receive what you need to recover and that your rights are protected.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, reach out to Mike Walker Law today. Accident attorney Mike Walker has extensive experience helping victims recover compensation for their injuries. Contact the office today for a free consultation.