Florida law requires all motorists to carry a minimum level of insurance. If you’ve been in an accident and don’t have insurance, then you could face stiff penalties and your assets could be put at risk. In this blog, you will learn:
- How you can be held personally liable for monetary damages
- The penalties you may face
- And why an attorney can help protect your rights even when you were at fault
It is estimated that over 12% of drivers nationwide are uninsured. Regardless of the reason why you don’t carry a policy, getting in an accident without insurance is not a situation that you want to be in. Florida’s unique laws only further complicate the matter.
That being said, once it has happened there is no going back, so your next best option is to find an experienced attorney to help protect your rights. If you were not at fault, then you may only face minor penalties. In the difficult case that you were at fault, an attorney can help limit your liability and protect assets such as your savings, home, and privilege to drive.
Understanding Florida’s “No-Fault” Law
Florida’s “no-fault” system requires drivers to carry a mandatory minimum level of insurance to cover them in case of an accident. In most states, drivers can choose to file a claim against another driver’s insurance company or take them to court for damages if they were at fault. In Florida, your own coverage covers these expenses regardless of who was at fault. Only in severe cases can damages be pursued outside of the no-fault system.
The situation becomes more complex when you are not insured.
What if I’ve been in an accident without insurance?
When you’ve been in an accident without insurance, the consequences depend on whether or not you were at fault.
- I was at fault: If you were at fault for the accident, the penalties can be stiff. First, you may be held liable for injuries you caused to the driver. Rather than the insurance paying for the driver’s injuries, you personally could be responsible, jeopardizing your savings and other assets. Your license, tags, and registrations will be suspended for 20 years or until the judgment is satisfied
- I was not at fault: In the case that you were not at fault, you still may receive penalties but things will be less severe. The other driver’s insurance will cover their damages, but yours will have to be covered out of pocket. That is, no one will cover your injuries, lost wages, or pain and suffering. You will most likely receive a penalty and need to pay to have your license reinstated.
Driving without insurance in Florida is not a risk any driver should take. When accidents happen and you are not insured, the penalties can be severe. Your first step should be to involve the police. Next, contact an attorney to ensure your rights and assets are protected.