Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law
In Florida, car accidents happen more frequently than almost any other place in the United States. Unfortunately, any time that you drive or ride in a car you are at risk for an accident. It is important that you know the ways to protect yourself in the event you are involved in an accident and maintain proper coverage.
Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law requires people who own and operate motor vehicles to have two types of insurance. These types of insurance ensure coverage for all kinds of accidents. The two forms of insurance required are personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. Recently, Florida passed a law also requiring owners to obtain bodily injury liability insurance or file an affidavit establishing the person has up to $10,000.00 of assets in the event they cause a loss.
Florida no-fault law requires that anyone who has a car for over 90 days and resides in Florida retain personal injury protection that is worth $10,000. Regardless who is at fault, PIP offers immediate coverage if you are involved in an accident. PIP insurance covers any significant injury damages that total more than $2,500. This form of coverage will cover medical bills, disability, funeral expenses, survivor’s loss or any income that is lost due to an injury. The benefit of this type of insurance is that you do not need to deal with another driver’s insurance before collecting for your losses.
The other type of required insurance is property damage liability. Property damage liability insurance typically covers $10,000 worth of damage. Like its name suggests, property damage liability covers any property that is damaged during an accident.
Some motorists are required to file an SR-22 insurance form. The SR-22 insurance form is a certificate of financial responsibility that ensures that you are meeting your state’s bodily injury car insurance requirements. If you have been convicted of a DUI, are found driving uninsured, or have a large number of points on your license, or have been involved in a serious accident involving injury, you will most likely need to file this form.
Where an individual is at fault and someone sustains an injury as a result, the financial responsibility law is used. Accurate policy information should be presented to law enforcement officers investigating the crash. It is important to make sure that the information being documented is accurate and correct. Proper documentation is key to deterring the possibility of license suspensions, if you have proper coverage. If you do not have proper coverage, your license, tags or both will be suspended for up to 3 years. You will also have to pay a reinstatement fee and provide proof of insurance for 3 years from the initial suspension.
Wittmer & Linehan PLLC knows that insurance is a complex area of the law which can have serious consequences to Florida drivers if important rules are not followed. Both at-fault and not at-fault drivers can be negatively impacted by not having proper documentation or misinterpreting policies. If you or a loved one are involved in an accident, the experienced attorneys at Wittmer & Linehan can help you understand the rules and requirements of Florida insurance. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping Florida drivers with insurance issues and personal injury cases.