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How Can Motorists In Florida Protect Themselves From Uninsured Drivers?

Auto accidents are all too common on the roads in Florida, and throughout the U.S. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 344,000 motor vehicle collisions in 2014 alone. Often, these collisions cause serious injuries or death, in addition to vehicle damage. After car crashes, those involved frequently rely on insurance to cover their recovery costs, including their medical expenses. Many motorists, however, have minimal coverage, or drive without insurance.

Accident injury victims who are involved in uninsured auto collisions may be left without the help and compensation they need. Unfortunately, drivers cannot know for certain if those they are sharing the road with are insured. However, there are steps they can take to ensure they are protected should an uninsured motorist accident occur.

Drive Defensively

One of the easiest things that drivers can do to protect themselves from uninsured motorists is avoid getting into accidents. While not all crashes are preventable, practicing defensive, cautious driving may help. This includes staying away from distractions, which may divert drivers' attention from their primary task of driving, while behind the wheel. Furthermore, drivers should watch out for the vehicles they are sharing the roads with. If other motorists are driving erratically or unsafely, it is generally best for drivers to move into another lane, or allow them to pass.

Know The State's Insurance Laws

Most states, Florida included, have minimum car insurance coverage requirements, which drivers should be aware of. The Florida Bar points out that state law requires drivers of vehicles with four, or more, wheels, to have personal injury protection coverage of at least $10,000. Furthermore, they must have a minimum property damage liability coverage of $10,000. While it is recommended, Florida drivers do not have to have bodily injury liability insurance.

Sometimes, people in Florida may drive without auto insurance, or without adequate coverage. Should these drivers cause a collision, they could be held liable for the damages resulting from the injuries others suffered in the crash.

Add Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Some drivers may consider enhancing their auto insurance policies with uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is offered by most insurance companies to help drivers protect themselves from uninsured and underinsured motorists. With this type of added protection, the damages that result from motor vehicle collisions may still be covered, even when uninsured drivers are at fault.

Keep Thorough Documentation

Following auto wrecks, it is important for people to document everything. This is especially true in cases that involve negligent drivers without insurance coverage, in case legal action is necessary. People may find it helpful to obtain the contact information for the other motorists who were involved in the collision, as well as for anyone who witnessed the accident. Furthermore, it may be useful for drivers to take pictures of the scene and the vehicles involved after a crash. People should also get a copy of the auto accident report from law enforcement.

Seek Legal Counsel

It can be difficult for motor vehicle accident victims in Florida to obtain damages, particularly when the at-fault driver is uninsured. As such, those who have experienced this type of situation may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may help them understand their rights, and help them decide how best to proceed given their circumstances.