Getting in a car accident is no fun at all; in fact, it ranks right up there with going to the dentist for a root canal, and can be much worse since it is totally unexpected and generally happens at the worst possible time. Your car might be a mess, totally wrecked and heading for the junkyard, and you may be bruised and banged up or far worse. The other guy may not have fared any better, but luckily this accident was not at all your fault. (It wasn’t, was it?) No matter the circumstances surrounding the crash, you will want to consult with a Miami car accident lawyer to be sure that all of your bases are covered and that the aftermath of the accident is not worse than the accident itself. Reviewing the Miami car insurance laws with your attorney is also a wise move to ensure compliance, both by you and the other driver, to avoid trouble with law enforcement. Let’s take a look at those laws.
Miami Car Insurance Laws
Florida requires residents of the state to have car insurance. All Florida residents have to purchase at least the minimum coverages for (PIP) and (PDL) insurance for their car. Florida minimum limits are low compared to most other states, at $10,000 for each of PIP and PDL.
PIP Insurance Laws
Because Florida is a no-fault state, your car insurance will pay for the medical costs incurred regardless of fault in the accident. PIP insurance covers medical expenses and income that is lost because of the accident, and it will also cover other members of the household and other passengers that do not own a car or have PIP insurance of their own. It also covers your child if he or she is injured while on a school bus, and you as a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a car. Everyone that has PIP coverage will be covered by their own insurance.
PDL Insurance Laws
PDL car insurance covers you for damage that you cause to someone else’s car or other property, like a house or a fence. Liability insurance does not cover the damage to your vehicle that is caused by you, However, if someone hits you, their liability insurance should cover those damages.
Insurance Law Violations
Florida requires auto insurance companies to notify them electronically if your car insurance is cancelled, and they will send out a notice to you asking for proof of coverage. If you do not respond to the notice and provide adequate proof that your car is insured, your license can be suspended. If your license is suspended, you will pay a reinstatement fee of at least $150; the fine goes up if it happens more than once, up to $500 for the third occurrence. If you do provide the needed proof of insurance, there is no penalty assessed. You can submit proof of insurance a number of ways: by phone at (850) 617-2000, online at the DHSMV site or in person at your local Tax Collector’s office.
What some people with cars registered in Florida fail to realize is that even cars which are not being driven must remain insured as long as they are registered. This pertains even if the car is in storage and you are out of state. One way to avoid paying for this insurance when a car is in storage is to surrender your registration and license plate to Tax Collector’s office, and then re-registering when it will be driven again.
Enhanced Insurance Coverage
Most people opt for coverage in excess of the minimum amounts to be sure that they are well-covered in the event of an accident. Comprehensive coverage will pay for vandalism and theft; you can often add towing and labor coverage to this one, as well as rental car coverage. Collision coverage pays for physical damage to the vehicle caused in an accident. Uninsured/under insured motorist coverage aims to cover drivers involved in an accident with another driver who does not have insurance on their car.
Car Insurance Premiums
To keep your car insurance premiums low, you should keep your driving record squeaky clean (no speeding or stop sign tickets, no accidents, and no DUIs) and try not to drive a vehicle on the high-theft list. In Florida, the most stolen cars are full size pickup trucks, Honda Accord and Civic, Toyota Corolla and Camry and the Nissan Altima and Maxima, in addition to the Dodge Caravan.
Miami Car Accident Lawyers
With Florida’s strict insurance laws, you can see that staying out of trouble takes some work, and that an accident can throw a monkey wrench into it all. Getting into an accident can be complex, and it is best to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side when you work through the process. Not only can a knowledgeable lawyer be sure that you walk away with the best outcome in court, but he or she can also minimize any damage to your driving record which can cause a significant increase in your auto insurance premiums and put undue financial pressure on you.
In Florida, be sure to always follow the auto registration and auto insurance laws; there is no getting around them, and you will get your license suspended if you don’t adhere to the law. After an accident, talk to a lawyer that specializes in car accidents; follow their advice and straighten things out as reasonably as possible so you can back on the road fast.