There is nothing that will put a damper on your commute like being involved in a car accident. There are so many things to consider: personal injuries, damage to your car (or the car of the other driver), rising insurance rates, lost wages if you miss time from work to heal, medical bills… The list is long. Yet, even with all these concerns, there’s one that may get your pulse racing even more: What happens if you don’t have car insurance?
What Happens When There’s a Car Accident in Florida?
We’ll cut right to the chase: Florida law is clear in that every owner or driver of a motor vehicle is required to (a) register the car and (b) have car insurance for a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 for Property Damage Liability. If you know that there will be a period of time when your car won’t be insured, you are required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Your driver’s license and car registration will then be suspended. In order to reinstate the registration, you’ll have to provide proof of insurance.
That being said, there are still plenty of people who drive on our roads without car insurance coverage. Here’s how that will get you into a pickle in the event of a car accident, even if you were not at fault:
Florida Statutes impose additional requirements when a driver is involved in a car accident. These include:
- Stop your car immediately and if possible, keep it from blocking traffic.
- Render assistance to anyone who’s injured.
- If there is damage to any of the cars involved or someone else’s property, or if someone is injured or the accident results in someone’s death, the parties involved are required to provide their name, address, vehicle registration number, car insurance information, and driver’s license to other parties in the accident as well as to law enforcement officers at the scene.
Now, not all car accidents end up with police on the scene. Sometimes, the damage is minor, the parties exchange information, and attempt to deal with the situation among themselves and the insurance companies. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Florida Statutes require a written police report of the accident under certain circumstances including:
- The accident involved a commercial motor vehicle.
- One of the parties was injured or complains of pain, or someone died.
- One of the cars involved in the accident is now inoperable.
Since many accidents meet at least one of the requirements above, chances are high that you’ll have to provide insurance information to other parties and to a police officer. This is the case regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Car Accidents Without Insurance in Florida
It is illegal to drive without car insurance in Florida. Therefore, even if you were not at fault for the accident, if you were driving without car insurance, your driver’s license and vehicle registration would be suspended for up to three years, and you would face fees of up to $500, depending how many times you’ve been caught driving without car insurance.
If you’re caught driving an unregistered car, it could be considered a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances, and you could face both fines and jail time.
Call Clark Law If You Were Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
When you get into a car accident, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. The second most important thing is to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to discuss the details of your crash and to determine the best course of action.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.