Tourists, visitors to Florida, and city pedestrians: Please realize there is a high incidence of pedestrians knockdown accidents and bicyclists being struck by cars in Florida. As a City, Fort Lauderdale is ranked last in terms of safety. These are reasons to look all ways and be super careful when crossing a street even if you have the right of way. You can be dead right in Florida and often the person who hit you has no insurance to pay for your injuries. Florida has more uninsured drivers than any other state.
Why is this? Well Florida has no upper age limit on drivers and it has a lot of elderly people who drive to get around. Florida also has many tourists who drive and are unfamiliar with Florida traffic and laws. Consider that all rental cars are only required to provide $10,000 in Bodily Injury Liability Insurance. Worse yet Florida does not require drivers to carry ANY Bodily Injury Liability Insurance. That is correct only Property Damage Liability and PIP are required by Statute. Unless the driver caused prior injuries in which case he is required to have Bodily Injury liability insurance which the driver can’t afford so they drive with no insurance.
People with multiple accidents, drug or alcohol addiction or serious illnesses may not be able to buy affordable auto insurance and thus will drive with no insurance. Only uninsured motorist coverage will protect you and your family member for these injuries. Uninsured motorist coverage is construed broadly and covers your entire family household.
PIP which is also called Florida’s No-Fault law provides $10,000 in payment of medical bills and lost wages for injuries caused by a car accident where the person is a pedestrian or a bicyclist. The Florida Law recently required that the injured person obtain medical treatment within 14 days of the accident for PIP to pay. When the doctor opines there is a emergency medical condition, the full $10,000 in PIP can be paid. Most people don’t realize their PIP or medical payments coverage will pay for their injuries in Florida when they live out of state, out of country or are just visiting.