Florida drivers are surprised to learn that their license privileges can be suspended following a crash determined to be their fault which results in death or bodily injury. They mistakenly believe that being in compliance with the state’s minimum insurance requirements protects them against this and other negative consequences of a crash. (To appreciate some of the misunderstanding, read this blog: “Full Coverage” Vehicle Insurance Does Not Mean What Most Floridians Think.)
There are only two types of vehicle insurance coverage required to lawfully register and operate a motor vehicle in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage – Liability. Neither coverage compensates for death or bodily injury. The only type of third party coverage (as opposed to first party coverage, the subject of another conversation) that does is called Bodily Injury or BI. It is described at Florida Statute Section 324.021 (7). Without BI coverage, the vehicle owner, whether or not the at-fault operator of the vehicle (read, Florida Motor Vehicle Owners Accountable for Damages Without Driving Negligently), can have his drivers license suspended and all vehicle registrations suspended. See the authority for these principles at Florida Statutes 316.066(3)(a)1, 324.051(2)(a), and Section 324.021 (7).
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for suspending drivers licenses and vehicle registrations. Its current policy is that neither will be done until a final judgment is entered against the vehicle owner. A lawsuit is required to obtain a final judgment.
A license suspended following a final judgment can be reinstated. Read this DMV link to learn how.
Every type of coverage available under a Florida motor vehicle insurance policy comes with a price, known as a premium. Bodily Injury (BI) coverage is no exception. Besides protecting against license and vehicle suspensions, BI compensates the victims of motor vehicle crashes for their losses to the extent of the policy’s monetary limits. Drivers must decide if the additional premium is worth the investment.
Contact us toll free at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.
Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.
While prompt resolution of your legal matter is our goal, our approach is fundamentally different. Our clients are “people” and not “cases” or “files.” We take the time to build a relationship with our clients, realizing that only through meaningful interaction can we best serve their needs. In this manner, we have been able to best help those requiring legal representation.