Fort Lauderdale Rear End Car Accident Lawyers and Law Firm

The injury attorneys at Madalon Law have helped rear end car accident victims in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach and other Florida counties.

A rear end collision is a car accident where a vehicle hits another vehicle from behind. This is one of the most common types of vehicle accidents and can be seen daily on I-95, the Florida Turnpike, 595 or any other highway in Florida. These accidents are so common; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 29% of all car accident crashes involve a rear end collision.

Rear end car accidents are more serious than you might think.

The severity of these car accidents can vary greatly – depending on the speed the vehicle from behind is traveling when it hits the other vehicle. Rear end accidents can cause damage as little as a scratch or ding, or damage as severe as destroying the back of a car. With rear end accidents, the amount of force is transferred to the people in the car. Because of this, a person can suffer whiplash, knee pain, neck pain, back pain and even death from these types of accidents.

Some of the most common injuries from rear end accidents include:

  • Whiplash – this can also be called a neck strain or neck sprain. Whiplash can be caused by an abrupt forward or backward jerking of the neck or head. Because symptoms of whiplash can be delayed for 24 hours, you may not realize how “banged up” you are till the following day.
  • Herniation – this happens when the outer fiber surrounding your disk becomes torn. Symptoms of severe herniation can include numbness, tingling, back pain and even paralysis in the worse cases. Because this involves the spine, you can even feel pain in other parts of your body like legs and feet.
  • Concussion – This is very common with rear end car accidents. A concussion is when a person’s brain is injured by striking his or her skull. We hear about this a lot in the NFL with helmet to helmet hits, but the same can happen to a person in a rear end car accident if the drivers head strikes a windshield or dashboard. This is an injury that can easily go undetected, which is why a doctor will ask family members to keep an eye on the victim for the 24 hours following the accident.

Here are some things to keep in mind with injuries from rear end accidents:

  • The adrenaline factor: If you’ve just been in an accident, chances are your adrenaline is pumping. This can mask incredible levels of pain. You hear it all the time; people feeling fine, but then they wake up the next day and are in pain from the accident. The damage (or lack of) to the car is not the same as the damage to you. Even a small fender bender can leave you injured if you didn’t see it coming and jolted in your car seat. Get yourself checked out
  • Call the police, file a report and have them issue a citation: The same person begging you not to call the police and playing down the entire accident like it’s not a big deal will be the same person calling their insurance company and telling them a different story. A police report is great documentation. A citation is one of the major factors in an insurance company’s decision on amount of compensation to pay the other driver.
  • Pictures and contact info: Remember to also take pictures of the entire scene and damage done to the vehicle, as well as get the contact information of any and all witnesses of the accident.

Once you’ve done all of this, then you need to contact a law firm that is familiar with these types of cases and knows how to gather and use all of the information to make sure you receive the financial compensation you and your family deserve. Contact the injury attorneys at Madalon Law today for your free consultation. Ask to speak to one of our auto accident lawyers and they will gladly answer any questions you have about the rear end collision you were involved in.

Rear End Presumption does not Bar Rear End Driver’s Negligence Claim

Cleaveland v. Florida Power & Light, Inc., 895 So. 2d 1143 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005)

This lawsuit arose out a multi-vehicle accident involving 5 vehicles in South Florida.

Hugh Cleaveland was seriously injured in a 5 vehicle accident that involved 3 Florida Power & Light Trucks. The accident occurred when the first 3 vehicles came to a short stop. The vehicle, an FPL dump truck, collided with the third truck. Cleaveland, who was following on his motorcycle, was the fifth. Before the multiple collisions occurred, traffic traveled at about 35 miles per hour. Cleaveland brought suit alleging negligence, vicarious liability, negligent training, negligent maintenance, inspection, and repair.

At trial, the facts of the accident were highly disputed – including different interpretations from expert witnesses for both parties. These disputes included whether the FPL drivers failed to maintain control over their trucks, the proper following distances, the speed the vehicles were traveling at, the time between the collisions, and the nature in which the lead vehicles stopped. Despite these highly disputed facts the trial court granted judgment in favor of FPL.

The central issue was whether the sudden abrupt deceleration and unexpected stop, at a time and place where Cleaveland could not have reasonably expected the truck he was following to suddenly skid and crash into another truck, created an exceptional situation that was outside the daily experience of the average driver.

On review of the trial court’s decision, the Fifth Circuit found that the rear end collision rule that recognized a presumption of the rear driver as the sole proximate cause of injuries and damage that results from an accident, when the collision is predicated upon a sudden stop alone. To rebut the rear end presumption, the lead driver’s stop must have been sudden and unexpected at the time and place where the stop could not have been reasonably expected. The Fifth Circuit Court determined that there was no evidence of Cleaveland’s negligence and that there was substantial proof that he was following at a safe distance. The evidence in this case demonstrated that the stop was both sudden and unexpected, demonstrating negligence of the lead driver. Because the rear end collision rule did not apply to the circumstances in the case, Cleaveland was not barred from recovering for his serious injuries.

The takeaway from this case is that the circumstances of a rear end collision will not always preclude the rear end driver from bringing negligence suits against lead drivers for their negligent operation of their vehicle. A sudden and unexpected stop in an area that the common driver would not normally expect someone to slam on their brakes, such as a highway, could generate a situation where the rear driver would not only be free from liability but could also recover for damages sustained by the accident.

If you have been involved in a rear-end accident and have questions or concerns about negligence, you should seek answers. The Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys of Madalon Law will gladly go over your case with you at no cost. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Rear-End Auto Accidents in Florida

Rear-End Auto Accidents in Florida – Elements of Negligence

Rear-end auto accidents can produce serious injuries. A claim for personal injury is governed by Tort Law under negligence. It is important to understand that there are four specific elements needed to prove a claim of negligence. Without proving the existence of all of these elements, there can be no recovery in your claim for compensation.

Theory of Comparative Negligence
In Florida, a theory of comparative negligence is used in determining the amount of fault, or liability, that a person is responsible for in a rear-end auto accident. Under comparative negligence, there can multiple people held responsible for causing the collision. In fact, there are many situations when more than just one person created a hazardous condition which contributed to the accident. What is commonly done in these shared liability situations is that there is a percentage of fault assigned to each party based on their particular actions. This has proven to be a much more fair way to approach negligence claims, as a defendant can provide evidence to reduce the amount of a potential award against them.

Duty of Care
For a person to successfully argue that someone was negligent in causing them an injury in a rear-end auto accident, the accused must have owed that person a duty of care. What this means is there was an obligation on the part of the accused to act as a reasonable driver would in attempting to avoid unreasonable risks that are foreseeable. A person is providing a duty of care by following a specific standard of care given to them. Florida drivers have a standard of care that can be objectively viewed as how reasonably prudent driver would act under similar circumstances.

Breach of Duty
The second element that must be proven in a negligence claim in a rear-end auto accident is that the established legal duty of an at-fault party was breached. A person breaches their duty of care when the fall below the standard of care that is specified. An example of a breach of duty in a rear-end auto accident is when a person speeds towards stopped traffic and fails to stop in time. A reasonably prudent driver under similar circumstances would recognize the danger that speeding could cause.

The third element needed to prove a negligence claim in a rear-end auto accident is that the accident itself was the cause of the alleged injury. Florida requires that the injury was the proximate cause of the collision. This simply means that based on the facts, the causation of the injury related to the accident must not be remote. The link between the collision and the injury cannot be seen as something unforeseeable, or caused by something else independently. Proximate causation will be proven where a person should have reasonably been able to know that their actions would enhance the possibility of injuries.

Lastly, there must be actual damages that result from the rear-end auto accident in order to bring a claim of negligence. There is a requirement that Florida Courts have forcing a plaintiff to demonstrate a monetary loss. There are additional damages that can be sought in addition to an actual monetary loss, including lost wages, property damage, loss of future earning, and pain and suffering. As indicated above, Florida follows a comparative negligence theory, which means that a defendant can present evidence of a plaintiff’s negligent contribution in the accident and have a reduced award against based on the plaintiff’s actions.

Rear-End Presumption
In 2012, Florida’s Supreme Court decided on extremely critical issue. The court took a look at a problem dealing with rear-end collisions here in the state. Their ruling made a significant change to laws that govern automobile accidents involving rear-endings. Historically, such accidents were presumed the fault of the driver to the rear of the collision. The presumption has existed for as long as it has because the driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended, for the most part, could not see what the cause of the accident was. The seemingly obvious fix to determining fault was to place it with the rear vehicle as they were in the best position to avoid causing the collision. In essence, what the Florida Supreme Court has done in their decision, is allowed an opportunity for rear-end drivers involved in rear-end auto accidents to challenge the long-standing presumption.

Rear-End Accidents – Breach of Duty of Care

Personal Injury claims that arise from rear-end auto accidents in Florida fall under a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a claimant, the person bringing the lawsuit, must prove all the elements needed to show that a person was negligent. One of the elements that must be shown in order to prove that a person was negligent is that the accused, Breached a Duty of Care, which was owed to the claimant. This ultimately boils down to a defendant not being careful. This is often referred to as a violation of an owed duty.

Once it is determined that a driver in a rear-end accident had an owed duty to an injured party, it must then be demonstrated that there was a failure by that person to meet that standard of care. The way that you can figure out if a person used sufficient care, is to compare that driver’s actions against the actions which are expected of another ‘reasonable prudent driver’. What a court will look to is, did the person drive their vehicle in a manner consistent with how we objectively view a driver should, given identical or closely resembling circumstances.

If it can be said that the actions of the driver fall below what is expected of a ‘reasonable driver’, then that driver has Breached the Duty of Care owed to all parties injured in a rear-end auto accident. Many things can contribute to a driver breaching a duty of care. Some of those things include:

  • Failing to stop at a stop sign / red light
  • Not looking out for pedestrians / bicyclists
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Not yielding the right-of-way


When a person drives an automobile in a way that is considered negligent, it is clear as to why it is called a breach of duty of care. The potential for harm is something that can be foreseen by the actions of the negligent driver. What many people do not fully understand is that a breach of duty can be something very small, and something that we may all do frequently without realizing that it is in fact a breach.

From early on in our driving lives, we have been trained to know traffic laws and driving procedures. We have been told over and over how important it is to follow these laws and procedures in order to be safe on the roads. The reality is that the most basic of these things are something that everyone fails to do at some point. Something as simple as using a turn indicator helps to avoid breaching a duty.

If you are driving along the road, and the car in front of you suddenly makes a hard right hand turn, but in doing so, brakes quickly and fails to use a signal, you could be in serious danger of impacting the rear of the vehicle. This scenario plays out all too often. It would be apparent to a reasonable prudent driver that that behavior on the road clearly is not reasonable, and breaches the duty of care which is owed to other drivers.

Breaching a Duty of Care is serious business, especially in rear-end auto accidents. If you have questions concerning a rear-end auto accident, or want to know if someone breached their duty of care to you, contact the Fort Lauderdale office of Madalon Law for a free consultation.

Rear-End Accidents – Causation

Personal Injury claims that arise from rear-end auto accidents in Florida fall under a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a claimant, the person bringing the lawsuit, must prove all the elements needed to show that a person was negligent. One of the elements that must be shown in order to prove that a person was negligent is that the accused person’s actions were the Causation of the claimant’s injuries.


If you have ever suffered an injury where you needed to file a personal injury claim, you may have found yourself hearing the legal term “causation”. This element of negligence differs from the elements used to demonstrate that a person is responsible, or liable, for the accident and your injuries. In Florida rear-end collisions, it is the person who is bringing the claim responsibility to show that the injury that was received, directly resulted from the accident itself.

This can sometimes be more difficult to prove than proving that a person is responsible for creating the accident. While there may be sufficient evidence showing a person had a duty of care owed, and they breached that duty, there must be additional evidence to indicate that the sustained injury came as a result of being impacted.

It is often a simple task to show that a driver was driving in a negligent manner by witness accounts of the driver failing to yield, not stopping at a stop sign, or driving at a high rate of speed. In rear-end auto accidents, injuries that occur are frequently the same injuries that are received from other similar collisions. What an attorney will argue in opposition of there being actual causation is that the collision that took place could not have created the injury claimed by the plaintiff.

How attorneys, who fight for plaintiffs, generally approach this issue is by providing expert testimony as to the type of accident, compiled with the force of the impact, is a way that a person could be injured in the way that they were. A tool used to show the amount of force that a rear-end auto accident can produce is the amount of property damage caused to the injured person’s vehicle. This can be favorable to a plaintiff’s case if the damage to their vehicle is substantial.


If a person is involved in a rear-end collision, it is often the case that they will suffer sometime of whiplash injury to the spine. In order for a plaintiff to demonstrate that their alleged whiplash injury came from the rear-end impact, medical documentation may be provided to show existing spinal injury. On the flip side of the coin, having no previous medical treatment of the claimed area of injury can serve to rebut any allegations by a defense attorney that the injury was suffered previously. Medical documentation is often the evidence used to prove causation of an injury due to a rear-end auto accident.

Causation of an injury can be extremely difficult to prove. This can be especially true in cases of a rear-end auto accident. Legal counsel is always the best way to make sure all elements of negligence are proven to satisfaction. Contact our Fort Lauderdale office today to speak to an attorney at no charge if you still have questions and/or concerns.

Rear-End Accidents – Comparative Negligence

Up until 1973, Florida handled recovery in tort claim actions using a system of contributory negligence. In that same year, the Florida Supreme Court heard and decided the case, ‘Hoffman’, which had an effect of replacing the existing system with a more “pure form”, referred to as comparative negligence. The court felt it was necessary to change how Florida handled tort claims, especially when it came to auto accidents, because the previously used system barred any recovery by a plaintiff if they were in any way responsible for their injuries, even minimally.


The holding by the Florida Supreme Court in the ‘Hoffman’ case in 1973, was a clear change in the substantive law that governed tort claims. What the court found was that denying plaintiffs any recovery in a personal injury claim based on their partial negligent conduct, seemed to be unfair.

If a plaintiff and a defendant both contributed to the cause of an injury, it made more sense to portion the liability between the parties, and allow for recovery of damages based on the other party’s contribution of fault. The area where the court saw a serious need for this change in the law was in that of auto accidents. The ruling in ‘Hoffman’ declared that tort claims involving auto accidents were “one of the most pressing social problems”, and a big reason for the change.


Before Florida used a system of Comparative Negligence, tort claims were all decided by a Contributory Negligence system. Much of the reason for which Florida felt that a change in systems was necessary, because, previously, any person who was at all negligent in causing their injury, was completely barred from receiving compensation from a party who was more at fault.

The Florida Supreme Court felt that eliminating a plaintiff’s ability for recovery all together if they had a hand in causing their injury was extremely harsh. Additionally, creating a new way of handling recovery in tort claims would provide a defendant a way to reduce the amount of damages that they were facing if a plaintiff was at all at fault for their injuries.

Comparative negligence would allow a jury to assign a percentage of Personal Injury liability to all parties to the lawsuit, and in turn, apportion an amount of damages to a plaintiff, minus what their percentage of negligence was in the act. The court felt that liability of an accident needed to be assigned based on a party’s contribution of fault to that accident.


Auto accidents in Florida are governed by comparative negligence principles and elements of a negligence claim. In order for a person to be held liable for another person’s injuries in a rear-end collision, it must be shown there was a duty of care owed, there was a breach of duty, and that the person’s negligent act was the proximate and legal cause of the any damages. There are many factors that a jury, or court, will look at when deciding if someone is in fact the reason why another person has suffered the injuries they have.

Comparative negligence laws can be complex to follow and understand. If you have questions concerning a rear-end auto accident, and who is liable, contact Madalon Law today for your free consultation.

Rear-End Accidents – Damages

Personal Injury claims that arise from rear-end auto accidents in Florida fall under a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a claimant, the person bringing the lawsuit, must prove all the elements needed to show that a person was negligent. One of the elements that must be shown in order to prove that a person was negligent is that the claimant actually suffered damages due to the accused person’s negligent act. This is a significant piece of the puzzle when seeking money in a personal injury claim.

Victims of rear-end auto accidents in Florida are entitled to just compensation of damages for things such as:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Earnings
  • Future Earnings
  • Damage of Property
  • Pain and Suffering

What many people may not be aware of is that without an actual showing of a monetary loss, regardless of every other element of negligence being proved, there is nothing for a plaintiff to recover. There must be proof that a plaintiff lost money because of a person’s negligent conduct.


The damage to a person’s automobile is generally easy to demonstrate with an estimate from an auto body shop. If a person receives an injury due to a rear-end auto accident, then medical bills can serve to show out of pocket expenses. When there is lost time from work, an employer can provide documents showing the amount of money that the victim was unable to earn because of their time away from the job. After a person returns to their employment, if they are unable to perform in the ways that they were able to prior to the collision, that evidence can be submitted to show a potential future earnings lost.


Pain and suffering damages are often times the most tricky dollar amount to calculate. Placing a value on a person’s feeling is just not something that is easy to do. The common misconception of this area of law is that they value given for pain and suffering is based on how a person is feeling after an auto accident.

Factors considered by insurance adjusters, attorneys and other legal professionals include:

  • How severe an injury is (scraps vs. broken bones)
  • Gaps in medical treatment from the day of the accident
  • Similar injury previously sustained
  • Gender and Age
  • Medical treatment for an injury
  • Pain that is attributed to a particular type of medical treatment
  • The following of a Medical Professional’s treatment plan for an injury
  • Medications needed to minimize pain
  • Employment History
  • Prior insurance claims
  • Permanency of the injury

Given these factors, and depending on the circumstances of a particular accident and injury, a formula is available to produce a concrete number for pain and suffering. Generally, the total amount of bills associated with the accident and injury are multiplied by a number ranging from one and a half, up to four. This, again, will depend on the specific circumstances of the particular accident and injury.

Damages must be present in order to recover compensation in a personal injury claim due to a rear-end auto accident. If you would like to be fully aware of everything that can be used as evidence for damages in your case, you can contact the car accident law firm of Madalon Law for a free consultation.

Rear-End Accidents – Duty of Care

Personal Injury claims that arise from rear-end auto accidents in Florida fall under a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a claimant, the person bringing the lawsuit, must prove all four elements needed to show that a person was in fact negligent. One of the elements that must be shown in order to prove that a person was negligent is that the accused had a Duty of Care that was owed to the claimant. Duty, in general, can be defined as exercising reasonable care to avoid an unreasonable foreseeable risk.

Florida drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers on the road. The duty which is owed is a ‘Reasonable’ Duty of Care. This plainly means that it is expected of drivers to take all reasonable steps to drive like another reasonable driver would, and would expect them to. This duty is certainly not exclusive to drivers that are driving in front of us, but includes all drivers as well as those who are to the rear of us. The general rule of thumb is that the duty of care is owed to every person who may be in a ‘foreseeable zone of danger’, including but not limited to:

  • Other Drivers
  • Passengers in same vehicle
  • Passengers in another vehicle
  • Pedestrians / bicyclists
  • Construction workers


It is certainly true that circumstances vary case to case and with every type of personal injury claim, and because of this, the level of care that is owed to another varies as well. Doctors, Lawyers and other professionals no doubt owe a greater duty to their clients than other people who may face a claim of personal injury due to negligence. Drivers who have been involved in rear-end collisions are held to a standard of care as a reasonable prudent driver.

When considering liability of an auto accident, essentially, the parties’ actions are looked at from an objective viewpoint. A question that is commonly asked is, “What would a reasonable prudent driver have done, or expected, in the same scenario given similar circumstances?” When evaluating a rear-end collision, answering this question is often times what helps to determine liability of the accident.

If a driver is tailgating another driver for a few miles and it has recently been raining, it could be said, through an objective view, that the driver was not acting like a reasonable prudent driver would in similar circumstances. One could easily determine that after a rain, the ground is much more slippery, and that tailgating someone at all can be dangerous. This simple example can be used to help determine if a driver is operating their vehicle using the appropriate standard of care.

The Duty of Care element in negligence claims can be complex to understand. With so many questions needing to be answered, it can become extremely stressful without experienced legal advice. If you have questions concerning a rear-end auto accident, or issues understanding duty of care in Florida, contact Madalon Law today for a free consultation.

Rear-End Accidents – Presumption


Until recently, drivers in Florida who had been involved in rear-end auto accidents were left with minimal arguments as to who was responsible for causing a collision. It seemed clear for years that the person who was in the rear had to accept liability for any property damage or injuries caused. That discussion, however, was placed in front of the Florida Supreme Court, and decided on in November of 2012.


The legal issue, which was brought before the Florida Supreme Court, began as a motorcycle accident in Sanford, Florida. One of the plaintiffs to the initial lawsuit, Crystal Charron, was a passenger on a motorcycle driven by William Smith. Charron and Smith originally alleged that Smith, the driver of the motorcycle, had impacted the rear end of an automobile driven by the defendant in the case, Warren Birge, because of negligent conduct of the defendant.

A personal injury claim was filed by Charron and Smith against Birge, alleging that he had suddenly come to a grinding halt on the highway, which both vehicles shared at the time. Smith did in fact strike the rear of the defendant’s vehicle, causing injuries to both of the plaintiffs. The sudden stop by Birge was said by the plaintiffs to have at least contributed to the cause of the accident and the injuries sustained.

Ultimately, plaintiff Smith settled his claim with the defendant, but plaintiff Charron continued with the legal action. The defendant moved for a Final Summary Judgment against the remaining plaintiff in the litigation, Charron, and was granted that motion. On appeal from the court’s ruling, Charron was then granted relief from that judgment based the fact that there was evidence provided by the plaintiff, who demonstrated that the defendant had at least some part in causing the accident. The conflicting decisions by the two courts were eventually brought before the Florida Supreme Court to be resolved.


After hearing the arguments presented by both parties, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of the appellate court’s decision in favor of plaintiff Charron. What had previously been so cut-and-dry as far as rear-end collision liability went, had now opened a window for rebuttal to the long existing presumption.

The court made three main points in their holding, which included:

  • A presumption that limits a rear driver as the only responsible party to a rear-end auto accident, is something that can be rebutted. When evidence can be produced to show a jury that the vehicle in the front of the accident acted negligently in operating their vehicle, it should be allowed.
  • Comparative Negligence is the law which governs, and to presume that a driver who rear-ends another person is the only negligent party has no legal substances.
  • Regardless of a person’s involvement in the auto accident, whether they were driver/passenger of the front or rear vehicle in the collision, presumption of negligence will be available to them.

What this decision has done for rear-end auto accidents is create opportunities for all parties to argue why they are not at fault at all, or at least not fully to blame. An effort by William Birge, the defendant, was made to have a rehearing on the issue, but the Florida Supreme Court denied that hearing in January of 2013.

Rear-end presumption is certainly a grey area when it comes to auto accidents. If you have any questions concerning the rear-end presumption in Florida, please contact Madalon Law today for a free consultation.

Rear-End Car Accidents and Underinsured Motorists

State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Thorne, 110 So. 3d 66, 68-69 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013)

This rear-end auto accident case involved a person who received injuries from two separate collisions with drivers who had low limit auto insurance policies.

The plaintiff in this lawsuit suffered injuries in two different auto accidents, which took place almost two years apart from one another. The first accident occurred in 2004 where the plaintiff was a passenger in another person’s vehicle that was rear-ended. The second accident took place in 2006, and also involved a rear-end collision. This accident, however, happened when the plaintiff was operating her own vehicle while stopped at a red light.

Unfortunately, the plaintiff was forced to undergo multiple surgeries to repair damage to her shoulder, knee and neck. She filed a lawsuit against the drivers of the 2004 and 2006 rear-end collisions, as well as her insurance carrier, State Farm, for damages. The multiple defendants being named in the lawsuit is a strategy that attorneys use to ensure that any and all liable parties are brought to court to answer to the personal injury claim. Because the plaintiff in this lawsuit had significant medical expenses, it was important to make sure that anyone who was found responsible for causing her injuries was alleged in the civil complaint.

State Farm was named in the lawsuit because after the initial investigation established that both drivers had minimal coverage on their policies, it was determined that the plaintiff’s carrier would have to cover the outstanding costs up to her policy limits. Florida drivers can purchase coverage on their auto insurance policies to protect them against either uninsured drivers, or underinsured drivers. Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorists in Florida create horrible situations when they cause injuries to another driver in an auto accident.

Florida being a “No-Fault” state has laws in place which require all drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. The least amount of coverage that any one person can have by law is ten thousand dollars in personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. The PIP coverage is essentially what “No-Fault” means. In Florida, it does not matter who is at fault for an auto accident. The first ten thousand dollars of medical expenses are to be covered by your own auto policy carrier.

The issue that presents itself, as it did in this case, is that if you are injured because of another person’s negligence behind the wheel, and your injuries create medical bills exceeding your PIP coverage, the difference in damages is owed to you by the at-fault party. But what if the at-fault party does not have medical coverage, or insufficient medical coverage, for other drivers under their policy?

As the plaintiff did in this case, people can purchase UM coverage under their own policy to ensure that they are covered if they are ever injured by a driver who lacks sufficient medical coverage, or coverage altogether. It then becomes your own insurance company’s responsibility, under your agreement with them, to pay any outstanding medical bills that exceed the available coverage between your PIP coverage and any coverage that an at-fault driver may have. The plaintiff in the above case needed to have surgery to repair her injuries, and the costs associated with these procedures can be substantial. It is important for every Florida driver to consider UM coverage if it is financially feasible for this very reason.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident with another driver whose insurance coverage is leaving you with questions, you need to contact an attorney and explain what happened. Call our Fort Lauderdale law firm for your free consultation.