We at Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, have been serving the community for over 40 years now. That’s right! 2023 is our 40th anniversary, and we’re celebrating with a look back on some of our greatest achievements over the years. Spotlighting an issue from over 30 years ago, uninsured motorists are still a serious concern here on the Treasure Coast. We’re sharing this Letter to the Editor from The Stuart News, originally published January 27, 1992.
Florida, make drivers act responsibly.
According to an Associate Press story in the News on Jan. 13, more than a third of Florida drivers do not have automobile insurance. In addition, Florida courts are not enforcing state laws designed to get uninsured drivers off the road.
Even when Floridians are insured, too many don’t have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. With the economic recession, everyone is looking for ways to save money. But the few dollars a year a person saves by not buying UM coverage can cost him or her thousands of dollars in the event of an accident.
As a personal injury attorney, I frequently represent people who have suffered severe and disabling injuries as the result of automobile wrecks. They are unable to return to their former occupations, need surgery, suffer permanent pain and discomfort, and have astronomical medical expenses. Many have devastating injuries, requiring vocational rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.
Often the offending driver was uninsured or carried the minimum amount of insurance ($10,000). Without UM coverage, these unfortunate men and women may not have the funds to pay for these expenses, and they may have no avenue of recourse available to them.
The mandatory PIP coverage, which is only $10,000, has to be used for both lost wages and medical expenses. With the high cost of medical treatment, this goes very quickly.
No one plans an accident, and people do not know that when involved in one they will sustain only minor injuries with no more than a day off work. If this were the case, most of us would not need insurance at all. But the reality is, with today’s high-speed limits, numerous impaired drivers on the road, and our seasonal visitors increasing traffic, the likelihood of being involved in a serious auto accident is increasing.
Not only should Florida drivers be required to be insured, they should also be required to carry UM coverage. It’s in their own best interest.
Philip DeBerard, Accident Law Offices of Philip DeBerard, Stuart
Article originally printed in The Stuart News of Stuart, Florida on Monday, January 27, 1992.