Car accidents and Insurance: minimum insurance required?

Clearwater Injury Lawyer | Mark Perenich

A client called because he looked on website and it told him that car owners in Florida are required to have insurance coverage in the event of an auto accident.  The law is called the Florida Financial Responsibility Law, the client was looking at the DMV’s website and found the following:

What type of automobile insurance coverage is required for a person causing a crash?

The Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires that any person at fault in a crash resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others must have in effect at the time of the crash full liability insurance coverage. This coverage includes minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability per crash, and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.

Car accident Clearwater

It seems that the DMV was referring to the statute below:


324.021?Definitions; minimum insurance required.—The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:


(1)?MOTOR VEHICLE.—Every self-propelled vehicle which is designed and required to be licensed for use upon a highway, including trailers and semitrailers designed for use with such vehicles, except traction engines, road rollers, farm tractors, power shovels, and well drillers, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead wires but not operated upon rails, but not including any bicycle or moped. However, the term “motor vehicle” shall not include any motor vehicle as defined in s. 627.732(3) when the owner of such vehicle has complied with the requirements of ss. 627.730-627.7405, inclusive, unless the provisions of s. 324.051 apply; and, in such case, the applicable proof of insurance provisions of s. 320.02 apply.

(7)?PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.—That proof of ability to respond in damages for liability on account of crashes arising out of the use of a motor vehicle:

(a)?In the amount of $10,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one crash;

(b)?Subject to such limits for one person, in the amount of $20,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one crash;

(c)?In the amount of $10,000 because of injury to, or destruction of, property of others in any one crash; and

(d)?With respect to commercial motor vehicles and nonpublic sector buses, in the amounts specified in ss. 627.7415 and 627.742, respectively


Note the part of the statute that says “, the term “motor vehicle” shall not include any motor vehicle as defined in s. 627.732(3)” that motor vehicle is defined in 627.732(3) below:


(3)?“Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle with four or more wheels which is of a type both designed and required to be licensed for use on the highways of this state and any trailer or semitrailer designed for use with such vehicle and includes:

(a)?A “private passenger motor vehicle,” which is any motor vehicle which is a sedan, station wagon, or jeep-type vehicle and, if not used primarily for occupational, professional, or business purposes, a motor vehicle of the pickup, panel, van, camper, or motor home type.

(b)?A “commercial motor vehicle,” which is any motor vehicle which is not a private passenger motor vehicle.

The term “motor vehicle” does not include a mobile home or any motor vehicle which is used in mass transit, other than public school transportation, and designed to transport more than five passengers exclusive of the operator of the motor vehicle and which is owned by a municipality, a transit authority, or a political subdivision of the state.

We can see that the term motor vehicle is very broad and encompasses most of the vehicles that travel on the road.  In short there is no law that demands one have minimum coverage for bodily injury per crash or per accident.

If you would like to know more please feel free to contact me here.

Clearwater Injury lawyer Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes

How safe are our hospitals?

Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer | Mark Perenich

Doctor Clearwater

“Medical harm is probably one of the three leading causes of death in the U.S., but the government doesn’t adequately track it as it does deaths from automobiles, plane crashes, and cancer. It’s appalling.”

-Peter Pronovost, M.D., senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore

We typically view hospitals as being a place to go if one is sick or injured.  But how safe are the hospitals that we go to?  I have seen many medical malpractice cases over my 28 years of practicing, I can tell you that I have seen some scary things.  The good news is that hospitals are normally quick to fix mistakes and deficiencies for a number of reasons.  1) Hospitals want to give their patients the best care 2) Hospitals don’t want a lawsuit filed against them.

Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients.



The statistics get worse: “There is an epidemic of health-care harm,” says Rosemary Gibson, a patient-safety advocate and author. More than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm in this decade, she says. “That’s like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It’s a man-made disaster.”

The good news is that hospitals have taken reasonable steps prevent deaths from mistakes.  Research shows that these steps are helping, but some patient advocates say it’s not enough.

So, how do I know I am going to a good hospital?

That’s a good question, and a difficult one to answer.  I like to ask people that I know, and see what they think.  If you know a doctor, you can always ask them what they think of the hospitals in the area.  You can also do a search for the hospital and see if anyone has a bad review about the hospital or the nursing staff. Keep in mind that it’s usually the unhappy patients that complain.  Your other option is to go to consumer reports hospital ranking Here you can see how they rank hospitals.  These ratings are not perfect, consumer reports receives about 20% of the medical incidents it needs to provide full and accurate rankings.

If you have any further question don’t be afraid to ask me on my Facebook or email me.



Mark Perenich | Personal injury attorney Tampa Clearwater