Car Accident With an Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Unfortunately, too many Florida crash victims have to figure out what happens after a car accident with an uninsured driver. In 2021, the Orlando Sentinel reported that around one in five drivers in Florida failed to have the required auto insurance coverage based on data from the Insurance Research Council. This is one of the highest averages in the country.
Working with a Florida car accident lawyer may make it easier to understand your options and navigate the claims process to recover compensation in this situation. Most provide free consultations for South Florida accident victims.
Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Will Pay Your Covered Expenses
Florida law requires all drivers to have PIP coverage as a part of the state’s no-fault auto accident laws. This insurance covers a portion of medical care and lost wages up to the policy limits. PIP pays the policyholder regardless of fault in the crash. Victims have coverage through this policy even if the driver who caused the crash is uninsured.
PIP will not cover all expenses related to your crash. It generally covers 80 percent of the policyholder’s medical expenses and about 60 percent of their lost income up to the policy’s limits. This is usually $10,000, which is the required coverage in Florida.
Many Drivers Opt to Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is optional. You do not have to purchase this policy, but our attorneys always recommend it because of Florida’s high percentage of uninsured drivers.
This policy pays when you suffer serious injuries, and the at-fault driver does not have liability insurance. Recoverable damages could include:
- Additional expenses beyond your PIP Coverage
- Pain and Suffering
- Other losses you suffered in the crash
You could file a claim based on this policy if:
- An uninsured or underinsured driver caused your crash.
- An uninsured driver injured you as a passenger in a car.
- An uninsured driver struck you as a pedestrian.
- The at-fault driver left the scene of the crash.
- The accident occurred because of a driver not directly involved in the accident, known as a phantom collision.
If you have an uninsured motorist policy, your insurance company may pay your remaining expenses beyond your PIP coverage. You will need to assess your insurance coverage and calculate the value of your damages to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Filing Insurance Claims After a Florida Uninsured Motorist Crash
Once your injuries are stable, and you are ready to consider your legal options, consider contacting your insurance provider and a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. Both interactions are key in your pursuit of compensation.
Your insurance company will explain your coverage options, how to file your PIP claim, and other details relevant to your situation. A Florida car accident attorney will assess the details of your crash, injuries, insurance coverage, and other necessary topics. They may explain your rights and options for pursuing compensation. Initial consultations are typically free, and they represent clients with no upfront costs or fees.
Can I Sue the Uninsured Driver?
If you do not have access to uninsured motorist coverage but suffer serious injuries, your best option may be to sue the at-fault driver. This is only possible under certain conditions. It may be more difficult to recover compensation from an uninsured driver, even through a lawsuit. This makes uninsured motorist insurance even more important.
However, your attorney may recommend suing the at-fault driver if you do not have other options for paying your medical bills, covering lost income, and recovering pain and suffering. They will also investigate any other options for financial recovery in many cases.
If there is evidence the uninsured driver has significant cash or available assets, you may stand a good chance of receiving compensation from them directly. You want someone on your side who advocates for your interests. That way, you don’t have to worry about the claims process.
You May Have to File a Lawsuit
If the other party doesn’t have insurance, you could file a lawsuit against them. You generally have four years from the date of your accident to sue. However, for a wrongful death action, you generally have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file.
Don’t lose your right to seek compensation through the court system. Instead, allow a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer to manage your case’s filing period and everything it requires.
Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Case Review Today
Our Florida personal injury Lawyers from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato devote the necessary time to ensure crash victims understand their legal options. We provide free consultations that include giving a case assessment, answering your questions, and providing advice on your next steps. Call (954) 633-8270 to speak with a team member today.