Hit By an Uninsured Driver in Florida_ Here’s What To Do

Being involved in a car accident is always a stressful and overwhelming experience, but when the at-fault driver is uninsured, it can lead to even more complications and concerns.

In Florida, where the rate of uninsured drivers is among the highest in the nation, knowing how to handle this situation is crucial for protecting your rights and securing the compensation you deserve. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being hit by an uninsured driver in Florida, it’s essential to understand your options, including the role of your own insurance coverage and the steps you should take to safeguard your interests. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of dealing with an uninsured driver accident in Florida, from the immediate aftermath to the potential legal remedies available to you.

What Happens if the Person At Fault in an Accident Has No Insurance in Florida?

The fact that a driver who caused a wreck doesn’t have insurance may not prevent someone from receiving compensation. That’s because Florida car accident compensation usually comes from an injured party’s own insurer.

To register a motor vehicle with at least four wheels in Florida, you must buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. If you sustain injuries in a Florida car wreck, you can file a claim with your insurer to seek compensation for medical bills.

It doesn’t matter that someone else caused the collision. Your own insurance is responsible for compensating you.

When PIP Coverage Isn’t Enough After a Crash With an Uninsured Driver in Florida

PIP insurance coverage isn’t always sufficient to compensate a victim for their injuries. You may take legal action against the party who caused your injuries if they reach a certain threshold under Florida law. Specifically, you can take legal action if a crash results in any of the following:

  • Substantial, permanent loss of a major bodily function
  • Permanent injuries
  • Permanent, significant scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

You may file a claim with the insurance of the driver who caused your wreck if your injuries or losses meet any of the above criteria. However, while a driver in Florida may have the option to purchase Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage, which compensates victims when they cause injuries, they do not have to. A driver only has to buy BIL insurance to register a vehicle as a taxi in Florida.

That means the driver who caused your injuries may not have insurance to compensate you. Filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver in Florida is an option in these circumstances.

Be aware that the odds of another driver not having proper insurance when a crash occurs in Florida are relatively high. Data from previous years indicates approximately one in four Florida drivers don’t have insurance. You need to know what your legal options are if you’re ever hurt in an accident involving such a driver.

Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida: Uninsured Driver Options

Filing a lawsuit isn’t necessarily your only option when an uninsured motorist in Florida causes a wreck, and your PIP insurance doesn’t thoroughly compensate you. You may purchase Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage as well. This optional additional coverage can provide more compensation when your PIP coverage is insufficient, and the driver who caused the wreck lacks insurance.

If you don’t have UM coverage and the driver who caused your injuries is uninsured, you may file a lawsuit. Don’t wait to do so! The Florida statute of limitations for car crash lawsuits requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the wreck.

What You Need to Know About Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is another optional type of insurance you might purchase in Florida. Confirm you understand the coverage this add-on offers. The specific nature of UIM coverage may vary from one policy and insurance provider to another.

Generally, UIM coverage kicks in when another driver has insurance, but their policy limits aren’t sufficient to provide the full amount of compensation you deserve. UIM coverage may cover the difference between the total amount of your losses and the amount of compensation an at-fault motorist’s insurance provides. Like UM coverage, purchasing UIM coverage is not a legal requirement in Florida.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver in Florida: Tips to Strengthen Your Case

Hit By an Uninsured Driver in Florida_ Here’s What To DoFiling a lawsuit after a crash with an uninsured motorist isn’t always the ideal course of action. You might waste your time and money if you were to file a lawsuit against a driver who lacks the means to pay you, even if you were to win your case. A lawyer can review the situation and help you better understand how you may proceed.

If you do choose to file a lawsuit, keeping the following tips in mind may improve your chances of being awarded damages in court:

  • Gather as much evidence as possible – You need to prove the crash resulted from the actions or carelessness of another driver to prove you deserve compensation. Evidence that may support your allegations includes police reports, witness statements, footage of the crash, and photos of the crash scene. Sometimes, it’s necessary to hire a professional to reconstruct the crash conditions. An attorney can hire such a professional on your behalf if necessary. However, you may have to pay for their services.
  • Thoroughly document your losses – Gathering evidence to show the wreck resulted from someone else’s actions or irresponsible behavior isn’t enough to ensure you’ll receive what you may deserve. You must also gather thorough documentation of your losses. This may consist of medical bills, pain journals, testimony from medical professionals, etc. The types of documentation you need will depend on the nature of your losses. For example, if you’re seeking compensation for lost wages, you may need to provide pay stubs or other documentation of your income.
  • Stay off social media – The defendant’s lawyers may be keeping an eye on your social media accounts throughout a case. They could be looking for anything to show why you don’t deserve the compensation you’re seeking. Even a picture of you playing sports could hurt your case if you’ve stated your injuries are significant enough to prevent you from engaging in physical activities.

You’ll have to convince a jury to side with you, and there’s no guarantee they will. Thus, it helps to have representation from a lawyer who can handle your case.

Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating your options after a collision with an uninsured motorist in Florida is easier when you have proper legal assistance. At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, a Florida car accident lawyer is on hand to help you fight for the compensation you may deserve. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at (619) 233-5020 for a free case review.

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