Uninsured Driver Accidents
A serious car accident can be a life-changing event, even under the best of circumstances. A car accident can leave you with no way to get to work, hospital time for treatment of significant injuries, time off of work, as well as rising medical costs and other expenses. It can be even scarier if you discover that the other driver was uninsured. What should you do when an uninsured driver hits you? Do you still have options to recover for your medical expenses and other bills? If you were seriously hurt, do you have any way to recover for pain and suffering and other damages?
At Goldman Law, P.A. we can help after an uninsured motorist hits you. We have experience helping clients recover after traffic accidents across a variety of circumstances, and we will work to ensure that you are not left with the bill after an accident that was not your fault. As long as you have your own insurance in accordance with Florida law, there is a path forward for you.
Florida Insurance Requirements
Under Florida law, all drivers of motor vehicles (meaning cars with four or more wheels; motorcycles have different rules) must carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage. Currently, drivers must keep $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) per person and $20,000 per crash, as well as $10,000 of property damage liability. Certain drivers with a history of criminal convictions may be required to carry additional protection. Unfortunately, many drivers in Florida ignore the law and drive around uninsured.
Filing With Your Own Insurance
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that, for the majority of accidents, your first move will be to collect from your own insurance company. That applies whether or not you were at fault. Your insurance will cover 80 percent of your reasonable medical bills and 60 percent of your lost wages, up to your PIP coverage limit. Similarly, if your medical bills exceed your policy limit, the at-fault party’s insurance would cover the remainder.
You may have opted for additional “uninsured motorist” coverage, in which case you have additional coverage. We strongly recommend that you choose to have uninsured motorist coverage for just such a situation. But what happens when your insurance policy is not sufficient to cover your bills, or you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, and the at-fault party is uninsured?
Can I Sue an Uninsured Driver?
To file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for additional damages, you would need to prove you suffered a “serious injury.” A serious injury is one that causes permanent injury, loss of bodily function, significant scarring or disfigurement, or death. If you suffered a serious injury in the accident, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You would need to prove their liability for the accident, with the help of your seasoned Florida car accident lawyer.
However, the problem with filing a lawsuit against an uninsured motorist is that they may not have the money to cover your costs. If you win, you can become a creditor and pursue collection efforts such as putting a lien on their home, garnishing their wages or bank account, or seizing personal property via levy. Unfortunately, people who drive around uninsured typically do so because they cannot afford insurance. While you can certainly sue, the at-fault driver may not have the money to pay you. Your best bet is to carry uninsured motorist coverage to prepare for this eventuality.
Help After an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt or killed in a traffic accident you might be entitled to damages. Our dedicated and effective car crash legal team is ready to handle your case with care and consideration. Call an experienced uninsured driver accident lawyer at Goldman Law, P.A. for a free consultation, and let us see how we can help you recover after your uninsured motorist accident.