If you are involved in a car accident and hit by an uninsured driver, recovering just compensation can be difficult. According to a recent study by the Insurance Research Council, Florida is ranked 6th in the nation for uninsured drivers. The study showed that just over 20% of the drivers in Florida are uninsured. We thought we'd answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about dealing with an uninsured motorist since the chances of being hit by one in Florida are so high. Hopefully, if you encounter an uninsured motorist, this advice will assist you from getting into a bigger problem.
Yes, uninsured motorist coverage is important in Florida. As we just talked about, Florida has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers in the nation. Many of the steps following a car accident are outlined in our article and apply here as well. Even if the negligent driver is insured, your No-Fault insurance (or health insurance in some cases) will generally cover your medical expenses, some wage loss, attendant care, and other economic damages resulting from an accident.
However, if the motorist who struck you is uninsured and you did not purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you will most likely be unable to obtain compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
You may be able to sue the vehicle's owner and/or their insurance company if you are successful in your lawsuit. The uninsured motorist will almost certainly be sued, but as we stated previously, uninsured drivers are notoriously hard to sue.
In 2022, the current Florida auto insurance requirements are the following:
In Florida, failure to keep the required insurance coverage may result in your driver's license/registration being suspended and a charge of up to $500 for reinstatement.
If you have an accident in Florida that causes bodily harm or death, a hit-and-run, a motorist who is intoxicated, or property damage that appears to be more than $500, you must immediately notify law enforcement.
The consequences might be devastating. If you're at fault, and the other motorist is hurt or their car damaged, you may be sued personally for the entire cost. In addition, until the entire loss is covered, you will lose your driving privileges.
Uninsured drivers may require an SR-22 certificate if they are involved in a serious accident. After your insurance company mails this document to you, it will charge you a fee. You must have bodily injury liability coverage in addition to the other coverage that is required by the Florida Financial Responsibility Law. In Florida, where the higher limits are nearly ten times the statutory minimum bodily injury thresholds, this is a pricey fine. Furthermore, finding an insurance company willing to take on the chance of a driver who has already had a significant accident might be difficult.
Getting compensation after an accident in Florida when you don't have insurance is dependent on who was at fault. You may seek compensation from the at-fault party whether or not you had automobile insurance at the time of the collision if you suffer injuries but do not contribute to the accident.
If you were responsible for causing an accident and incurred injuries as a result of it, you would have to cover the other drivers' property damage and medical costs. You'll receive a signed form stating that you are no longer responsible following the payment of these claims. If you don't have the funds to pay for repairs, consider asking about a loan. While this is not guaranteed, some parties are more flexible than others.
If neither driver was injured as a consequence of the automobile accident, Florida's no-fault laws apply. The other motorist's insurance will cover the damage to their vehicle, while you will be responsible for your own vehicle's losses. However, because you do not have insurance, you will be required to pay for your vehicle to be fixed.
If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you need to take action quickly to ensure your safety and the safety of those involved in the accident. You should also contact our office and speak to a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. The attorneys at Rue & Ziffra can help you protect your rights and get the money you are entitled to. Reach out to us on our contact page or call 1-800-JUSTICE.