According to research data from the Insurance Research Council, or IRC, as many as 26.7% of motorists in Florida are uninsured. While driving without insurance is against the law throughout the state of Florida, this doesn’t stop more than 1 in 4 drivers from deciding to take to the road without insurance anyway. A motorist cannot plan who they may be in an accident with at any given time, so what can they do if that accident occurs with an uninsured driver?
What To Do If You’re Hit
The best course of action a driver can take to provide themselves with peace of mind from uninsured motorists is to carry uninsured motorist coverage with their auto insurance policy. This is an optional coverage, but one that holds great value should they get into an accident within the state of Florida.
No-fault auto insurance laws in Florida make it so a motorist’s own insurance is covering their damages should they get into an accident. By law, each motorist must hold at least $10,000 in a personal injury protection policy and at least $10,000 in property damage liability. If a motorist is injured, the $10,000 in PIP coverage will help to take care of their injury expenses, while the $10,000 in property damage liability can help to cover damages to the vehicle and other property. However, what if the damages exceed these coverage amounts?
Should damages exceed $10,000 for medical expenses, the motorist ideally would then go after the other driver’s bodily injury liability insurance to cover the rest if the other driver’s negligence led to the accident. If the other driver does not have insurance coverage, however, you could file a claim to cover these damages out of your own uninsured motorist policy. This policy compensates you for damages like lost wages, medical costs, permanent disability, and diminished earning potential not covered by your $10,000 PIP coverage. It serves as peace of mind that you won’t need to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent driver unable to pay for expenses related to the accident.
What If There Is No Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you do not hold an uninsured motorist policy, you may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver in order to recoup some of the damages associated with the accident. This may not be a guarantee you’re awarded what is owed to cover accident damages, and any settlement may be awarded in the form of monthly payments if that is what the uninsured driver is able to afford.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver anywhere in Florida, one of the most critical steps you can take is to seek out the help of a skilled Florida personal injury lawyer. They can walk you through your options whether you hold uninsured motorist coverage or not and lead you through the lawsuit process if necessary.
What Happens To The Uninsured Motorist?
It’s important to remember that having adequate auto insurance is the law in Florida, and uninsured motorists will be penalized if they are caught driving without it. The penalties will likely include a suspended license and financial damages or fines, as well as potentially being considered at-risk or “uninsurable” in the future. License suspension, plate confiscation, and registration suspension penalties can be as long as 3 years.
Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States and finding yourself in an accident with an uninsured motorist is something that every Florida driver should be prepared for just in case. To learn more about navigating an accident with an uninsured motorist, we’re happy to help at JusticePays.com today.
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