Car Accident Without Insurance in Florida
Getting in an auto accident in Florida can be overwhelming and scary enough. Getting in an accident with an uninsured motorist in Florida adds another level of stress and frustration. If you get into an accident and the at-fault party is uninsured, there are some steps you can take to receive compensation. What happens when the at-fault party in an accident doesn’t have insurance in Florida? Who will pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain? The answer depends on a variety of factors including your auto and medical coverage, who is at fault, how many vehicles were involved in the accident, and even if you were driving or a passenger when you were injured.
In most cases, your insurance will cover an accident with an uninsured motorist in Florida. You also may have the option to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who caused the accident. While your insurance company can also attempt to file suit against the other driver, they often do not find it to be worth the time and effort to try to collect from someone who likely will not be able to pay even if they are found to be at fault. Because there are so many variables in these cases, it is incredibly difficult to predict the outcome without knowing the specifics of your accident. If you were injured in an accident, contact our experienced Florida injury law firm today.
Getting in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver in Florida
Navigating the complex world of accident insurance claims is frustrating enough when everyone involved in an accident has excellent coverage. Filing a claim for an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver can take that frustration to a new level. We do not recommend going at it alone.
Without knowing the specific details of a case, it is hard to predict the outcome of a claim against an uninsured driver when they cause an accident. However, we are here to help you determine if your case is worth pursuing, and to help you get the compensation you’re owed should you choose to pursue a case.
Getting Medical Bills Paid When the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Auto Insurance in Florida
After any crash or accident, we always recommend seeking medical care as soon as possible. After an accident, you may not notice aches and pains due to adrenaline or hidden injuries. In extremely serious cases, these hidden injuries can be life-threatening. The sooner your injuries are identified and documented, the better chance we have at securing compensation for those injuries on your behalf. If you are in pain, waiting to seek care just prolongs your discomfort and suffering. Delaying treatment can make injuries worse, which is the last thing you need after the stress and frustration of an auto accident.
We understand the burden that accompanies mounting medical bills, and the reluctance to seek care due to these expenses. This is not the place to cut corners after an auto accident. We are here to help ensure you get the coverage you are owed.
So, who is going to pay for the medical care you need after an accident? This varies depending on the specifics of your accident. Florida is a no-fault automobile insurance state. This means that drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to pay for their medical expenses and other accident-related damages, regardless of who caused the collision. In no-fault states, each injured person is expected to go through their own insurance to get medical expenses covered. This does not mean that the driver who caused the crash is not at fault, but it does help ensure injured parties get the medical care needed after an accident.
Why is Florida a no-fault state? The reasoning for no-fault insurance coverage is so accident victims can get care quickly, and know that it will be paid for. Unfortunately, no-fault laws can add complexities to an injury accident, especially one where the driver who caused the accident is uninsured.
Who Covers Car Repairs After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver in Florida?
If you were driving at the time of your accident, your medical bills are not the only expense you’ll incur after an auto accident in Florida. You’re also going to need to repair or replace your vehicle. Ideally, if you’re in an accident that is not your fault in Florida, the other driver’s insurance will pay for those repairs or replacements. Unfortunately, if that driver doesn’t have insurance, that isn’t going to happen. How you get compensation for vehicle expenses after an accident with an uninsured motorist will depend on your insurance coverage.
One option is to go through your own collision insurance, the coverage in your policy that is used to pay for damage to your vehicle after an accident. Combined with your uninsured motorist coverage, this may be a viable option for you to cover your expenses.
One of the benefits of utilizing your own coverage for vehicle repairs is that you will most likely have your vehicle repaired and back to you far more quickly than if you work to go through another party’s insurance. Unfortunately, with the convenience comes a price -you’ll have to pay a deductible to utilize your coverage. Depending on your policy, this could be anywhere from $250 to $5000. Having to come up with this money alongside mounting medical bills and missed work can be prohibitive for an accident victim.
If your car is totaled, this means the insurance company has deemed your car a total loss because the cost of repair would be more than the vehicle is worth. The insurance company does not care how much you’ve spent on vehicle accessories or add-ons, or how much you love your car. If they do not feel that it is worth the cost to repair your car, they will deem it a total loss. This can be especially frustrating if you have a newer vehicle that has depreciated quickly, as you will likely get less for the car than you feel it is worth, and sometimes less than you owe on the loan.
Even if someone is not at fault, getting into a car accident without insurance in Florida can result in significant financial liabilities.
How To Get Compensation for an Accident With an Uninsured Driver in Florida
If insurance covers your medical expenses and vehicle repairs, why should you pursue legal action? There are several reasons for this, including:
- Ongoing medical expenses, including copays
- Lost wages
- Expenses exceeding policy limits
- Unapproved treatments
- Long-term injuries and suffering
Your insurance will likely cover immediate expenses, including your vehicle repairs and initial medical bills. Once your case is closed, however, the compensation stops. If you sustain a neck or back injury that requires lifelong care, or prevents you from fully recovering, you’re on your own. Often, these injuries can become more painful or debilitating over time. We are here to ensure these factors are considered when seeking compensation for your accident.
Hit and Run With an Uninsured Driver in Florida
According to a recent Insurance Research Council study, Florida ranks sixth highest in the nation for the number of uninsured drivers, with a reported 20.4% of drivers on Florida’s roads being uninsured.
Florida has experienced another concerning trend over the past five years.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported in February of 2023 that there were a staggering 515,957 hit-and-run crashes resulting in 1,251 fatalities over that time frame.
On average, this equates to 103,191 hit-and-run crashes and 250 deaths per year in the state. Last year alone, Florida recorded 104,895 hit-and-run crashes, which resulted in 266 fatalities.
With nearly 25 percent of all crashes in Florida involving a hit-and-run, combined with the number of uninsured drivers on Florida’s roads, you can see why there is significant cause for concern.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida involving an uninsured driver, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced accident lawyers today.
Will My Insurance Company Go After the Uninsured Driver in Florida?
It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without insurance in the state of Florida, but insurance companies are not required to go after uninsured drivers unless you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to your car insurance policy that provides protection if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may pursue legal action against the uninsured driver to recover the money they paid out to cover your damages.
But remember, if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your policy, it is highly unlikely that your insurance company will go after the uninsured driver.
Since Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car insurance, each driver’s insurance company pays for their own damages and injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, there are exceptions to this “not at fault Florida” rule, such as in cases where there are serious injuries or the damages that exceed the limits outlined in your insurance policy.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today
If you or someone you care about was involved in a car accident without insurance in Florida, email us or call the Glover Law Firm at (352) 605-6203 for a free case evaluation with our team of top-rated hit & run lawyers.