Florida is a state with a lot of cars on the road. And while drivers are required to carry insurance, it’s not uncommon to be involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault with a driver who has no insurance.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash with an uninsured driver, it can be complicated to recover any compensation. But with the help of an experienced attorney, you can definitely explore what options are open to you and what you should do after the accident.
Here is what you need to know about automobile insurance requirements in Florida and what can happen if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
What Are the Insurance Requirements in Florida?
Florida has many requirements that people must abide by to operate a vehicle. For starters, all drivers in Florida must have a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection. This type of insurance works to protect you if you get injured in a car accident. It also protects you from losses, even in instances where you get hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
That’s because personal injury protection will protect you and cover losses you incur no matter who is at fault for the accident. That can help when you are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have the insurance required in the state.
Additionally, personal injury protection offers you immediate assistance financially after the accident to help reduce what you need to worry about in the immediate aftermath.
Your Options in Florida
After an accident, it’s common to feel overwhelmed. This feeling is magnified when you find out the other person doesn’t have insurance. Luckily, there are still many options for you, such as:
Personal Injury Protection
We’ve touched on personal injury protection insurance, but it’s worth diving deeper. Through this insurance, you can get compensation after an accident when hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance.
For this to happen, you must get medical care for any injuries within 14 days of the accident. PIP also covers:
- 80 percent of medical costs related to the accident that is reasonable
- 60 percent of wages you may have lost because of the accident
- $5,000 in benefits in the case of death
This insurance covers you, relatives who reside in your home, those driving your car with your express permission, and passengers who don’t own a vehicle. However, in cases where a severe injury occurs, this type of insurance likely won’t cover your losses.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
When you have more losses than your own insurance will cover, the other avenue available to you is a personal injury lawsuit. Those with severe injuries – and the resulting high medical expenses – are more likely to go this route.
In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, you have to show that the uninsured driver was at fault for the accident. You must show they were negligent, that they owed you a duty of care, and that they breached that duty. Your accident must be a direct result of that breach, and your injuries the damages that resulted.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Personal injury lawsuits can only help you recover damages if the person at fault has assets. If they don’t, the best option may be to file a claim against any uninsured motorist coverage you have.
If you have a policy of this nature, you can attempt to file a claim against it. To be successful, you will need to prove the fault for the accident lies with the other driver.
This type of insurance isn’t required under Florida law, but it’s a good idea to have it just in case something like this happens. Always review your policy to see if you have this – and if you don’t, consider getting it.
It can be incredibyl upsetting to get hit by an uninsured driver, especially if you sustain significant injuries. That’s why you need to meet with an experienced attorney to help you understand your options and which one is the best for you to pursue, all in an effort to protect you and your future.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.