What Happens If You’re Hit By An Uninsured Driver In Florida?
After a motor vehicle collision, it’s fairly common standard procedure for both drivers to stop, exchange insurance and contact information, seek appropriate medical care, and mutually come to a fair settlement to reimburse motorists who were not at fault for any losses. But what if the liable driver is underinsured or, worse yet, uninsured? What happens then?
Read on to find out what might take place when an uninsured driver hits you in the State of Florida and why you should have an experienced Sarasota car accident lawyer on your side to deal with the aftermath.
Florida Auto Insurance Laws: How They Work
You will probably be understandably stressed in the wake of an accident involving an uninsured driver, but under Florida law, that uninsured driver will also have reason to be stressed. This is because any Floridian who drives a vehicle with four or more wheels is required to have minimal insurance.
If they’re caught driving without the necessary insurance, the state of Florida could suspend their license for up to three years. They may also have to pay thousands of dollars in damages and reinstatement fees, completely out of pocket. While penalties for the uninsured driver might serve to punish them and deter future violations of the law, how can you recover for your losses?
To seek damages for injuries after any Florida accident, you must first start with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This policy should cover costs of your injuries - up to policy limits - no matter who caused the crash or whether the other driver had insurance or not. Problems arise, however, when your injuries are particularly serious, have lasting effects, and cause significant intangible losses such as pain and suffering.
If you need more coverage than your PIP will provide, you can pursue benefits through your uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM or UIM) coverage, if you have it. Before you file such a claim, though, it’s important that you ensure that you have a fair and accurate calculation of the damages for which you’re owed compensation. Such compensable damages following an auto accident may include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent impairments
To assess the valuation of these damages properly, you should compile all documentation, bills, receipts, and financial statements relevant to such damages, and work with your Sarasota car accident lawyer to come to a fair, satisfactory valuation.
Even though this is your policy and you pay the premiums, you cannot always count on your insurance company to do the right thing - with either a PIP or UM claim. Your insurer can still challenge your damages or other aspects of your claim, drawing out the process and putting you at risk of receiving much less of a settlement than you deserve.
No Matter What Claim You have to File, a Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
After a car crash and injuries in Sarasota and greater Florida, Matthews Injury Law is on your side. We handle all types of car crash claims, including those involving uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Even if there’s no other insurer but your own to negotiate with, we can still help you find the road to recovery. Call our Sarasota office at 941-877-5800 or fill out our contact form to learn more.