Florida law requires all drivers to have insurance coverage. Despite this, more uninsured drivers are on the road in Florida than in most other states. According to a report released by the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6% of all American drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. In Florida, the number of drivers without insurance jumps to 20.4%.
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can mean you lose out on compensation for your injuries without sufficient protection. The uninsured motorist accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you navigate a complex uninsured or underinsured motorist accident while helping you get the maximum compensation possible for your damages.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means regardless of who was at fault, both drivers’ PIP insurance covers accident-related costs up to policy maximums. All motor vehicle drivers in Florida must carry two forms of insurance coverage:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection insurance covers up to 80% of your necessary medical expenses, up to $10,000. You can benefit from this coverage no matter who was at fault for the accident, including uninsured motorist collisions.
Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Liability coverage for property damage covers harm to another person’s property or vehicle resulting from a collision. The minimum PDL in Florida is $10,000.
Taxis and rideshares must also hold bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance of $125,000 per person.
What Happens if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Regardless of the insurance status of the other driver, your PIP insurance policy will cover 80% of your accident-related medical expenses. The other driver’s liability insurance typically covers damages over the maximum benefits. However, if the other driver is uninsured, you must pursue alternative compensation options.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists’ Claim
Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) are optional plans that provide drivers with additional coverage if they are involved in an accident with someone without car insurance. If the other driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover the damages or they don’t have coverage, a UM or UIM policy can help cover the remainder of your expenses.
In Florida, you can purchase UM and UIM insurance for bodily injury, which covers your medical expenses if you are injured. Some states also allow drivers to purchase UM and UIM policies for property damage. While UM insurance offers protection after a crash with an uninsured driver, you must have this coverage on your policy before the incident to obtain a payout.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the driver doesn’t have insurance, you may seek compensation through a civil suit, provided that the other driver is financially capable of paying. You may also be able to recover additional compensation for other damages, like lost wages or pain and suffering, depending on the case.
If the uninsured driver is not in the financial position to cover the remainder of your costs, you may be able to negotiate scheduled partial payments as an alternative. This option allows you to collect compensation without putting the other driver in a financially-destitute position.
Considerations for Seeking Compensation From an Uninsured Driver
As you begin to seek compensation from the uninsured driver, there are a few important considerations to bear in mind:
What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance can always be used to compensate you for economic damages. It can also be used for non-economic damages under some circumstances.
Economic damages are costs you incurred as a direct result of your accident, such as medical bills or lost wages. They are intended to reimburse the victim for out-of-pocket costs and are quantifiable with items like receipts or bills.
Non-economic damages cover non-quantifiable and non-monetary losses, such as emotional distress or pain and suffering. Non-economic damages will only be paid out if the victim suffers extremely debilitating injuries.
When Does UM and UIM Cover Non-Economic Damages?
UM and UIM coverage in Florida will pay for non-economic damages under specific circumstances. Your injuries must meet the state’s serious injury threshold, in which your damages include loss of bodily function, permanent injury, significant permanent scarring, or death.
How Will My Attorney Help With My Uninsured Motorist Claim?
An experienced uninsured motorist accident attorney, with Nessler & Associates, can leverage their experience with uninsured motorist accident cases to earn you maximum compensation.
Florida law requires all insurance providers to offer UM and UIM coverage to new policyholders. The law requires that you sign an affidavit attesting to your choice, whether you decide to purchase UM and UIM coverage or not.
If the insurance company fails to offer and retain this signed affidavit, it must provide UM and UIM coverage. In some scenarios, you may have coverage without being aware of it. Your attorney will determine if the insurance company secured the affidavit and help you file your claim if you are covered.
A skilled uninsured motorist attorney can also help you file a claim with your PIP insurance and uncover any insurance an underinsured driver has that may increase the amount of compensation you receive. They will also investigate the other driver to identify assets that can help compensate you through a personal injury lawsuit.
Throughout the claims process, your attorney will provide you with valuable legal advice and perform necessary tasks promptly and effectively.
Uninsured Motorist Attorneys at Nessler & Associates
The Florida car accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you navigate the complex world of auto insurance and fight to get you the maximum compensation possible.
Our law firm has extensive experience representing victims of auto accidents with uninsured drivers and knows how to handle insurance companies, which often attempt to pay victims as little as possible. With our experienced lawyers in your corner, you gain peace of mind that we will pursue every avenue of compensation.
We operate on a contingency fee, which means we don’t get paid unless you do. If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, call Nessler & Associates at (800) 727-8010 today to schedule a free consultation.