If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it could be challenging to secure financial compensation beyond what is offered through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Thankfully, you have options when it comes to pursuing additional damages from an uninsured motorist.
If the negligent driver that caused your accident lacked adequate liability insurance, you could have the right to hold them personally liable through a civil lawsuit. You might also have additional coverage available through your own insurance policy. A Largo uninsured car accident lawyer from our firm could help you understand all your options.
Options for Securing Compensation Following an Uninsured Motorist Accident in Largo
Understanding your options is important, especially before you move forward with legal action. Our firm could evaluate your case, review your insurance policies, and lay out the legal options you have before you. Some of these options include:
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Driver
If you have damages that are not covered by your PIP coverage, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Unfortunately, drivers that lack liability coverage could be difficult to recover compensation from even if your lawsuit is successful.
When accidents with uninsured drivers occur, compensation could be available from that individual’s personal assets. The challenges that come with these cases will depend on the types of assets they have access to.
Part of the investigation our firm could undertake in your case involves whether the other driver has the resources to cover your remaining damages. If we determine they have the resources needed to cover your damages, we could help you pursue a civil lawsuit against them.
Pursuing a Claim with Your Uninsured Motorist Policy
Uninsured motorist coverage—or UM—is a type of insurance coverage that is often added to a liability policy. These policies exist to provide motorists with additional coverage if they are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
These policies are ideal for this situation. If you have damages that exceed the limits of your PIP policy and the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage, this type of policy could cover your other losses. What’s more, these policies cover a wider range of benefits compared to PIP coverage. Specifically, you could recover compensation for your pain and suffering through your UM coverage.
What is important to remember is that UM coverage can be waived in Florida. In fact, it is not uncommon for motorists to do so given that these policies are more expensive than basic liability or PIP coverage. If you do not have UM coverage, you will not have the opportunity to pursue benefits through one of these policies.
Our Lawyers Can Help You Determine Your Damages
There are different types of compensation that could be available to you depending on the facts of your car accident. If the other driver is uninsured, the types of compensation available to you will largely depend on the type of insurance policy you have.
If you only have PIP coverage, the damages you might recover following an accident with an uninsured driver could be limited. These policies do not cover the full range of damages that might be secured through a personal injury lawsuit. The main compensation available through PIP coverage includes:
- Emergency medical care
- Some follow-up medical care
- A portion of the wages you miss due to your injury
It is important to remember that every PIP policy has limits. Once you reach those limits, the insurance company has no obligation to provide you with further benefits. In an accident with an uninsured driver, this could leave you with substantial unpaid damages.
UM Coverage or Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you pursue a claim through your UM policy or file a lawsuit against the other driver, the compensation that could be available to you exceeds what is possible in a PIP claim. However, these damages are constrained by the limits on your policy.
Once you reach your UM policy limits, the insurance company will no longer be required to pay your claim. These damages could include:
- Medical bills
- In-home care costs
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Vehicle repairs
Uninsured vs. Underinsured Drivers
One of the concepts that is important to understand is the difference between uninsured and underinsured drivers. An underinsured driver has liability coverage. These policies usually meet the minimum standards required under state law. Uninsured drivers lack any liability coverage at all.
The problem with underinsured drivers—even those that meet minimum state requirements—is that the damages in a motor vehicle accident are often substantially higher than the limits on most policies. If the at-fault driver’s policy limits are less than the full amount of your damages, you could still be on the hook for some of your own losses.
Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage Can Prove Helpful
In those situations, there is little difference between uninsured and underinsured drivers. The good news is that if you have UM/UIM coverage, it could apply to accidents with both uninsured and underinsured driver alike.
One of the ways our firm could help with your case is by advising you on when your UM/UIM coverage could come into play. Drivers that have low levels of liability coverage might not be able to cover all your damages. Our firm could advise you on your options in these cases.
Discuss Your Pinellas County Uninsured Motorist Case with Our Firm
You might be surprised to learn that you have options available to you in the aftermath of an accident with an uninsured driver. While many people assume they are out of luck in these situations, there are different ways in which you could secure fair compensation beyond what your PIP policy pays.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine understand what it takes to hold uninsured drivers accountable for their negligence. Our team will guide you through the process of securing fair compensation from beginning to end. Call 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation with a team member today.
We Can Help.