If you get hit by someone without insurance, you may still have options for recovering compensation. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so even if the other driver was insured, you would still have to file a claim through your own policy.
If you suffered serious injuries that exceed the coverage you carry, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable driver to seek the difference. Additionally, if your policy includes uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage (UM/ UIM), you may be able to recover fair compensation with your own insurance provider.
Your Options for Compensation Under Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Florida Statues § 627.7407, you must carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL).
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, your PIP will cover 80% of your medical expenses up to $10,000, and your PDL will cover up to $10,000 for property damage.
Filing a Claim Through Your Own Insurer
Your first option is to file a claim with your own insurer. You will be able to use your PIP and PDL. When you select your policy, you have the option to choose additional coverage, but it will cost you more.
If your policy carries uninsured/ underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage, this can kick in along with your PIP to cover any expenses that exceed your PIP limit. You cannot, however, choose to add this policy and apply it to a claim after an accident has occurred.
Filing a Third-Party Insurance Claim
If you suffered serious injuries from your accident in Florida, the law allows you to make a claim with the liable party’s insurer. Your injuries must meet certain criteria, though, such as permanent impairment or severe disfigurement.
If the other party lacks insurance coverage, though, you may be left footing the bill for your losses. Even though it is illegal to drive without insurance in Florida, you will not be able to make a claim against an uninsured driver.
When this happens, you have one more option to seek fair compensation: a personal injury lawsuit. You can bring legal action against the other driver, which may involve going to trial and arguing your case before a jury. If you are successful, the court will order the liable driver to pay for your damages.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Liable Party
One advantage of bringing a personal injury lawsuit is that you can also seek awards for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. An insurance claim will not compensate you for these non-financial losses.
You can choose to represent yourself, or you can hire a legal professional from our firm to handle your case. You may choose legal representation if you want to focus on recovering from your injuries instead of hassling with the legal process.
The Uninsured Driver Who Hit You May Not be the Only Liable Party in Your Case
You may assume the uninsured driver who hit you is 100% at fault for your accident, but there may be other parties that bear liability. A closer look into your case may show that the following parties also owe you compensation:
A Negligent Vehicle or Auto Part Manufacturer
Sometimes, an accident occurs due to a combination of driver error and vehicle malfunction. If this is the case, a negligent manufacturer or mechanic may also bear responsibility for your losses.
A Negligent Government Entity
If a poor road design caused or contributed to the accident, you may be able to bring legal action against the municipality that governs the specific road. Suing the government involves its own set of deadlines and procedures.
A Third-Party Driver
Sometimes, another driver contributes to an accident without being directly involved in the collision. For example, the driver who hit you may have veered off the road to avoid hitting another motorist who failed to yield them the right of way.
You can pursue each liable party for their portion of the fault.
What If an Insurance Adjuster Finds You Partially at Fault for the Accident?
If you bear partial fault for the accident, you may still be able to collect compensation, but it will be reduced by your portion of the fault.
Act Quickly, as Deadlines May Apply to Your Case
If you choose to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver in Florida, you will need to do so within four years of the accident, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
If you wait too long and the deadline passes, you may lose your chance to pursue fair compensation. A lawyer with our firm can help you comply with this deadline if you call us soon enough.
Work with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine After Getting Hit by an Uninsured Driver
If you get hit by someone without insurance in Florida, one of our lawyers can determine your legal options and fight for a fair award. We can investigate your case, gather evidence of their liability, and calculate your damages.
A personal injury lawsuit may allow you to recover both your economic and non-economic losses. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for your free consultation by dialing 1-800-747-3733.
We Can Help.