The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported over 400,000 car accidents in 2018. If you were hit by a driver who had no car insurance, you may be rightfully worried about what happens next and how you will collect compensation for your injuries and property damage. A car accident can leave you with oppressive medical bills and rob you of earnings at work, not to mention the physical and emotional pain it can cause. Learning that the other driver did not have a valid insurance policy can compound the stress—but you could still have legal options.
A car accident lawyer can help South Florida accident victims collect compensation for their injuries, even if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance. A lawyer can help you pursue a number of options when it comes to collecting compensation after a car crash with an uninsured driver. Many firms offer free case evaluations, and you may not need to pay legal fees unless and until you recover money.
How to Recover Compensation From an Uninsured Driver
If you were hit by an at-fault party who doesn’t have car insurance, you are probably worried about how you will recover compensation to pay for your injuries and property damage. Do not worry—you could have several options. A car accident lawyer can help you determine which of these options are the best to pursue. They include:
Filing a PIP Claim
Florida law requires every driver to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, with a minimum coverage of at least $10,000 (Florida Statutes § 627.736). When you are injured in a car accident, you must first file a claim with your PIP policy, regardless of who was at fault or whether the other driver had insurance.
If your injuries are minor and your total economic damages come to less than $10,000, you may be able to recover full compensation from your PIP policy and not be affected by the other driver’s lack of insurance. PIP insurance covers 80% of your eligible medical expenses (up to $10,000) and 60% of your accident-related lost wages. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and seek the compensation you need through your policy.
Collecting Your Policy’s Collision Coverage
Aside from PIP coverage, a typical car insurance policy has three levels of coverage: liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability pays for damages you cause when you are at fault in an accident. Collision pays for damage to your own vehicle, typically when you are at fault in an accident. And comprehensive covers damages caused by scenarios other than accidents—a tree falling onto your car, for instance.
In some cases, we can file a collision claim to pay for the damages to your vehicle when the other driver was uninsured. Our attorneys will evaluate your situation and let you know if this is an option.
Using Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is an enhanced level of car insurance that many drivers elect to purchase for an additional monthly premium. It does exactly what it says—pays for damages caused by an uninsured driver. If your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, we will help you file a claim and collect the full slate of damages you deserve.
Suing the Driver Who Hit You Personally
We can also file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you. Many uninsured South Florida drivers have no money to pay you, even if you win a judgment against them. However, we may be able to get liens put on their personal property so that any future money they receive gets redirected to you.
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What Results Could I Get From a Lawsuit?
A car accident can result in a range of losses. If we can sue the other driver who lacks insurance, you could recover many of these costs and losses, including:
- The direct financial impact of an injury, which could include already-accrued medical costs and additional costs that you may accumulate in the future
- Secondary impacts of your injuries, which could include lost income, diminished earning power, and permanent disability
- Harm to your mental and physical health caused by your accident and injuries, which may be generally referred to as “pain and suffering”
These are broad categorizations of potential losses, and you may have suffered (and could suffer in the future) additional losses beyond these. While insurance claims may only reimburse you for specific, tangible expenses that you accrued to date, a lawsuit may have a broader scope and result in a more desirable compensation package for you.
What Happens if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Truck Insurance?
Truck accidents can often come with catastrophic damages. If the driver who caused your truck accident does not have insurance, their employer might. If an investigation proves that the trucking company was also liable for the accident, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim against the company’s policy.
However, if the truck driver was not working as an employee at the time of the crash, you could still have options. A trucker who caused injury to yourself or a fatal injury to your loved one may be held accountable in a civil lawsuit for:
- Driving their vehicle in any way that exposed you or your loved one to a risk of harm
- Being impaired while driving their vehicle
- Driving without insurance
Commercial trucking companies often carry significant liability insurance policies. If you can show that the truck driver was negligent and their employer was liable, you could recover compensation up to the limits of the policy, depending on your damages.
Alternatively, if the trucking company allowed a driver to be on the road without insurance, you could file a lawsuit against the trucking company.
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Driving Without Insurance May Come With Other Forms of Recklessness
A motorist who drives their vehicle without active insurance may be prone to make other reckless decisions. While the fact that they were driving without insurance could be grounds for you to bring a lawsuit, it may not be the only reason for you to do so.
Other negligent motorist behaviors that may entitle you to collect compensation include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Traveling faster than the posted speed limit
- Driving too closely to your vehicle, whether from the rear or on the sides
- Being distracted while driving
- Not having legally required safety equipment, including but not limited to headlights, brake lights, and side mirrors
If these or any other negligent actions contributed to your accident, your lawyer may cite them as part of any lawsuit you pursue.
Contact Us for a Free Case Review if an At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
When an at-fault driver lacks car insurance, you may face a complex and frustrating path to financial recovery. You don’t have to handle your case on your own, however. Our car accident lawyers can help you with every step of the process.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. A member of the team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can answer your questions and explain how we can help you with your case’s next steps. Call us today!
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