Florida Statutes § 627.727 notes that motorists in Florida have the right to reject uninsured motorist coverage, but if your policy includes such coverage, then you may be able to recover compensation for losses caused by an uninsured motorist through your insurer. You may also be able to recover compensation from an uninsured motorist through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
If the at-fault party in your accident does not have insurance, then a lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for your losses.
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Uninsured Motorist Coverage May Come in Handy
The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that Florida had the highest number of uninsured motorists out of all 50 states as of 2015. More than one in four drivers that year operated their vehicle without valid insurance, which means you may have an abnormally high risk of being struck by an uninsured motorist when driving in Florida.
The prevalence of uninsured drivers in the state indicates that Florida’s insurance requirements are not necessarily enough to protect you from the danger of uninsured motorists. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), all motorists in Florida are required to carry:
- A minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
- A minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage
These are not optional minimums; they are legal requirements. Yet, a substantial number of motorists in Florida still choose to forego these types of insurance. Because of this, it may be wise for you to carry uninsured motorist coverage within your auto insurance policy.
If an at-fault party in your accident does not have insurance, then any coverage that you have for harm caused by uninsured motorists may kick in. If you do have such coverage, then a lawyer may be able to:
- Investigate your accident
- Make any necessary communications with the at-fault party
- Handle communications with your insurance company
- Negotiate an insurance settlement on your behalf
You may not have uninsured motorist coverage, or may not be able to collect fair compensation for losses caused by an uninsured motorist through your insurance company. A lawyer may be able to help you pursue compensation via a lawsuit if this is the case.
Uninsured Motorists May Be Held Accountable
A motorist who operates their vehicle without active insurance recklessly puts others at risk of great financial loss. Insurance policies are meant to provide coverage for medical costs and property damage in the case of an accident, and uninsured motorists show a blatant disregard for the health and financial consequences that may come from an accident.
Such a motorist may leave you no choice but to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for the losses that the person has caused. If your lawyer is able to successfully win a judgment for you against the uninsured motorist, then that motorist may be ordered to pay for some or all of your accident-related losses.
If the person who caused your accident refuses to pay money that a court awards you, then they may be subject to wage garnishment. The Legal Information Institute (LII) notes that you may be entitled to as much as 25% of an at-fault party’s take-home pay until they pay your awards or the legal time limit for garnishment expires.
An uninsured motorist showed no care for the financial consequences that you would face from an accident, and you may be able to hold them accountable by bringing a lawsuit.
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A Lawyer May Help You Pursue Awards from an Uninsured Motorist
Your lawyer can handle any applicable insurance claim after your accident. They can also handle a lawsuit against an uninsured motorist (and any other liable parties) from beginning to completion.
Some of the ways in which your lawyer may be able to advance your lawsuit include:
- Filing your lawsuit
- Gathering and organizing evidence of the defendant’s fault
- Hiring experts to provide testimony for your lawsuit
- Documenting your injuries and other losses
- Calculating your medical costs and other economic losses
- Calculating your non-economic losses
- Interviewing witnesses
- Negotiating a settlement
- Completing a trial if it is necessary
Your lawyer may defend your rights against insurance companies, attorneys, and any others involved in your post-accident quest for compensation. They may also answer your lawsuit-related questions and address any concerns that you have throughout your time as their client.
If your lawsuit is successful, then you may collect coverage for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Any other accident-related losses
Being uninsured does not let an at-fault motorist off of the hook, and a lawyer may be able to help you pursue the justice you deserve.
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