Drivers are required to have auto liability insurance in Florida, but some drivers do not follow the law. When you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you may only be able to seek compensation for your injuries by directly suing the uninsured driver.
You may also be able to file a claim with your insurance company, depending on the type of coverage you have. An uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL can evaluate your case and explain your options for seeking compensation for your costs and damages.
Florida Auto Insurance Laws
Like many other states, Florida requires all drivers to carry automobile liability insurance. This insurance can cover medical expenses and other costs incurred when the insured driver harms another person due to negligence.
Under 627.737, drivers in Florida must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This makes it simpler for drivers to get compensation for minor injuries because they do not have to prove fault by the other driver.
However, PIP plans can have limits as low as $10,000. They can also have deductibles and may only cover a percentage of your medical costs or lost wages, leaving you on the hook for the remaining losses.
You may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the rest of your damages, but what if the driver is uninsured? Your options will then depend on your own insurance coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
Florida law 627.727 actually requires insurers to offer you uninsured motorist coverage when you purchase a motor vehicle liability policy. You are not required to carry uninsured motorist insurance, but you must give a written denial to the insurance company.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim against your insurer following an accident with an uninsured driver. You should first use your PIP policy to cover some of your expenses, but if you have additional damages, you can file an uninsured motorist claim.
Some drivers have uninsured motorist coverage without even realizing it. You may need to review your auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies handle uninsured motorist claims similar to all other claims. They require very specific evidence and may deny your claim if you do not meet their requirements.
Get help with your claim by calling 1-800-747-3733 to request a complimentary case evaluation.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your other option may be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Because there is no insurance company to handle the case, you will have to sue the other driver individually.
Whether or not you should bring this type of lawsuit will depend on many factors, such as:
- The financial resources available to the other driver
- How serious your injuries from the accident are
- Whether you can find a good personal injury attorney to take the case
- The amount and type of damages you have
Even if you do not know the other driver’s financial situation, you may want to consult with a car accident lawyer to discuss your case. You can expect the attorney to investigate the other driver’s potential resources before deciding whether to take the case.
Compensable Damages for a Florida Car Accident
Once you have a viable claim against either an insurance company or the at-fault driver, you can start to consider the different types of damages you may be able to recover. These could include most of the costs associated with your injuries that your PIP policy did not cover.
Some common types of damages for these accidents are:
- Any unreimbursed medical expenses
- The cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost wages that are not covered by your PIP
- Loss of future earning capacity if you cannot return to work
- Property damage that is not covered by a collision policy
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
Some of these damages have a clear connection to your accident. Others may seem less obvious but are still compensable damages. For example, if you suffer from a permanent disability that forces you to change careers after the accident, this could affect your ability to make a living for the rest of your working years.
Time Limits for Bringing a Car Accident Claim
Under Florida Statute 95.11(3)(a), you typically have four years to file a negligence lawsuit in Florida, but you may want to consult with an attorney to figure out your legal options much sooner.
If you are dealing with an insurance company, they can set their own limits for making a notice of a claim. You could miss your chance to file a claim if you do not know about these deadlines and wait too long to make a claim.
It is also usually easier to locate evidence shortly after a car accident. Witnesses may forget important details if you wait months or years to get their statements about the incident.
Once you have visited a doctor and received medical treatment, start thinking about your legal options and setting up a consultation with a personal injury attorney.
Consult with an Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney in Port St. Lucie, FL
At The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys help injured accident victims seek compensation for their injuries. We represent car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you will not have to pay any legal fees unless you receive compensation for your losses.
Call us at 1-800-747-3733 to set up a free case evaluation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer. If you have been hurt in an accident, we can help you determine your legal options for pursuing compensation.