When you get into an accident in Florida, your insurance company should pay for your injuries and car damages per your policy terms. However, if you sustained significant injuries or property damage that exceeded your cover, you can claim the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Things can get tricky if you find out the person responsible for the accident has no insurance.
Basic Florida traffic rules
The 2022 Florida Statute Title 23 Chapter 324 mandates all motorists to carry valid insurance with a minimum coverage limit of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage (PDL). Any person driving without this coverage is breaking the law and could face penalties such as license suspension, license plate confiscation or even criminal charges.
What you can do
If you discover that the other motorist doesn’t have a cover, your best course of action is to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages resulting from motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers without any auto insurance or with inadequate liability coverage limits. You should review your policy documents before filing such a claim, as some policies may exclude collision damage caused by drivers who do not have car insurance.
The court’s role
In addition to pursuing an uninsured motorist claim through your insurer, you can seek recourse from the court by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The Florida Statute Title 23 Chapter 324 also allows you to sue for an award covering all your damages (including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering). However, it’s important to note that even if you obtain a judgment against the at-fault driver, there is no guarantee that they will have sufficient funds or assets to pay you. In this instance, you might not receive any compensation.
Unfortunately, if you sustained injuries in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, the situation can be stressful and difficult to resolve. The best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the law and your insurance policy so that you have a better understanding of the options available to you. With the right approach, you can get the help you need to cover your bills.