All car accident cases are challenging, but a Miami car accident lawyer knows that some of the complex ones involve an at-fault uninsured driver. In this scenario, the accident victim is unsure who will pay for their damages. Indeed, some worry that their possibilities of recovery are extremely limited. There is some truth in this, but an experienced lawyer can always find a solution.
The best thing you can do is to get in touch with a Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the car accident with an uninsured driver. This gives the lawyer the chance to examine the available evidence while it is still fresh and available and talk to eyewitnesses. Also, if there is a chance of recovering damages in court, a lawyer needs time to prepare your case in order to ensure success.
Florida Is a No-Fault State
First of all, let us understand how the recovery process works in our state. The most important thing to know is that Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents. What does this mean? Each of the drivers will recover their damages from their own insurance company, not from the at-fault party’s insurance.
Of course, insurance companies still check your proportion of fault. In Florida, you can file a claim even if you were 95% at fault. However, this means that you will recover only 5% of the damages. Thus, insurance adjusters will try to increase your proportion of fault as much as they can. And for this reason, you need to have legal representation during the negotiations with the insurance adjuster.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Florida Drivers?
An uninsured driver is breaking the law. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage, each in the amount of $10,000.
The PIP coverage will ensure compensation for:
- 80% of your medical costs
- 60% of lost wages
- $5,000 in death benefits if the accident results in a wrongful death.
Rules and Penalties for Uninsured Drivers
An uninsured driver risks severe penalties in Florida. Also, the auto insurance rules are tougher than in other states. For example, you must have continuous insurance coverage even if the vehicle is inoperable or you do not plan to drive it for a period of time.
Also, if you decide to give up your vehicle, you must surrender the license plate to a Florida driver’s license office and motor vehicle service center or to the Tax Collector’s office before you cancel your insurance policy. Likewise, you should cancel your Florida insurance policy only after you register your car in another state if you plan to move.
An uninsured driver risks the suspension of the driver’s license and paying a $500 reinstatement fee. Also, the uninsured driver who causes an accident may risk the confiscation of their license plates and criminal charges.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Crash With an Uninsured Driver?
Now that you know that you don’t really depend on the uninsured driver’s available coverage, you may wonder: why hire a lawyer if I am dealing with my own insurer? The fact is that no insurance company is keen to pay compensation for damages.
They work for a profit. Thus, despite the fact that you are up to date with your premium payments, it does not mean that your claim will be approved faster. As mentioned above, the insurance adjuster will look for any elements of fault that can be translated into a higher percentage of responsibility, thus reducing your settlement amount.
An experienced Miami car accident lawyer will be able to prove that your own share of fault is much smaller and, thus, you deserve to recover most of your damages.
What If My Insurance Coverage Is Not Sufficient to Pay for My Damages?
The total coverage amount available through your insurance is $20,000, as shown above. This amount does not include non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Also, it may be insufficient to cover all your damages.
Many car accidents caused by an uninsured driver result in severe injuries, such as:
- Bone fractures
- Spine injuries
- Neck and head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage.
These injuries require extensive and costly treatments. Also, if your car was recently purchased as a new vehicle and gets totaled in the crash, $10,000 for property damage is nowhere near its value.
Your Lawyer May Instruct You to Sue the At-Fault Driver
In this situation, a Miami car crash lawyer will start analyzing the option of suing the uninsured driver who caused the accident. However, there are several caveats in this situation.
The most important one is that uninsured drivers usually do not afford insurance. There are some cases when a driver simply forgot to pay the premium or to renew the insurance policy. However, in our experience as personal injury lawyers, most people fail to pay their premiums because they no longer afford them. Sure, they risk losing their right to drive, but this is of no comfort for you.
If the Driver Was On the Job, Their Employer May Be Liable
If the uninsured driver was acting within the scope of their employment – for instance, driving to meet with a potential client – then their employer is liable for the accident. This is true even if the at-fault driver was using their own personal car.
This is yet another opportunity for recovery, but one which needs a skilled Miami car accident lawyer. Companies have their own insurers, which will definitely put up a strong fight against your claim.
Bring Your Case to an Experienced Miami Car Accident Lawyer!
An accident caused by an uninsured driver poses specific difficulties, which you would be unable to solve on your own. Our team of dedicated lawyers is used to handling challenging cases.
We offer every new client a free initial consultation to evaluate the merits of their case. You will have the opportunity to present all the available documents and your version of the events before a skilled Miami personal injury lawyer. If we accept your case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing until we win your case.
Don’t hesitate to call 786-686-2857 and schedule your free case review!