Were you involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver? If you were hurt, you probably have questions about whether you can recover compensation for your injuries. An Ocala uninsured motorist claims lawyer at Allen Law Firm, P.A. can offer solutions.
We offer a free consultation so there’s no risk in exploring your options. Call our law offices today to find out more.
How Our Ocala Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist
You never plan on getting into a car accident. Still, Florida’s no-fault insurance law gives many drivers peace of mind of knowing that everyone involved in a crash will have insurance to cover the damages. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the rules. You could easily be left on the hook for costs that far exceed your insurance policy limits.
You’ll have to fight to get the fair compensation you deserve. Drivers who drive without proper insurance coverage might have their license suspended or face steep fines. That doesn’t help you if you’re hurt in a crash.
When you ask our Ocala personal injury attorneys to fight for compensation after an accident with an uninsured motorist, you can expect that we will:
- Identify all parties who share in the blame for your crash
- Pursue claims for compensation against every potentially responsible party
- Handle all of the complex insurance paperwork
- Help you understand your legal options if a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary
- Advocate for full compensation in court if needed
If you don’t take action after a crash with an uninsured motorist, you can be facing significant costs even though you followed all the rules. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we don’t want you to have to deal with this type of situation.
Victims in uninsured motorist accidents often think there’s nothing they can do to get the money they need. That’s not always the case. Establishing an attorney-client relationship can help.
Our injury lawyers have more than 20 years of experience fighting for injured clients’ rights. Give us a call today to arrange a 100% free case evaluation to see how we can help.
How Many People Drive Without Car Insurance in Florida?
You have to purchase car insurance to register your vehicle in the state of Florida. However, many drivers let their coverage lapse over time. They might be unable to keep up with premiums or simply not understand the rules. It’s more common than you might think.
Nationwide, about one in eight drivers don’t have auto insurance. As of 2015, 26.7% of Florida drivers did not carry the required car insurance. That brings us significantly above the national average. In Florida, one in four drivers have opted to go without car insurance.
That creates a problem for everyone on the roads. Florida is a no-fault state. Still, when a motor vehicle accident leaves you seriously hurt, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage often just isn’t enough to cover the costs.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law
If you get hurt in a car wreck in Florida, you first file an injury claim with your own insurance company. That means you won’t have to worry about whether the at-fault driver was insured right away. That’s the basic idea behind no-fault insurance coverage.
Regardless, you’ll have to follow the insurance company’s rules–they won’t just hand over the cash. You’ll have to file an injury claim and provide evidence about the cost of your injuries. PIP policies generally cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Florida’s no-fault insurance law requires every driver to purchase:
- $10,000 in property damage liability and bodily injury coverage
- $5,000 in death benefits if the accident was fatal
Your PIP coverage will kick in if any of the following people are hurt in the accident:
- The named insured
- Relatives who live in the same household as the insured
- The driver who was operating your vehicle
- Any passengers in the vehicle
The at-fault driver’s status as uninsured or underinsured only becomes relevant if your expenses exceed your PIP coverage limits. You can file a lawsuit for damages against the at-fault driver if your injuries are serious.
Under Florida insurance law, that means:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
These types of serious injuries can easily leave you with medical bills and other expenses that far exceed your policy limits.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Offer?
You might have purchased uninsured motorist coverage in addition to the standard minimum no-fault insurance coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is valuable if:
- You’re seriously hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist
- Your vehicle is particularly expensive, so that repairs would likely exceed standard policy limits
Insurance agents offer uninsured motorist coverage alongside your traditional policy. If you elect to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, it’s included when you make your standard premium payments.
How Do Uninsured Motorist Claims Work?
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you’ll have to file a claim under that policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is 100% optional in Florida. However, the law requires you to reject uninsured motorist coverage in writing. It’s possible that you’ve been paying for coverage and didn’t realize that the cost was simply included.
An uninsured motorist claim is similar to any other type of insurance claim.
You’ll have to:
- Call the police and file an accident report
- Get the other driver’s contact information
- Provide details and evidence about the car accident itself
- Gather information about your medical bills and other costs
- Complete all the necessary injury claims paperwork
It’s also a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our lawyers know how to handle uninsured motorist claims. We’ll put our 20-plus years of experience to work getting the most compensation available in your case.
Get Started Today to Avoid Missing Deadlines
You have to be aware of multiple deadlines if you’re hurt in a car crash. Florida no-fault insurance laws require you to seek medical care within 14 days of an accident. Otherwise, it’s possible that your insurance carrier could refuse to cover your medical bills.
Additionally, you only have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured motorist. If the crash was fatal, the clock runs out two years after the accident happened.
How Do Florida Comparative Fault Rules Impact My Uninsured Motorist Claim?
More than one person can be responsible for a car accident. Under Florida comparative fault rules, every responsible party can be held liable for their fair share of the damages. In other words, even if one driver was uninsured, another might have coverage–even if they were only exceeding the speed limit.
It’s not always easy to identify every factor that contributed to a crash–especially if you were seriously hurt. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate to locate every responsible party. We might be able to hold any of the following parties accountable even if an uninsured motorist also shared in the blame:
- Employers of at-fault drivers
- Pedestrians and bicyclists
- Manufacturers of a defective vehicle component or safety feature
- Government agencies
- A third driver who was involved in the crash
Here’s how the shared fault rules work. Every party who shares the blame for a crash is assigned a percentage of fault. If that person is also hurt, their damages award is reduced by that percentage. If someone else is hurt, that person is responsible for their proportion of the damages.
What Types of Damages Might an Uninsured Motorist Claim Cover?
Available damages depend upon whether you’re filing a claim with your insurance company or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured motorist coverage can provide compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Because uninsured motorist coverage is completely optional in Florida, coverage will depend on the type of policy you purchased.
You might also have to reimburse your health insurance carrier for the expenses they’ve covered.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, you have the right to recover compensation for all of your economic and non-economic losses. That means you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Remaining medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical bills
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative care
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Damages for wrongful death
Of course, the primary risk with a personal injury lawsuit is that the at-fault driver won’t have the assets necessary to pay your full compensation award. It’s always important to have a skilled personal injury attorney to help you through the process.
Do You Have Questions About Ocala Uninsured Motorist Claims? Call Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers for Help Today
Ocala uninsured motorist claims are almost always complex. You’ll have to deal with multiple insurance policies and different coverage rules. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our Ocala uninsured motorist lawyers will do everything we can to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
Still have questions? Ready to get started with your injury claim? Just give our law offices a call to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer who can help.