Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
Car accidents are understandably stressful experiences, and these feelings are compounded when the other driver is uninsured. While Florida is a ‘no-fault’ state with laws requiring all drivers to have Property Damage Liability Insurance (PDL) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP), uninsured drivers can still cause headaches when bills and vehicle damage costs are high. A personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process of insurance claims and potential lawsuits – especially when drivers without respect for the law cause financial burdens.
What to Do When Involved in an Accident with Uninsured Drivers
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, your first step should be to contact your insurance company under the direction of your attorney. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, PIP covers 80 percent of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000, which will be the bulk of the money you can receive in a timely manner following an accident. Your insurance plan may also include uninsured motorist coverage, which will supplement you with even more money to cover expenses due to the collision. However, if these amounts are insufficient to cover your bills, you might be interested in suing the other party. But before you do, you need to decide if suing is worth the time and effort.
Uninsured Drivers – Pursuing a Lawsuit
Suing an uninsured driver might seem like the logical next step, but it may not always be viable. To start, you must meet the ‘serious injury threshold‘ to receive more money from the other party to cover future medical bills and pain and suffering. Uninsured drivers are also more likely than insured drivers to be in financial trouble, meaning a monetary judgment against them has a high likelihood of being unenforceable or of too small value to make a significant difference in your life. Additionally, for attorneys who work on your behalf on a contingency fee, the amount of money they stand to earn from the case might not be worth the risk for a small payout.
However, there are many non-financial reasons why a driver might not have auto insurance, and if the other driver has sufficient assets to pay you out in a settlement, it might be worth pursuing legal action. Your attorney might be able to discover hidden assets through credit and asset checks or find out their estimated income before you start the process of a lawsuit.
How Attorneys Can Help, Even If You Don’t Sue
As we mentioned, the simplest way to receive compensation for medical bills is through your insurance policy. As you begin reaching out to your insurance, also reach out to a local personal injury attorney. By contacting an attorney at the beginning of this process, you guarantee that you have someone by your side to advise you on what medical information to submit and what information to potentially keep private. Insurance companies, even the ones you pay, are not your friend, and you might be better off being selective in the details you share. Should disagreements arise on the size of your insurance claim payment, an attorney by your side will improve your chances of receiving just compensation in mediation or negotiations.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you need experienced attorneys to help you navigate the tough times ahead.
At Hale Law, we will work with you to fight for the compensation that makes you whole once again. Our consultations are free and confidential, and you are never financially responsible for our services unless we win your case.