What Happens When The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
Being involved in a car accident is always stressful. And if this happens with a motorist who is not insured, the stress and worry become greater.
The laws in Florida are set up to protect you in these situations and provide options that help you.
No-Fault or “PIP” Insurance
Florida is a “no-fault insurance” state. All drivers are required to have no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in their auto insurance policies. After an accident, this coverage pays a percentage of your medical bills and other financial losses up to $10,000, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This coverage ensures that drivers are able to get treatment for at least some of their injuries when the at-fault driver doesn’t have any insurance.
To take advantage of your PIP coverage, it is important to contact your insurance company and make a claim even if you are not at fault for the accident. Failure to make a timely claim can reduce the benefits amounts available.
Also, the amount of PIP benefits available to you is significantly reduced unless you seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to see a medical professional soon after an accident, even if you don’t think you’re that hurt. Many times, you are more injured than you initially think.
If you have medical payments (“MedPay”) coverage on your auto insurance policy, your insurance company will pay for your medical bills after PIP coverage has been exhausted, up to the coverage limit. This coverage can also be helpful in covering some of your expenses after you have been in an accident involving an uninsured driver.
Uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage
In Florida, UM or UIM coverage is an option you can elect to be added to your own required car insurance. We highly recommend that you choose to have UM/UIM coverage to protect yourself in the unfortunate scenario should you be in an accident caused by a driver who either has no bodily injury insurance (uninsured) or not enough bodily injury coverage to pay for your injuries and expenses (underinsured).
If you have UM/UIM coverage, then your auto insurance company may step in to pay for your injuries and expenses. We often have cases where UM/UIM is the only source of recovering any significant money for our clients’ damages.
Always get the driver’s contact and insurance information
It is important that you gather all information from the other driver(s) including name, license, and insurance information. If they don’t have specific details, ask for as much as possible including alternative phone contact, email, or anything that can help in case it is difficult to reach them later. And make sure to note the car make, model, and plate number and take photographs.
All of this information will be critical in determining whether the other driver has insurance and, if not, submitting a claim to your insurance company for UM or UIM benefits.
If you are involved in a situation where someone does not have insurance or enough insurance, know you have experienced auto accident attorneys ready to assist any way they can. Reach out to Slater | Grant with any concerns or questions about uninsured or underinsured drivers.