What Happens if I Get Into a Car Accident in Florida Without Insurance?
October 10, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
Car accidents can be terrifying experiences. These accidents are even more challenging when one party lacks insurance.
Florida’s Insurance Requirements
Understanding PIP Insurance
Florida law mandates that all drivers have at least $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage. PIP insurance is designed to provide medical coverage for you and your passengers in the event of an accident. This coverage should apply regardless of who is at fault.
If you are injured in a car accident, your PIP insurance should cover your medical costs up to the policy limit, regardless of whether you have health insurance.
Property Damage Liability Insurance
Apart from PIP insurance, Florida drivers must maintain at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance. PDL insurance covers the costs of property damage possibly caused by you in an accident, such as damage to another vehicle or property.
The Implications of Driving Without Insurance
Driving without insurance in Florida can have serious consequences. You may face fines or license suspension if caught driving without insurance coverage. You may also need expensive SR-22 insurance to reinstate your license. Additionally, being uninsured can impact your capacity to recuperate compensation if you get into an accident.
Scenario 1: You Are the Uninsured Driver
If you find yourself in a car accident in Florida without insurance, you might wonder how you can recover compensation for your damages:
Your Regular Insurance Coverage
If you own a car but lack insurance, you may not have the typical protections auto insurance offers. Yet, your regular health insurance may cover some medical expenses from the accident.
Without insurance, you may be responsible for covering your damages. This could include vehicle repairs, medical bills, and other accident-related costs. Depending on the circumstances, you might negotiate with the other party involved in the accident or devise a payment plan.
Scenario 2: The Other Party Is Uninsured
If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida with an uninsured driver, you might wonder how you can recover compensation for your damages:
Your Regular Insurance Coverage
Your insurance policy can help cover your damages, even if the other driver is uninsured. This is possible through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and property damage coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Florida law mandates that every auto insurance company offers uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders. This coverage can compensate for your losses if the at-fault driver is uninsured.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage, which may be part of your auto insurance policy, can also come into play if the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your damages.
Filing a Lawsuit
Sometimes, the uninsured motorist cannot adequately compensate you through the above options. If so, you may file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver or other liable parties. However, because of Florida’s “no-fault” system, you can only do this if your losses exceed your policy limits or if you sustained a “serious injury” as described by state law.
Common Types of Uninsured Drivers
There are many reasons a driver may be uninsured. It is important to understand these possibilities. Here are some common scenarios of uninsured drivers:
Some individuals may struggle financially, making it challenging to afford auto insurance premiums. Economic hardships, job loss, or unexpected expenses can lead to lapses in coverage.
Even responsible drivers may inadvertently let their insurance policies lapse. Drivers can unintentionally miss payments or make administrative errors. In such cases, they may become uninsured without intending to.
Individuals with a history of accidents or traffic violations are labeled high-risk drivers. This category of drivers often struggles to get affordable insurance. Some may choose to drive without insurance to avoid high premiums.
Uninsured Motorist Fraud
Sometimes, individuals may commit insurance fraud. Bad actors provide false insurance information or use fraudulent insurance cards. This leaves you believing you are protected when, in fact, you’re not.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer To Review Your Legal Options
It’s strongly recommended that you comply with the law and purchase at least the minimum amount of insurance required by the State of Florida. If you are involved in a car accident without insurance, your options for getting compensation may be severely limited.
Nonetheless, after an accident caused by someone else, it’s still likely worth your time to reach out to an attorney for a free consultation. At that time, you can gain insight into your best course of action.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805