According to statistics, Florida is one of the states in the country with the highest number of uninsured drivers. Ranking 6th with 20.4 uninsured drivers, your chances of being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist can be concerning.
If you are the uninsured motorist in an accident, you might worry about your options and what the future holds. Car accidents typically result in damages, so whether or not you are insured, it’s valuable to know your options in these situations.
Wondering if you can still sue after an auto accident if you’re uninsured? Here is some more information.
Florida Driver Requirements
Florida has several driver requirements for its residents when it comes to what happens after auto collisions. Firstly, you should know that Florida is a no-fault state. No-fault means that if a wreck or collision occurs, both parties are responsible and should seek help from their insurance rather than filing a lawsuit.
Because of this, Florida requires drivers to carry coverage of the following:
- Minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)
- Minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL)
PIP helps to cover medical expenses you may have after a collision, while PDL helps you pay for the other victim’s damages if you were predominately at fault.
These coverages do not help with vehicle repairs. If you would like to have insurance that covers this, you must add collision coverage.
Do these insurance requirements mean everyone in West Palm Beach, Florida carries this coverage? No, it does not.
Penalties Uninsured Drivers Can Face from Collisions
If you do not have this required coverage, there are penalties you can face if you are caught in an accident that results in injury. However, there is an exception if there are no injuries in the accident, and you may not face these penalties, depending on the circumstances.
The penalties a person may face for a first offense after an accident not being insured include:
- License and tag suspensions
- A $150 fee
Your licenses and tags could be suspended until you are able to prove you have insurance. You also might have to pay for the other person’s damages out of pocket, which can be burdensome enough without the fee added on.
Can I Still Seek Compensation After an Accident If I Have No Insurance?
Although it can be a difficult claim to file, your attorney can review the evidence in your case and determine how to proceed and build your case. When you’re unsure how to proceed, an experienced West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer can help.
If your attorney deems it suitable for you to file a claim, you will need to have sufficient evidence to prove your injuries and that the accident was the other driver’s fault. If the other driver has insurance, they could file a claim against you for their medical bills and more.
Uninsured motorists can potentially sue the other driver with a personal injury lawsuit since Florida is a no-fault state. Personal injury cases mean harm was done to an individual at the negligent expense of someone else, so you will need to prove the other person was aware or should have been aware that they were doing something that could be harmful.
Can I Still Purchase Insurance After an Accident?
If you have no insurance, the best course of action for you to take is to purchase insurance immediately after.
You will receive a document from your insurance company stating your financial responsibility. However, buying insurance and filing a claim for an accident that has already occurred can affect your premiums. You also might run into the possibility of not receiving any help since this would be considered backdating.
The good news is that you will then have insurance in case another accident was to occur later, and you will be better prepared to protect yourself financially.
What To Do After an Accident If You Have No Insurance
There are certain steps you can take after an accident if you have no insurance. The biggest point to remember is that you will need to comply with law enforcement and the other driver to make this process as smooth as possible as you are the driver facing potential penalties.
The first step to take is to remain at the scene. If you were to flee, this would be considered a hit-and-run which is a criminal act and can open the door to even more legal trouble for you. Remaining at the scene will help cover your tracks and potentially reduce penalties.
The next step is to call law enforcement to report the crash. There is another requirement for Florida drivers to notify the police any time there is an accident, so this is another must-do item on the checklist after being in a car accident.
You will then want to start searching for a West Palm Beach Accident Lawyer to discuss your claim and what your options are in this situation. It will be helpful for you to obtain the advice of an experienced attorney since this can be a tricky legal situation.
If possible, make sure to take photos of the accident to serve as evidence that your attorney may be able to use. Good photos to take include damage to your car, the other car, the road, and surrounding areas. Witnesses at the scene may also be worth noting and speaking to, as they can corroborate the evidence. Their statements could be used by your attorney in your favor to hopefully help you seek the extra compensation you need.
Speak To a Professional Attorney Immediately
Dealing with car accidents can be tumultuous enough, but they can be even more detrimental if a driver does not have insurance to help cover damages.
If you have recently been involved and injured in an accident in West Palm Beach, Florida, and do not have insurance, the experts at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are here to help.
We can review your claim and give you our honest, legal professional advice on how to best go about your case to reduce risks and increase your chance of seeking adequate compensation.
In this situation, seeking the help of a highly awarded attorney can be your best chance when seeking a favorable outcome.
To get started with our firm, you can set up your free consultation by calling (561) 800-8000 or leaving your information in our online case evaluation form.
The timeline for filing a claim in Florida is two years from the date of the crash. Don’t let any more time pass you by without giving us a call.