The state of Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that in the event of a motor vehicle accident, each driver’s own insurance policy is responsible for paying damages to the policyholder, regardless of fault. For persons involved in an accident without car insurance, knowing what to do can be frustrating.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida and had no car insurance at the time, here’s what you need to know about Florida law and your options moving forward.
If you have been involved in an accident, it’s advisable to speak to one of our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers now and set up your free consultation today.
When the Accident is Your Fault
Again, Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. Which means that even if the car accident is your fault, the other driver’s car insurance policy should cover any minor damages or injuries that he or she sustains. If the driver you hit has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then you’re in luck.
Not only will his or her auto insurance pay for any minor damages sustained but also pay for damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, plus emotional trauma, that is, if he or she carries uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Standard insurance coverage typically just pays property damage and medical expenses.
However, if the accident caused permanent disabilities or serious injuries to the other driver, then the driver has the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against you to reclaim damages. If such is the case, you need an attorney immediately.
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When the Accident is the Fault of the Other Driver
Your biggest disadvantage in an accident caused by another driver if you don’t have auto insurance is you’ll most likely have to pay for your own damages out of pocket. Because you drove without insurance, any medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage will not be covered by an insurance policy, including the other driver’s.
You will probably be assessed a penalty for driving without insurance, such as suspension of your driver’s license. The reinstatement fee for a Florida driver’s license is around $150, and $500 for subsequent violations, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
However, if you have sustained permanent or severe injuries, you can file a claim in civil court against the driver who caused your accident. Damages you may be able to recover include pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. If you failed to get a police report or the other driver’s insurance information and would like to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, an attorney can help you to obtain that information.
Both data may be critical in ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you want to pursue a lawsuit for injuries, you have four years from the date of the accident to do so, according to Title 8, Chapter 95, Section 95.11 of Florida Code.
Some other things that may affect you, even if the accident was mainly the other driver’s fault, are Florida’s comparative fault laws. If you were 20 percent at fault for the accident, for instance, you may lose 20 percent of the total amount of damages. That means if you were owed $100,000 worth of damages, you may only be able to collect $80,000.
Talk to an Injury and Accident Attorney Today
To help you better understand Florida’s no-fault insurance law, comparative fault law, and the consequences and options you have when involved in an accident without car insurance, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can help. At Chalik & Chalik Law Offices, our legal team will provide you with representation you need. To get started, contact us today at 855-529-0269.
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