If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, don’t assume you have no options. In fact, you have several possible paths to compensation—insurance claims, lawsuits against the driver, or even cases against additional liable parties. Our Fort Lauderdale uninsured motorist accident lawyer can help you decide which path is right for you.
Call Your Insurer and File a Claim After an Uninsured Driver Accident
The first step after any collision is to contact your insurer promptly. There are several reasons to prioritize this task after getting into an accident with a negligent driver.
First, reporting an accident could paint you in a positive light with an insurer. Don’t underestimate the importance of the impression you make. You demonstrate that you aren’t hiding anything by being up front about the accident. This can prevent later questions about the reliability of your story.
Second, talking to your insurer protects your right to financial compensation. Different insurance providers have different deadlines, so missing those deadlines could mean missing out on benefits. Immediately creating a record preserves your ability to seek damages through a claim.
Types of Insurance Claims for Uninsured Accidents
After a collision with an uninsured driver, check if you have any of the following liability coverage in your car insurance policy:
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
- Collision coverage
Florida’s PIP auto insurance laws are also called no-fault laws. In Florida, drivers of four-wheeled vehicles must carry a minimum of $10,000 for bodily injury, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). You can receive benefits to cover up to 80 percent of your medical bills and up to 60 percent of your lost income. It doesn’t cover pain and suffering.
UM/UIM, however, covers pain and suffering. If you carry this insurance coverage, your bills and losses could be covered up to your policy limits. As the name suggests, this type of insurance is for accident scenarios like this.
Collision coverage is for the damage to vehicles and property in an auto accident. If you were hit by a driver who didn’t carry insurance, your collision coverage could pay for your repairs.
Get Medical Care Quickly
Under PIP laws, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident to qualify for coverage. Therefore, you must see a doctor to protect your right to compensation.
Getting medical care after a traffic crash is always a good idea. Whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, and internal injuries might not start presenting symptoms until days after the crash, at which point they might be harder to treat.
Proof that you visited a doctor can also serve as evidence in claim disputes or personal injury lawsuits.
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Explore Lawsuit Options If an Uninsured Motorist Seriously Injured You
If you suffered serious injuries—loss of bodily function, scarring or disfigurement, permanent injury—you can file an accident lawsuit against the driver in your accident. Our car accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process, gathering evidence of your injuries and assembling the lawsuit.
Lawsuits Require Proving Fault
Unlike with claims filed with your insurer, a lawsuit in an uninsured motorist case requires demonstrating that the driver who hit you was responsible for the accident. No-fault laws allow you to recover insurance benefits regardless of fault, but lawsuits only provide damages if you can prove the following:
- The driver owed you a duty of care, meaning they should have obeyed traffic laws, paid attention, and driven defensively.
- They violated that duty of care by violating traffic laws, inattention, or carelessness.
- You were injured as a result of the violation, suffering consequences like broken bones, brain and spinal cord injuries, or limb loss.
- Your injuries entitle you to damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost income, and pain and suffering.
Evidence proving this can include traffic camera footage, photos from the accident site, police reports citing fault, medical records, and eyewitness testimony. Our attorneys can also bring in expert witnesses to analyze the crash to highlight fault.
You Must File Your Injury Lawsuit Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
Just as liability insurance claims have deadlines, so do lawsuits. Florida generally allows you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but you can verify that with us. Even if you suffered serious injuries and can prove the other party was at fault, you likely can’t seek damages if the statute of limitations has expired.
The Driver Might Not Have Enough Money to Cover Your Damages
Unfortunately, some drivers don’t have the monetary compensation to pay all your bills out-of-pocket, which is what they would need to do if sued. After all, a few days in the hospital can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and then you also face the long rehabilitation journey to reach your maximum medical recovery.
If the driver can’t provide for all your losses, our personal injury lawyers can evaluate additional ways to receive compensation outside of your insurance policy and the driver’s wallet.
You Can Pursue Other Parties Aside From the Uninsured Driver
The uninsured driver in your accident might not have been the only party at fault. An investigator from our firm can look at your case to see if the evidence points to:
- Other drivers involved in the accident
- Manufacturers that created faulty products
- Government entities that failed to maintain roads
- Private property owners who made maintenance mistakes
- Insurance companies that don’t honor claims
For example, the uninsured driver might have lost control of their vehicle because of a large pothole on the road for months. The owner of the road—a government entity or private property owner—is, therefore, responsible for not fixing the pothole. We can look at these related factors to see if they point to liability.
Filing Deadlines Apply in These Cases, Too
Seeking damages from these parties also requires filing within the statute of limitations. Our firm can keep track of the deadlines in all these cases, so you don’t have to worry about juggling multiple dates in your mind.
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Get Help From Our Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer – Call Today
If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver, contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today. We can prepare and file your insurance claim, talk to adjusters, and handle negotiations.
If we believe you can file a lawsuit, we will handle that, too, presenting evidence of your serious injuries and underlining the other party’s fault. Our team can discuss your case for free now, so reach out today.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269