Insurance is required by law in Florida. However, statistics indicate that many drivers choose to ignore this requirement entirely. According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 26.7 percent of people on the road in the Sunshine State are not insured. That rate is the highest among the 50 states. Car insurance is mandatory because every time we get behind the wheel, we are at the mercy of other drivers, and they are relying on us to avoid harming them. Even the most cautious and skilled motorists are helpless to avoid collisions caused by others.
Insurance will cover many of the expenses resulting from car accidents, even if the insured lacks the assets to cover the cost of those injuries. In Florida, insured drivers carry Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. PIP insurance is a form of no-fault coverage. Insureds get medical coverage for 80 percent of their medical expenses. The basic amount of coverage is just $10,000. Of course, if you sustained injuries in a crash, you likely understand that a $10,000 maximum in coverage is frequently far too little to cover medical costs. In the event that your injuries exceed your PIP coverage, the other driver should be covering the difference if that other motorist is at-fault for the crash.
If you were injured by an uninsured motorist, call the Durham Law Group at 813-333-6250 to speak to an experienced Tampa uninsured motorist accident attorney.
Suing an Uninsured Motorist in Tampa
Insurance companies will cover the injuries caused by the insured motorist’s policy. The insurance company effectively steps into the shoes of their insured and will raise defenses against allegations and provide compensation up to the policy limit. If the other driver is at fault but does not carry insurance, you still have the ability to sue that person, but you must be realistic about your ability to recover damages. In many cases, uninsured motorists will lack the assets available to pay any damages that you are awarded.
In some cases, the other driver might be willing to enter into a payment plan that will allow them time to cover the damages. If the person does not make payments, there are remedies, such as garnishing their wages or putting a lien on their property. The state can place a suspension on the driver’s license until such a time as they pay the settlement in full.
Deciding whether suing uninsured motorists is a wise move in your circumstances will depend on case-specific facts. Speak to a Tampa, Florida personal injury attorney to discuss this and other potential options.
Your Own Uninsured Motorist Policy May Apply to a Tampa Auto Accident
As a Florida driver, you might have an uninsured motorist policy that will cover you if you are injured and the other driver lacks insurance. Such policies are separate from your PIP policy that covers up to $10,000. To recover under the uninsured motorist policy, you will have to prove that your injuries are severe enough to warrant those damages.
In a way, your insurance company will become your adversary in these cases. Your insurer is effectively taking on the role of the other driver’s insurer, and therefore the other driver. You will have to prove your damages and that the other driver was liable. The situation can quickly become complicated in these cases. It is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side to represent your interests. Your own insurance company might try to play down your injuries in order to limit the amount of the payouts. Contact an attorney right away as it is important to have legal counsel in these cases. What you say to the insurance company can cause damage to your claim. Call a Tampa personal injury attorney to learn more about how to negotiate and pursue an uninsured motorist claim.
Underinsured Motorist Claims in Tampa
The minimum policy coverage is often not enough to cover all medical bills, let alone other damages resulting from a car accident. Per day, a night in the hospital will run on average more than $2,000. If the injuries lead to a need for surgery, the bills can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars even before you add in the need for physical therapy and other rehabilitative or follow-up care. Of course, those injuries also lead to time off of work, which can add up as well.
If your injuries from a car crash caused by another driver add up to more than the other driver’s insurance policy, your underinsured motorist insurance coverage can cover the difference. Of course, the amount of coverage you will have in this scenario depends on the policy that you carry. Again, in this circumstance, you will have to negotiate with your insurance company and possibly even file a claim to force them to cover the costs associated with the crash.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After an Auto Accident in Tampa with an Uninsured Driver
Car crashes are frightening, emotionally draining, and expensive. Call the Durham Law Group today at 813-333-6250 to learn your options for recovering following a car crash in Tampa, Florida.