What Happens If You Get Into a Car Accident in Florida Without Insurance?

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department reveals the state records over 200,000 car crashes annually, or about 650 accidents per day. Florida law requires every motor vehicle registered in the state to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for damages they may cause in an accident for a minimum of $10,000. Unfortunately, not all motorists on our roads follow this rule. Studies reveal that Florida has the highest rates of uninsured motorists meaning the likelihood of getting into a crash with an uninsured driver is substantially high.

Motor vehicle accidents are stressful and costly to deal with, no matter the details or circumstances. If you get into an accident and the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, the stress and costs become compounded. It is important to have the help of a car accident attorney who will advise you on appropriate steps to take so you recover compensation for your damages.

If you got into a car crash with insurance and weren’t at fault, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group can help you recover your damages. We have several decades of combined experience successfully representing clients involved in road crashes. Our zealous attorneys will find other ways to have your expenses covered.

What Happens When There Is No Insurance in a Car Accident?

The state of Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, meaning in case of an accident, each driver’s own insurance policy pays damages to the policyholder regardless of fault. If the other driver was at fault and didn’t have auto insurance, some of your options include:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection or PIP is a no-fault insurance that covers medical expenses regardless of who is at fault during an accident. It can also cover for lost wages and other typical damage resulting from car accidents. Depending on your state, PIP can be optional insurance coverage or a mandatory policy add-on.

As mentioned earlier, every car insurance policy in Florida is required to provide PIP coverage regardless of who was at fault for an accident. This means if you get into a motor vehicle crash with an uninsured driver, your PIP coverage can cover your damages.

All you have to do is report the damage within 14 days from the date of the accident. The insurance company will pay  up to $10,000 in damages, including up to 80% of medical bills and up to 60% of lost wages.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) auto insurance protects motorists who get into an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance. In essence, if you are carrying uninsured/underinsured coverage, you will collect compensation from your own insurance company after a wreck with an uninsured at-fault driver. UM/UIM also provides coverage if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover your damages and losses.  

While PIP coverage is mandatory in Florida, uninsured/underinsured coverage is optional. The UM or UIM policy covers you, your family, and any other passenger who was in your car at the time of the accident. The policy covers the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

However, the uninsured/underinsured coverage doesn’t cover property damage to your car.

File a Lawsuit Against the at-Fault Driver

You can consider filing a lawsuit against the uninsured at-fault driver if your damages exceed the $10,000 provided by PIP. A lawsuit can also be an attractive option to recover damages not included in your PIP coverage. Unfortunately, even after winning a judgment against the at-fault driver, it can be challenging to collect the award from the other driver.

What If You Were at Fault for the Accident?

If you were driving an uninsured motor vehicle and caused an accident in Florida, you could face any of the following consequences:

  • Lawsuit: The other driver can initiate a lawsuit against you in a bid to recover damages, including lost medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, loss of future earnings, and more. If a motor vehicle crash resulted in death, you could also be sued for wrongful death.
  • Suspension of driver’s license: Operating a motor vehicle without appropriate insurance coverage is a serious offense in the state of Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will likely suspend your license and car registration for up to three years.
  • Civil penalties: You could also face high penalties for your violations. The first violation attracts a reinstatement fee of $150. Subsequent violations attract a reinstatement fee of up to $500.  

What Are the Damages That Personal Injury Protection Covers?

A PIP pays for your medical costs regardless of who was at fault for a crash. The coverage can also help even when you are not inside your car. For example, if you get injured by a car while walking or even riding in someone’s car, the PIP may have you covered up to certain limits.

Specifically, PIP personal injury protection can cover the following damages:

  • Medical expenses: PIP can cover typical medical expenses, including medication, medical supplies, surgical treatment, ambulance and nursing services, and more.
  • Lost wages: In some cases, PIP coverage may also cover lost wages if you are unable to work due to an accident
  • Substitute services: PIP can also cover for substitute services like cleaning crew where the crash injuries keep you from performing your household chores
  • Funeral expenses: In the unfortunate event a victim’s accident results in death, the PIP can help pay for funeral expenses.

However, PIP insurance doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle or damage to other people’s property. It also doesn’t cover vehicle theft or medical expenses that exceed your coverage limits.

Get The Help of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Florida

Car accidents result in severe injuries, property damages, and massive expenses. If you are involved in an accident without car insurance, recovering damages can be a frustrating experience. The best way to maximize compensation after a car accident with an uninsured at-fault party is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer.

If you are struggling with unpaid losses and damage from an uninsured driver, the experienced car accident attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group can help protect your rights. Our attorneys have vast experience, and a proven track record helping clients with similar cases win a substantial settlement to cover their losses. Let us evaluate your case and help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial non-obligatory consultation.

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I highly recommend Eltringham Law Group to anyone seeking legal advice after having a car accident. David Eltringham and his entire staff gave me the personal attention I needed during a very difficult and painful time. David took the extra steps needed to ensure that I received the medical care I needed as well as the financial compensation I deserved. Harold Torres, Paralegal updated me every step of the way. Thank you Eltringham Law Group!

Laura Lauri

I had such a great experience with Eltringham Law Group! I was always kept in the loop and the experience was so personal. I was always in close contact with Teresa who was an absolute pleasure to work with. I would definitely recommend Eltringham Law Group again and again – I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!!!

Alex Peacock

I would like to thank the Eltringham Law Group and specifically Harold Torres for handling my case. Harold did an outstanding job on my behalf. I cannot express enough how pleased I am and how professional and empathetic Harold and the rest of the staff were throughout the entire process.

Nick Jury

Recent Case Results

$1.025M

RIDE SHARING

November 2021

$1M

COMMERCIAL TRUCKING ACCIDENT

March 2022

$600K

CAR ACCIDENT WITH MINIMAL VEHICLE DAMAGE

March 2022

$125K

SLIP & FALL

March 2022

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Lighthouse™ is a system unique to Eltringham Law Group – Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys, it’s what makes us different from other personal injury attorneys. We built this program to hold our own attorneys accountable and make sure our clients are getting the care and consideration they deserve.

1

Client Onboarding
Client Onboarding

The client meets with our Lighthouse Concierge Team to discuss the details of their potential case. A dedicated Lighthouse Team Member is assigned to the case to gather information and maintain constant communication with the client.

2

Investigation Case Analyzer
Investigation Case Analyzer

The assigned Lighthouse Team Member gathers and assess all information related to the case. A majority of the information is processed, paperwork is submitted and any questions/concerns the Lighthouse Team has for the client are clearly communicated and addressed.

3

Client Success Maximizer
Client Success Maximizer

The client meets with their Lighthouse Concierge Team Members to conduct a full review and explanation of the process. Both legal and medical records are reviewed and our team sets realistic and achievable expectations for the client.

4

Phase 1 Medical
Phase 1 Medical

The client is undergoing treatment at this point of the process and the Lighthouse Concierge Team maintains consistent communication to monitor the treatment scheduled. Additional medical referrals and testing may be required at this point if recommended by the current medical provider.

5

Phase 2 Medical
Phase 2 Medical

The client finalizes initial medical treatments that may include referrals to specialists, medical procedures, further testing and/or additional treatment recommendations by their medical providers.

6

Resolution or Litigation
Resolution or Litigation

The Lighthouse Concierge Team is in communication with those involved with and/or responsible for the damages incurred in your case. Two possible outcomes at this stage are 1) an achieved settlement agreement or 2) the inability to achieve a fair settlement that will result in the Eltringham Law Group filing a law suit on your behalf.

7

Post-Settlement Process
Post-Settlement Process

The case has completed and an agreement/resolution has been achieved with maximum in the best interest of the client. The Lighthouse Concierge Team meets with the client to fully explain the results and work diligently to finalize their case.