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What to Do After a No-Fault Car Accident in Florida If You Don’t Have Insurance

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How Can You Recover Compensation After an Accident if You Do Not Have Car Insurance?

According to state statutes, every driver in Florida is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance before operating their vehicle on the state’s roadways. However, as many as one in five drivers in the state are without coverage, often due to an inability to afford insurance premiums. Situations can also arise where drivers believe they are insured, but they are not. The insurer may have dropped their coverage accidentally or without warning, leaving the driver unprotected.

Regardless of whether you have car insurance or not, other drivers still owe you a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and within the rules of the road. If they violate that duty through negligent or intentionally reckless actions and cause an accident that results in injury, then you may be eligible to seek damages for your losses.

Unfortunately, due to your lack of insurance, you cannot take the standard steps of filing a claim with your own insurer or PIP coverage. But depending on the circumstances of the crash, you may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. These types of cases can rapidly become complex, but a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer can explain what you need to know.

What is a “No-Fault” Insurance State?

The US has two main types of auto insurance systems: no-fault and fault. In a state with no-fault laws, such as Florida, drivers involved in an accident must always seek compensation for damages from their own insurance first. Due to this, drivers in no-fault states must carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for medical expenses and lost income they may incur due to a crash.

There are also limitations on an injured Florida driver’s ability to sue the other party for their damages. The injuries suffered must meet a specified severity threshold before the injured party can file a lawsuit.

How Does a Lack of Insurance Impact You in a No-Fault State?

Driving without insurance is a risky decision in any state. You could face criminal penalties if pulled over as an uninsured driver. If you are involved in a crash that was your fault, you could potentially be held financially liable for vehicle damage and injury-related costs exceeding the other driver’s policy limits.

If you suffer a crash in a no-fault state caused by the other driver’s negligent actions, you could still be in a predicament as an uninsured motorist. You cannot take the usual measure of filing a claim with your own insurance. However, you may be able to use your health insurance or the car insurance of the vehicle’s owner (if you are a member of their household) to cover expenses. Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance may also be an option, but you will need to provide clear evidence of their fault to improve your chances of a successful claim.

What Steps Should You Take Following the Crash?

Insurers sometimes balk at paying claims and may attempt to shift the blame for the accident away from their client and onto you. If you do not have insurance, it is vital that you take specific steps following the crash to ensure that your claim is well-supported. Your decisions after the collision can play a significant role in bolstering the strength of your claim and increasing the likelihood of recovering compensation for your damages. Recommended actions include the following:

Stay at the Crash Site

If you do not have insurance, your initial instinct after an auto accident may be to leave the scene. However, leaving will ruin any chance you may have of recovering compensation. It could also result in severe criminal charges for a hit-and-run, which can result in jail time and fines.

You should always remain at the accident site following a crash and ensure that any injured victims get the medical care they need. Local authorities must be informed of any crashes involving an injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more.

Seek Immediate Medical Care

You should always get a prompt medical evaluation after a car accident, even if your injuries feel minor. Some types of injuries may not be immediately apparent, and the adrenaline spike from the frightening accident may be masking pain symptoms. Getting medical care not only protects your health, but also provides a crucial record of your injuries and links them to the accident. This record will support your injury claim and demonstrate that you took appropriate measures to seek treatment.

Collect Supporting Evidence

If you were not at fault for the accident, taking photos, gathering witness information, and saving any other evidence supporting your claim is vital. You will need this information to prove to the at-fault driver’s insurance that they should honor your claim. It also protects you if the other driver attempts to file a lawsuit against you for their own damages that exceed their insurance limits.

Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a car accident and do not have insurance, you should reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options and discuss your next steps.

Your lawyer can advise you on how to obtain insurance after the crash to avoid significant repercussions, such as a suspension of your driver’s license and fines.

Can a Lawyer Assist You if You Did Not Have Insurance at the Time of Your Accident?

Navigating a Florida car accident claim if you have no insurance can be complex, but a skilled personal injury lawyer can determine the best way for you to proceed.

However, timely action is essential in these cases because filing deadlines can pass quickly, and valuable evidence can degrade or disappear. Our compassionate legal team at Galimidi Law can help you explore all your options for covering expenses after a crash, even if you do not have insurance coverage. Contact our Miami law office today to schedule a free case evaluation: 305-692-0125.

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