All drivers in Tampa and across the state of Florida are required by law to carry a certain amount of auto insurance. Unfortunately, many people allow their insurance to lapse or even cancel their policies, yet continue to drive with no insurance or inadequate insurance. By violating the financial responsibility laws in Florida, drivers can face serious consequences including suspension of their driver’s license, fines, and more. However, these drivers are not the only ones who suffer the consequences of not having required insurance, as victims injured in accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers can suffer unnecessary harm. The following is some information regarding what happens when someone is hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Everyone is required to have their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is meant to compensate them for medical bills and lost income whether or not they were at fault in the accident. If an uninsured motorist hits someone, the accident victim can seek injury-related compensation from their own insurance policy. In some cases–but not all–accident victims can complete their claim through their own insurance company and PIP policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If an accident victim’s losses are greater than their PIP policy limit, however, they may have to pursue the additional compensation through other means. While drivers are not required to have uninsured motorist coverage, it is generally a good idea to have it in case injury-related losses exceed a PIP policy and the other party is not insured.
Personal Injury Claim
In cases involving serious injuries, the car accident victim may have the right to file a personal injury claim in civil court. To prevail in such a claim, the victim must prove that the uninsured motorist was negligent in some way to cause the accident. Negligence can occur in many different ways, including distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, or other violations of traffic laws. Once negligence is identified, the victim’s attorney will work to obtain either a favorable settlement agreement or a jury award at trial. Though the negligent party does not have insurance, there are other ways in which to collect on a judgment so that the injured individual is able to recover for their losses from the uninsured driver.