Although getting into a car accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance can mean serious financial headaches for another driver who wasn’t at fault for the crash, is the same also true when the innocent victim of the crash is the one who didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident?
Your Rights to File a Lawsuit If You Didn’t Have Insurance at the Time of Your Crash
Florida law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance if they own or drive a vehicle in the state. Florida also requires drivers to carry no-fault coverage (often called personal injury protection coverage) under their insurance policy. As a result, if you are involved in a car accident in Florida where the other driver is at fault for the crash but you did not have insurance coverage at the time of the accident, your ability to recover compensation may be limited.
Typically, without insurance you will be required to be responsible for those expenses and damages that would have been otherwise covered under the no-fault coverage of an auto policy.
However, if you have suffered serious or permanent injuries (e.g. broken bones, burns, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, amputation) in your accident, you may be legally entitled to pursue a claim against an at-fault driver for the damages you’ve incurred despite the fact that you were not carrying insurance at the time of the accident; these damages may include medical expenses, lost income and earning potential, lost quality or enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
Why Drivers Lack Insurance
Even though the law requires carrying auto insurance, and a lack of insurance can severely impact a driver’s rights in the event of an accident, some drivers choose to forego coverage. Typically this decision is financially-related; a driver may simply be unable to afford auto insurance. In other cases, a driver may have such a poor driving record that he or she is unable to find a company willing to offer insurance at a reasonable cost, or he or she may be deemed altogether uninsurable.
Again, because the law requires drivers to have insurance, if you get into an accident and police are called to the scene or the accident is later reported to police, you will likely be issued a ticket for failing to comply with Florida’s financial responsibility law.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in an Accident Where I Didn’t Have Car Insurance?
If you are involved in a car accident and don’t have insurance, you should still follow the normal course of action for a car accident — you can deal with the consequences of not having insurance later, but trying to flee the scene because you lack insurance will only lead to more serious consequences. Instead, you should:
- Call 911 if there have been any injuries
- FIle a report with the local police if they do not come to the scene
- Get contact and other information from the drivers involved and any other eyewitnesses
- Document the accident scene by taking photos or video of vehicle damage, traffic controls, and conditions at the time of the accident
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.