What Happens if I Get into a Car Accident without Insurance in Miami, FL?
If you are ever involved in a car accident in Florida, your insurance policy, or that of the other driver, may provide financial coverage for medical bills, property damage, lost earnings, and other damages. If you do not have insurance coverage, recovering compensation for your injuries can become a trickier issue – particularly if the other driver also sustained injuries or vehicle damage in the crash. If you or one of your family members was recently in a car accident in the Miami area, it is in your best interests to immediately consult with an experienced Miami car accident lawyer, who can help you understand your rights, responsibilities, and legal options after a crash with no insurance in Florida.
What if You Are in an Auto Accident with No Car Insurance in FL?
Florida is known as a “no-fault” state, which has important legal implications for the victim of a car accident. As a no-fault state, Florida does not require either driver to prove that the other motorist was at fault for causing the crash or collision. Regardless of fault, an injured party generally looks to his or her own insurance policy for financial coverage.
The question is, what happens when a driver doesn’t have insurance? Where can he or she turn for help, and what are the potential risks? The answers depend on the circumstances of the accident, with several scenarios described below.
- What happens if you were injured in the accident? If you sustained minor injuries, you may be required to pay out of pocket due to the lack of insurance coverage. However, if your injuries are permanent or severe, such as the loss of a limb, you may be able to file an injury claim against the other motorist in civil court with assistance from a Miami personal injury lawyer. Depending on how the accident and resulting injuries have affected your life, and are expected to affect you in the future, you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages, medical costs such as surgery, and the pain and suffering caused by the crash. Your Miami accident attorney can help you obtain medical evidence, police accident reports, and other pieces of information that are vital to your claim.
- What happens if the other driver was injured in the accident? If the other driver was hurt, his or her auto insurance will help to pay for property damage and medical bills up to the policy limits. However, if the other motorist was catastrophically injured, he or she could potentially file a lawsuit against you in an effort to recover compensation. This risk is lower if the driver carries uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance, which is designed to provide coverage for drivers who are hit by motorists with no insurance (“uninsured motorists”) or inadequate insurance (“underinsured motorists”), including hit-and-run drivers. If you are uninsured and hit a driver who has UM/UIM insurance, his or her UM/UIM policy will provide coverage for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, up to the policy limits.
FL Car Insurance Requirements
If you are reading this article because you do not currently have auto insurance, you should strongly consider purchasing coverage as soon as possible – not only because you will have better financial protection in the event of an accident, but also because driving without insurance places you in violation of state insurance laws, meaning you are subject to harsh penalties.
Miami residents should be advised that Florida law requires all drivers to carry certain minimum amounts of insurance. The minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in Florida are:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – $10,000
- Property Damage Liability (PDL) – $10,000
Depending on your driving record and/or criminal history, if any, you may also be required to carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage (BIL), which provides coverage of $10,000 per individual and $20,000 per accident.
Keep in mind that these reflect only the mandatory minimum options. Depending on factors like how frequently you drive, you may be interested in purchasing additional, optional coverage, such as UM/UIM coverage or “comprehensive coverage,” which is frequently packaged together with “collision coverage.”
Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance in FL
As noted above, you risk being harshly penalized if you drive without auto insurance in violation of Florida’s minimum coverage requirements. Not only can your license be suspended, temporarily eliminating your driving privileges – you must also pay a costly fee in order to have your license reinstated. Depending on whether it is a first, second, or subsequent offense, driving without auto insurance in Florida can trigger license reinstatement fees ranging anywhere from $150 to $500.
Miami Car Accident Lawyer Handling Injury Claims
After you have been seriously injured in a car accident, complicated insurance paperwork is the last issue you want to deal with. Focus on resting and recovering from your injuries, and allow an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate personal injury attorney to handle your auto accident claim for you.
Serving accident victims throughout the Miami metropolitan area, Miami auto accident lawyer Prosper Shaked is qualified to handle a wide array of vehicle accident injury claims, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents in Miami. Whether an accident results in a bone fracture, brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other type of injury, rely on Miami injury attorney Prosper Shaked for aggressive and dedicated legal representation. To discuss a potential claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked online, or call today at (305) 690-0244.