Miami Uninsured Motorist Injury Lawyers
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While auto insurance is required by law in Miami, on some occasions, people may choose to drive uninsured. When people are victims of accidents with uninsured motorists, this can sometimes lead to difficulty in paying for the damages caused.
Unfortunately, accidents with uninsured motorists are common and can be unexpected.
Florida Insurance Requirements
Before registering a vehicle in Florida, you must show proof of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance. PIP will cover 80% of most medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP is for yourself, not the other driver. PIP will also cover 60% of lost wages up to $10,000 and provides a $5,000 death benefit in the case of the driver’s death.
PDL will cover damage to another person’s property you may have caused or if someone else was driving your vehicle.
All vehicles with Florida registration must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and PDL. The vehicle must have continuous coverage even if the vehicle is not being driven. An inoperable vehicle must have its license plate and tag surrendered before insurance is canceled to avoid penalties.
The penalties for failing to carry the appropriate amount of PIP and PDL insurance at all times could include suspension of your driver’s license and registration. You may also be required to pay a reinstatement fee of up to $500.
Florida Has a High Percentage of Uninsured Motorists
While Florida has mandatory requirements for insurance, not every motorist will abide by the law and keep their insurance up to date. In 2015, 13% of drivers in the United States were uninsured. Florida had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists at 26.7%.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida, but it may be beneficial to carry a policy that includes it. Uninsured motorist coverage will not apply to damage to the car itself, but will apply to physical injuries to yourself and passengers.
Uninsured motorist coverage will be able to pay for:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Long-term care
- Medical devices
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Permanent disabilities
Uninsured motorist coverage is for yourself and your passengers should you be injured in a car accident by someone who does not carry any liability car insurance. If the other driver was underinsured, then your insurance will help cover the unpaid costs. Uninsured motorist coverage can also be used if the other driver’s insurance denies coverage.
While uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida, insurance companies are required to offer you the coverage. You may reject this coverage in writing. The minimum uninsured motorist coverage available in Florida is $10,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $20,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. It is important to contact a Miami uninsured motorist injury attorney to help you understand your rights if you were injured by an uninsured motorist.
Common Scenarios Where Uninsured Motorist Coverage Would Help
In understanding whether purchasing uninsured motorist coverage is necessary, the following examples will provide scenarios to consider where the coverage would help.
Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run accident is a type of car accident where the driver who caused the accident flees the scene without exchanging information. A hit and run can occur between two cars, between a car and your property, or a car and a pedestrian. While some states will not allow uninsured motorist coverage to apply to hit and run accidents, this coverage is available in Florida.
Traveling Out of State
If you are traveling in another state with your vehicle and you get injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, your insurance may cover you.
Passenger in a Car
If you are the passenger in someone else’s car and they are hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance may pay for your injuries.
Hit as a Pedestrian
Your uninsured motorist coverage may pay for your medical bills if you were struck as a pedestrian by an uninsured motorist.
Florida is a No-Fault State
Florida is a no-fault insurance state which means that you can only rely on your own insurance to pay for your damages. If you hold the minimum insurance coverage of $10,000, you will only be able to get $10,000 to cover your injuries and damages. Uninsured motorist coverage will allow you to have coverage for any long-term care or injuries.
Can You Still Sue a Driver in a No-Fault State?
Yes. You may still sue for damages caused by a negligent driver. Your PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000, but if your medical bills cost more, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the other driver for the additional costs. However, this becomes more difficult if the other driver is uninsured. A Miami uninsured motorist injury attorney may be able to help you understand your options.
Most Common Injuries in a Car Accident
Car accidents can cause serious injuries. Some of the most common include:
Whiplash occurs when your body moves suddenly and your head is jerked forwards then backward very quickly. The muscles and tendons in the neck can become injured and may take a long time to heal.
Scrapes, Cuts, and Bruising
Scrapes, cuts, and bruising may occur from objects inside of the vehicle that are not secured during the impact of the crash. You might also strike the steering wheel or dashboard with your body if you are not wearing a seatbelt and your airbag does not deploy.
A herniated disc occurs when one of your vertebrae is ruptured or moves out of place. This can be extremely painful.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
You may suffer mental and emotional damage as a result of being involved in a car accident. This may require treatment by a psychiatrist.
If your loved one was killed as a result of a car accident and the other driver is at fault, a family member may be able to bring a claim for wrongful death.
How to Avoid Car Accident Injuries
You may be able to recover all of the above damages and more if you are injured by an uninsured motorist. Speaking with Miami uninsured motorist injury attorneys may be able to help.
No one plans to be in an accident, but taking steps to avoid injuries in the event of one may reduce harm and may even save your life. The CDC provides that always wearing a seat belt and never driving impaired under the influence of drugs or alcohol are helpful to reduce car accidents.
Taking action can save lives. In 2018, nearly 3,200 people in Florida were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Wearing a seat belt is the first suggested strategy to saving lives and money in car accidents.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
A car accident is an emergency and requires immediate action. Keep the following tips in mind in the event of a car accident with another driver:
- Call 911
- Seek medical treatment immediately if injured
- Collect contact information and insurance information from the other driver
- Do not admit fault to the police or an insurance company
- Contact a knowledgeable Miami uninsured motorist injury attorney
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me After a Car Accident?
Hiring a lawyer may seem daunting, especially after being injured in a car accident. If you have been injured, the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and to get the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced lawyer in personal injury.
A lawyer may negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf. Often, insurance adjusters will offer you a lower settlement amount in an effort to save money. A lawyer may be able to get you a higher settlement by factoring in your current and future expenses.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they do not get paid unless we win you money. A lawyer knowledgeable in uninsured motorist injuries has experience with these types of cases and is on your side.
Zinda Law Group May Help You Seek Damages
At Zinda Law Group, our Miami uninsured motorist injury lawyers are experienced and have handled many cases involving uninsured car accidents. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help you seek the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our Miami personal injury lawyers. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.