If you are ever in a situation where you are hit by an uninsured driver in Florida, it is important to know the steps to take after.
STEP 1: DON’T PANIC & DOCUMENT LOSSES
Since Florida is a no-fault state, your auto insurance policy actually covers you when an uninsured motorist hits you. Try to remain calm, as one of the most important steps after any car accident is gathering evidence. Documenting the scene is essential to have proof of what happened, especially if you’re filing an insurance claim and/or lawsuit. Notify law enforcement so you can get a police report. Ask the at-fault driver for their contact information and take down their driver’s license number, and the make and model of their vehicle. Also, take photos of the damage to the cars, your injuries, medical bills, and proof of loss of wages if applicable. Whatever evidence can be given to prove that the uninsured motorist was at fault is essential. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they will give a recorded statement on your phone.
STEP 2: SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
To recover benefits under your auto insurance policy, you must receive medical care within 14 days of the accident. However, the sooner you do, the better. Even if you feel okay, some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms. In addition, having documentation that links any possible injuries to the crash is critical when filing a claim.
STEP 3: NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Notify your insurer of the accident, but do not make a recorded statement until you speak to an attorney. Under your PIP policy, you can recover:
- 80% of reasonable medical costs related to the accident,
- 60% of lost wages due to the accident, and
- $5,000 for death benefits.
However, your bodily liability limits can be as low as $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident. Depending on your policy, you may not have enough coverage to pay for your losses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Most policies include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage unless you chose to opt-out in a signed statement. The policy will typically have the same amount of coverage as you selected for bodily injury liability and be used to pay for medical bills and lost income beyond what PIP benefits covered, pain and suffering, bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death resulting from an accident. As long as you can prove the other driver was at fault and your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold.
STEP 4: SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY
Schedule a free legal consultation to have your case evaluated. An attorney will help you weigh your options to determine the best route for obtaining the compensation you need. They can help you file a claim with your insurer and discuss whether a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver should be pursued.