A car accident can throw your entire life into a tailspin. You might have painful injuries, expensive damages, and no way to pay for anything without auto insurance.
If you were in a car accident that was not your fault and did not have insurance, you can still take steps to get compensation for your damages. Your first step should be to get medical attention and call a lawyer. For many, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver is a good way to cover all their damages. You can also try to work out a settlement agreement if a lawsuit is not what you want. You should also be prepared to face a few legal penalties for driving while uninsured, such as a citation and fines. Driving without insurance is not good, but it should not bar you from getting fair compensation for the accident.
If you were hurt in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, our Miami car accident lawyers can help you get compensation, even without insurance. For a free case assessment, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident in Florida if You Have No Insurance
Immediately after you are involved in a car accident, you should get help. If you can, call 911 and have medical responders and law enforcement sent to the accident scene. If you are too badly injured to make the call, someone else in the area should make the call for you. Even if you do not believe you need medical attention, you should get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Once you have called for help, you should record any information about the accident you can while still at the crash site. Pictures, videos, and the names of potential witnesses will be extremely important to your case later. Even if you cannot record the scene with pictures or videos, you should at least try to make mental notes of the location, people nearby, the other driver, and anything else that seems important.
Once you have been seen by a doctor, your next step should be to call a lawyer. Our Hialeah car accident attorneys can help you get compensation for the accident even though you were uninsured. You can still get compensation without having insurance, but there might be penalties along the way.
Paying for a Car Accident in Florida When You Are Uninsured
Paying for all your expenses after an accident can be difficult if you are uninsured. Perhaps your insurance lapsed, or you missed some insurance payments, and the insurance company canceled your policy. After an accident in which you were not at fault, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver to claim damages for the accident, although you must meet the “serious injury” threshold first.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, and drivers normally file claims with their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This covers limited damages, including medical bills and certain other expenses. PIP does not cover non-economic losses like pain and suffering. Without insurance, you might have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Unlike a no-fault insurance claim, we must prove fault in a lawsuit. The evidence mentioned before – photos, videos, witnesses – will be extremely important here.
To file a lawsuit, you must meet the “serious injury” threshold under Florida Statutes § 627.737(2). Under this rule, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver after an accident if your injuries meet one of the following criteria:
- You experienced a significant and permanent loss of bodily functions.
- Your injuries are permanent.
- Your injuries include permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Your loved one died in the car accident.
Our Kendale Lakes car accident attorneys can help you get assessed by a physician who can determine if tour injuries are “serious injuries” under the law. If you meet this threshold, we can begin working on your personal injury lawsuit.
Legal Consequences for Driving Without Insurance in Florida
Although we can help you get compensation from the negligent defendant for your damages after a car accident, you might have legal penalties to deal with for driving without insurance. The good news is that driving without insurance is a minor traffic violation and not legally considered a crime. The bad news is that you might have to pay expensive fines in addition to the expenses related to the crash.
The amount of money you might have to pay in fines will depend on where the accident happened and your driving record. Fines might differ if you were driving without insurance on a state highway versus a local road. Our Florida car accident attorneys can review your citation and help you determine how to take care of any fines or other legal penalties. You will also face having your driver’s license and vehicle registration suspended until you can acquire auto insurance.
In some states, there are “no pay no play” rules prohibiting or restricting uninsured drivers from filing lawsuits even if another driver is to blame. Florida does not have “no pay no play” laws, and you can sue at-fault drivers even if you are uninsured. However, you must meet the criteria mentioned above for serious injuries and deal with the potential legal consequences of driving without insurance.
Will Not Having Insurance Prevent Me from Getting Compensation for a Florida Car Accident?
Drivers often wonder if being in an accident while uninsured will prevent them from getting compensation. While driving without insurance does not look good, it should not stop you from getting fair compensation if the other driver is the one who caused the crash. As long as you meet the criteria for serious injuries, you can file a lawsuit for damages. Our Florida car accident lawyers can help you hold the driver accountable and make them pay for the damages they caused.
Your lawsuit will be presented to a judge and possibly a jury of your peers. Although you are not the one who caused the accident, your insurance issue might come up. Driving without insurance may be perceived as reckless or irresponsible, which might be a red flag for the jury. However, your lack of insurance is not why you are in court, and we can make sure the jury is instructed that they cannot use your lack of insurance against you when reaching a verdict. The ultimate issue of fault is not influenced by who did or did not have car insurance at the time of the accident.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers for Help Now
Not having insurance should not prevent you from getting justice and holding the negligent driver responsible. Our Miami personal injury attorneys will stand up for you and help you get compensation. Call (305) 204-5369 for a free case evaluation with the Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A team.