In Florida, all motorists are required to purchase and maintain minimum mandatory auto insurance coverage. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to abide by this law. Indeed, the Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that more than one in five motorists in Florida are uninsured—the fifth highest of any state in the country. This raises an important question: What should you do if your crash is caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Florida? It is crucial that you take proactive measures to protect your rights and interests. In this article, you will find an overview of five key steps that you take if the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance coverage.
Step #1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention (Emergencies Come First)
Nothing comes before your health and well-being. A severe injury in an uninsured motorist crash requires immediate medical attention. Other injuries should still be evaluated. It is not uncommon for car wreck injuries—from TBIs to whiplash—to develop with a delayed onset. By promptly seeking medical care, you ensure that your health is taken care of and that you have documentation of any injuries that may be relevant to your claim.
Step #2: Report the Collision to Law Enforcement
Once you have addressed any medical emergencies, it is crucial to report the accident to law enforcement. The police will investigate the crash and create an official accident report. The crash report will be an essential piece of evidence when filing a claim. A necessary step for all types of collision, reporting an accident is especially needed if the at-fault driver lacks insurance.
Step #3: Document the Crash (Get as Much Information as Possible)
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, gather as much information as possible about the accident. Take photographs of the scene, including damage to both vehicles, road conditions, and any other relevant details. Exchange information with the other driver, including their name, contact details, and vehicle information.
Step #4: File a Claim Through Your Own Insurer (PIP Coverage and/or UM/UIM Coverage)
If you were seriously hurt in an uninsured motorist accident in Florida, you may have a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, a motorist who lacks insurance coverage rarely has many (if any) recoverable assets. As such, your primary source of compensation is your own insurance. Make sure you are ready to file a claim through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Step #5: Be Ready to Get Professional Legal Representation
Uninsured motorist accident claims are complicated. The sooner you consult with a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, the better position you will be in to protect your rights and secure the full and proper financial compensation that you deserve. You cannot rely on insurers—even your own policy provider—to look out for your best interests. The right attorney can help you navigate the claims process and secure the settlement or verdict you need to pay bills and cover other damages.
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