26.7% of all drivers in Florida have no auto insurance, but that doesn’t always mean you can’t be compensated for your injuries. If you were seriously injured in any type of auto accident in the Tampa area, contact us today for a free consultation.
A crash scenario:
You certainly don’t expect it, especially when you’re so close to home. You’re on your way to the supermarket to pick up a few items, and you traffic signal is green at a major intersection. Then, you don’t know what hit you, but after that white light flash from your brain hitting the sides of your skull, you know that you’ve been in a crash. You’ve been broadsided on the driver’s side by a guy in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck who ran the red light on your left. You can’t open your driver’s side door to get out of the car, so you crawl through the window that was previously occupied by glass. When you try to take your first step, there’s incredible pain in your left leg and ankle, and you fall to the ground. You’re a bloody mess, and you’re pretty sure that you suffered a broken leg. Now, the guy that hit you is trying to get his truck started. He’s trying to leave the scene, but his truck won’t start.
The other guy doesn’t even look like he’s been injured. There must have been a squad car nearby, and a passing motorist must have called 911. That guy was still trying to start his truck when police arrived. Soon after that, the paramedics arrived. Not long after that, you see the other guy getting handcuffed. You’re wheeled off on a gurney, and now he’s in the back of a squad car. It looks like he’s going to jail, and you’re going to a hospital. A police officer tells you that he’ll pay you a visit in awhile to tell you what’s going on.
A fractured tibia and ankle are shown to you on your x-rays. Now, you’re admitted to the hospital. It looks like you’re going to be scheduled for surgery tomorrow or the next day. Indeed, the investigating police officer finds you and pays you a visit. You learn that it’s believed that the driver who hit you was on a massive dose of opioids. After that, you learn that his driver’s license was permanently revoked a few years ago for four or more DUIs. Then, you learn that he had no insurance. Sounds crazy, but this hypothetical crash scenario is very similar to what happened in Clearwater in December 2018. Now what?
Make a PIP Claim First
Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, everybody who drives an automobile is required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. Notwithstanding the fact that the other driver didn’t have any insurance, you can still make a claim and get at least some of medical bills and lost earnings paid with your PIP through your own insurance company. What comes to issue is that surgery and rehab are going to cost tens of thousands of dollars, but your PIP coverage is only $10,000. That’s why you want to be sure that you carry uninsured motorist insurance.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
As per the Insurance Research Council, about 26.7 percent of all drivers in Florida have no auto insurance. That’s about twice the national average, so next time you’re on the highway, take a look around you. More than one out of every four drivers that you can see are without any car insurance at all.
Who is Covered?
You can purchase uninsured motorist insurance (UM) through your own insurance company. That’s who you will make any uninsured motorist claim with too. Take note that residents of your household who are blood relatives are probably covered under your UM, even if a hit-and-run driver is involved. All of you are probably even covered as bicyclists or pedestrians too. Most UM policies will pay damages like medical costs, lost earnings, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability and pain and suffering up to the limits of your coverage, so long as those damages are the result of an accident that was caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
The Other Alternative
You can make a claim for the rest of your medical bills under your health insurance too while your UM claim is pending. That’s what you pay premiums for, but your health insurance doesn’t cover any of your other damages.
Always Contact The Rhino
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, contact our Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers right away. We can arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re available to answer your questions and advise you of your legal options. Compensation might be available for you. You’re in a highly complicated insurance situation. We can talk about how we might be able to help you get things straightened out.