Kissimmee Uninsured Driver Accident Lawyer
Helping Injury Victims in Osceola County Hit by an Uninsured Driver
Florida has some of the lowest auto insurance requirements in the country, but even still, not everybody carries the insurance they should. In fact, Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation, with more than one in four drivers on Florida roads uninsured. What does this mean to you if you get hurt in a car accident, and the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance? You might still have one or more avenues available to you to recover valuable compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you get hit by an uninsured driver in Florida, make sure you get the driver’s contact information and contact the police to make an accident report. Your next step should be to call an experienced Kissimmee uninsured driver accident lawyer who can explore your options. In Osceola County, call Draper Law Office in Kissimmee for a free consultation.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
Uninsured motorist, or UM, coverage, is just what it sounds like; it is insurance that pays your damages if you get hit by an uninsured driver. UM is coverage you purchase for yourself, so you’ll be filing a claim with your insurance company for UM benefits. This coverage will only come into play if you have a permanent injury under Florida law, defined as:
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
If your injury does not fall into one of these categories, you can file a claim for no-fault benefits under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and recover compensation for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. If you did suffer a permanent injury, though, you could file a UM claim for all your benefits up to the limits of your policy. UM coverage is also applicable if you get injured by a hit-and-run driver, a despicable and dangerous type of crash that is sadly on the rise in Florida and across the country.
A related type of coverage that often comes with UM is underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This insurance pays you benefits if the at-fault driver carried some liability insurance but not enough to cover your damages. Given that Florida law does not require drivers to purchase any amount of bodily injury liability insurance, it’s entirely possible for a driver to have bought some liability coverage, but not very much.
If you do file for UM or UIM benefits, don’t be fooled into thinking that the insurance company will pay all your damages because they are “your” insurance company and not the other driver’s. The insurer is still interested in minimizing its payout and is likely to offer you less than you are truly owed. Our experienced car accident attorneys will know what your claim is worth and how to get the insurance company to settle for a higher value.
What if I Don’t Carry UM Coverage?
UM coverage is not required by Florida law, and many drivers don’t buy it. You might not have known what it is or why you need it. Now that you know, it may be a good time to revisit your policy and make sure you have good UM coverage. It is not a great expense compared to your overall insurance bill, and it can be a lifesaver if an uninsured driver hits you. A good rule of thumb is to purchase as much UM/UIM as your bodily injury liability coverage.
If you don’t have UM coverage, all is still not lost. If you suffered a permanent injury as discussed above, you still have a claim against the at-fault driver and can sue the driver directly. If they are found at fault, they would have to pay you out of their personal assets. You might have to take additional steps to collect this judgment through wage garnishment, property liens or other means, but if they have money in the bank or other assets, your attorney can help you get the compensation you are owed.
An uninsured driver might promise to settle with you and pay your damages at the scene of the accident and discourage you from calling the police. Agreeing to this is generally not in your best interest. Property damage claims are always more expensive than you think they are going to be, and you don’t yet know what your medical bills or other costs might be. It’s also important to get an official record of the crash from the police, including a determination of who was at fault, if applicable. The better approach at the scene is to be sure and collect contact information from the other driver, call the police to investigate the accident, and call an experienced Kissimmee car accident attorney to discuss what happened to you and how to proceed.
Call Draper Law Office After any Car Crash in Kissimmee or Osceola County
For help after a car accident in Kissimmee or Osceola County involving an uninsured driver, call Draper Law Office at 407-846-0075 for a free, confidential consultation with a dedicated and successful Kissimmee uninsured accident lawyer.