Fort Myers Uninsured Motorist Attorney
In any given year, Florida is at or near the top of the list of states with the highest rate of uninsured drivers. With about one in four vehicles on the road in Florida being piloted by an uninsured driver, you have a very real chance that the driver who hits you won’t have any insurance. What does this mean for your ability to have your medical care paid for if you are injured in the crash? What about lost wages for work you miss due to the accident and injury? If you are severely injured, what about compensation for pain and suffering and other damages? These questions are very serious and at the top of anybody’s mind when they are hit by an uninsured motorist. Fortunately, The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., has the answers. Learn more below about your rights in these situations, and contact The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. if you get injured in a Fort Myers uninsured driver accident.
What PIP Covers and What It Doesn’t
Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage pays 80% of your medical bills, up to the policy limit, when you are injured in a crash. PIP is “no-fault” insurance, meaning you don’t have to prove that another driver was negligent or that you weren’t at fault.
Florida drivers must also carry $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) to pay for property damage they cause in a crash. Surprisingly, state law does not require drivers to carry any amount of bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance. Only certain drivers must have BIL coverage by law, such as taxi drivers or persons who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).
If you get hurt in a crash, your PIP coverage will pay 80% of your medical bills, and the at-fault driver’s insurance should cover the other 20%. PIP insurance can also pay for up to 60% of your lost wages when you miss work because of the accident.
What if the other driver doesn’t have PIP coverage, and what if you are seriously injured in the crash? If you suffer a “serious injury,” defined in Florida as a permanent injury, loss of a bodily function, significant scarring or disfigurement, or death, then you are authorized to pursue a tort claim against the other driver for the full extent of your damages. These damages would include all of your medical expenses, all of your lost income, and other damages, such as pain and suffering. In these situations, the at-fault driver’s BIL coverage would pay your damages.
When the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured
If the driver who caused the crash doesn’t have PIP or BIL coverage, you can still get compensation by filing an uninsured motorist (UM) claim under your insurance policy, if you have this coverage. UM is frequently sold along with BIL, so if you have BIL, you probably have the same amount of UM coverage. You might still need an attorney to help you get full value for your UM claim. Insurance company adjusters will still try to downplay the serious nature of the accident and offer you less than your claim is worth. An experienced Fort Myers car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., can negotiate with the insurance company and make sure they pay you the full value of your claim.
If the other driver is uninsured and you don’t have UM coverage, you could be left with the option of filing a lawsuit directly against the other driver. If you win a judgment against them, you might still have to take further action to enforce the judgment, such as attaching a lien to their property to force them to pay.
Get the Compensation You Need and Deserve After a Fort Myers Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver
The bottom line is that even when the driver who hits you is uninsured, you still have options to collect compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other legal damages. The process may seem confusing and challenging, but an experienced personal injury lawyer will know the proper steps to take to secure your claim and get results. In Fort Myers, call The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., at 239-649-8050 for a free consultation.