Most of us have experienced the dreaded shock and upset of a car accident. But it can be even worse when we are in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or sufficient coverage. If you have auto insurance, you may not even think twice about the possibility. How, then, do you get reimbursement for an accident that was not your fault if you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Tampa?
The first step to take is to contact Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorneys for legal help.
What Exactly Is an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist?
Anyone driving in Tampa without liability auto insurance is an uninsured motorist. In the event of a collision, they won’t be able to cover any damages for themselves or you. Likewise, an underinsured motorist is a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage. Perhaps they carry the minimum requirement, but it’s not enough to cover damages. Or, they may have coverage that doesn’t meet Florida’s minimum coverage requirements.
Whether you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will be left having to clean up the mess yourself. On the plus side, a Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorneys knows the law and how to effectively work on your behalf to get you fair damage compensation.
Auto Insurance Laws in Tampa, Florida
Florida enforces “no-fault auto insurance” laws. That means if you drive in Florida, you are required to have a minimum of the following:
Car insurance is meant to pay for medical expenses and other accident-related damages, regardless of who caused the collision. So, for example, after a crash, you would file a claim with your insurance company for damage recovery. The problem arises when your accident damages exceed $10,000, and you need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance; if they are uninsured or underinsured, who can you hold accountable for all your losses?
But when you live and drive in an area like Tampa Bay, where there is a particularly high rate of uninsured or underinsured drivers, getting into a car accident can be more stressful. This is why it’s crucial to have a Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Attorney work on your car accident case. They can help you understand your rights after an accident occurs and see to it that you get fair compensation.
You Might Want to Consider Having Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Getting into an accident with an uninsured or inadequately insured driver will be frustrating. But you don’t have to panic, as you have options to recover accident damages. If you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance is going to look to the at-fault party’s insurance for damage payment.
But what happens if they don’t have insurance? One preventative measure to avoid this type of dilemma is to safeguard yourself with uninsured motorist coverage. While it’s not a requirement under Florida auto insurance laws, you opt for this through your own insurance policy.
How Common Are Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists in Florida?
Tampa is a busy metropolitan area. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in not just Florida but the world. Visitors and residents flood the streets and roadways every day. That only increases the likelihood of there being uninsured and underinsured drivers on the roadways.
According to recent statistics, approximately one in five Florida drivers don’t have auto insurance or have insufficient coverage. That means other drivers pay the price for their lack of coverage. If you get into a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be vulnerable to financial losses.
Research also shows that nearly 20% of Tampa drivers don’t carry liability coverage. That means 20% of drivers don’t even have adequate insurance to cover damage to their own vehicles or medical expenses. Additionally, they are on the hook financially for any damage beyond what is covered by their policy. Depending on the severity of the accident, this could be thousands of dollars or more.
What Should I Do After an Accident With an Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Accident in Tampa?
After a typical car accident in Florida, a driver’s insurance would cover the cost of medical bills, property damage, and other accident expenses. If they don’t have insurance, they can’t get coverage through insurance. Even worse, if they caused your damages that exceed your policy limit, you can’t get the financial reimbursement through their insurance since they are uninsured/underinsured.
Getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver is particularly risky because there’s no insurance company to hold accountable. But there are steps you can take to protect your rights afterward.
- A lot of car accident evidence is only available at the scene of the crash, so try to gather as much as you can there. You can never have too much evidence, as it is usually the foundation for any accident claim. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and all other vehicles involved. You’ll also want to get pictures of your and anyone else’s injuries. Also, try your best to timestamp all relevant details and the exact location of the accident. Finally, if any witnesses are nearby, get their contact information as they may need to testify later on.
- Call local law enforcement and make sure they make an official accident report. If you know that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, tell the law enforcement agent so it’s included in the report. Aside from that, if anyone sustains injuries or property damage past a certain threshold in Florida, you are legally obligated to contact law enforcement.
- Get medical attention as needed, and try to do it as soon as possible.
- Contact a Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney will help devise a strategy to get you compensation. Sometimes getting into an accident with a UM/UIM means having to file a civil suit directly against the driver or seeking compensation from other sources. Every accident is unique, so everyone’s case will require a tailored game plan to achieve the best results. Just be sure to speak with an experienced Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Attorney who has dealt with these cases before and knows how to win.
What Happens if the At-Fault Person in an Accident Has No Insurance in Florida?
Usually, the first step is to contact your own insurance company to file a claim. Depending on the type of coverage you have, your insurance policy might cover the damages you sustained by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. That’s often the quickest and most efficient way to get compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other losses from an accident.
We advise seeking out legal help from a Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorney, as they can best assist you with your claim. Find a reputable Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Attorney who has a proven track record of helping injury victims in such cases.
If your insurance provider does not cover all of your accident-related expenses, you may have to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Just because they don’t have insurance, it doesn’t mean they’re off the hook for covering your damages. In fact, failure to carry insurance is illegal for all Florida motorists. As such, you can hold an uninsured driver accountable for accident liability. Sometimes that means they have to dish out the bill from their personal assets.
A Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured motorist attorney will help guide you through the legal process and maximize your chances of getting a full financial recovery. It doesn’t matter if a person lacks adequate funds to satisfy a judgment against them; they will still be liable for their negligence on the road and must be held accountable accordingly.
In some cases, you might be able to seek compensation from other sources if they were negligent and contributed to the accident. For example, a governmental agency might be responsible for maintaining roads and highways, or vehicle manufacturers may have produced defective car parts. A knowledgeable Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured motorist attorney can help you identify all potential avenues for obtaining fair recovery.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for an Accident With an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist in Florida?
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit for filing a lawsuit or claim in Hillsborough County, FL. For an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) claim in Hillsborough County, the time limit is four years. And the clock starts ticking from the date of the accident.
One of the great benefits of having a Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Attorney working on your case is that they will make sure you file a claim on time. That’s why you need to reach out to us as soon as possible. If not, you might legally forfeit your right to pursue compensation for a UM/UIM accident claim.
One important note on the statute of limitations: while the four-year limit applies to most cases involving personal injury claims based on automobile accidents, there are exceptions where certain types of damages may still be available outside of this time frame. For example, if property damage was also caused by an accident, you might have extra time from the date of the incident to bring forth a claim for damage compensation. Basically, there are exceptions to the rule on a case-by-case basis.
How Do I Recover Damages After an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist in Florida?
As we explained above, you’ll file a claim with your insurance carrier first. However, if your claim is denied, you may need to pursue your case further. In Florida, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. You can do it independently, but we strongly advise getting legal assistance to do this. You’ll have a much higher likelihood of getting a full and fair recovery with a Tampa Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Attorney.
Since liability insurance in Florida is not a requirement, many forgo it. That means a lot of Tampa drivers are operating without liability coverage. And in most cases, they don’t have insurance because they simply can’t afford it. So even if you file a claim against the other party, that does not necessarily guarantee you get the compensation that you deserve. You could file a claim against them only to find they don’t have the assets to reimburse you for damages.
Therefore, before you take any legal action, it is best to consult a trusted Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured motorist attorney. They can analyze your unique case and advise appropriately on further actions against an uninsured driver.
How Do I Get A Settlement From An Insurance Company in Florida?
You can file a claim directly with an insurance company in Tampa, Florida, but sometimes this is a challenging task. The most common legal conflicts that arise between policyholders and insurance companies include disputes over coverage, benefits, or claims.
Another common challenge accident victims face is when an insurance company denies, undervalues, or underpays a valid claim. Sometimes insurance companies outright deny coverage for services that are covered by their policies. If you (the policyholder) find yourself in any of the above situations, you are entitled to take legal action against the insurer. You don’t have to back down if you feel you have been wronged or treated unfairly by the insurance company.
But, to seek damage compensation from Florida insurance companies, you have to meet certain requirements. That includes gathering ample, clear, and convincing evidence to show that your dispute is based on facts rather than speculation or opinion. Furthermore, you need to show that the claim or coverage denial was unreasonable and unjustified in the eyes of the law. This is where the expert services of Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured motorist attorneys will serve your best interests.
Contact a Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorney Today
If you’ve got all the way down here, it’s likely you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Don’t wait too long to seek professional and skilled legal counsel. We know what a hampering and confounded experience any car accident can be. But when you find out the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, it’s a new level of frustration.
The upside to all of this is that you can call us now, and things might start looking up. Our team of experienced Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured motorist attorneys know what it takes to get you the compensation you need and deserve. We’ll take care of all the legal proceedings for you so you can focus on your life and get things back in order.
Call us today to learn more about your legal rights and what options you have.
We offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose.