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Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney / Blog / Car Accident / What Happens if You Are Involved in an Auto Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

What Happens if You Are Involved in an Auto Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?


Being involved in an auto accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience. The stress can be even greater if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Unfortunately, the reality is that many drivers in Florida are either uninsured or underinsured. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2019, 20.4% of drivers in the Sunshine State were uninsured. An auto accident case involving a negligent, uninsured, or underinsured driver can present some challenges for obtaining compensation. Fortunately, after being involved in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, all hope may not be lost. There may be options for recovering compensation. Read on to learn more.

Who Is an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

An uninsured driver is one with no insurance coverage. On the other hand, an underinsured motorist has auto insurance, but their coverage limits cannot cover the total damages caused by an accident. In Florida, it is not mandatory for drivers to carry bodily insurance liability (BIL) coverage. Bodily insurance liability coverage is a type of insurance coverage that provides protection if a driver is found at fault for an accident that resulted in severe injuries to someone else. However, property damage liability (PDL) coverage is mandatory in Florida. This type of insurance covers the property damage of the owner of the vehicle, who was not at fault. In Florida, drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. And if a driver purchases BIL coverage, the minimum they can buy is $10,000 per individual or $20,000 per accident. Often, the minimum insurance requirements are insufficient to cover the expenses associated with collisions.

What Happens if You Are Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

If you are severely injured by a driver who does not have insurance or whose coverage limits are insufficient to cover your total damages, you may have options for recovering compensation. One of the options you may have is suing the other driver and recovering compensation directly from them. However, this option can only work if the at-fault driver has enough assets to cover your damage, and the reality is that in many cases, drivers who are uninsured or underinsured don’t have assets.

The second option is collecting compensation from your own insurance company. Drivers can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Florida. This type of coverage is meant to protect you if you are injured by a driver without insurance or who has inadequate coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured coverage is not mandatory in Florida. However, it is advisable that drivers carry this type of coverage in addition to any required coverage. When you have UM/UIM coverage, your own insurance company can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages the same way the at-fault driver’s insurance company would have covered those damages.

Finally, if you have collision coverage, you can look at this coverage. This coverage pays for the damage or value of your vehicle.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you’ve been involved in a Florida accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact a qualified Lakeland car accident attorney at Darla K. Snead, P.L. for legal guidance.



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