There are dozens of laws that dictate what you can or should do on the road in Florida, and there are many drivers who happily ignore those laws. People drive around with expired licenses and fail to use their turn signals. They ignore speed limits or intentionally drive the wrong way down a one-way street to reach their destination just a few minutes faster.
Any driver breaking traffic laws puts you at a disadvantage, but some of them put you at financial risk. Some drivers in Florida let their mandatory insurance coverage lapse because they failed to make monthly payments. Other drivers intentionally cancel their policies after renewing their vehicle registration to save a little bit of money.
What happens if you get into a car crash and the driver to blame doesn’t have insurance?
Your own policy helps
Florida does have a unique approach to insurance that benefits those hurt by uninsured drivers. Your no-fault bodily injury coverage will protect you even when you are not at fault for the crash. Some drivers pay for extra coverage, but many only have the $10,000 in coverage required by state law. There are limits to how much that coverage will pay, and it only applies to medical expenses, not lost wages.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, that extra protection could also help. You can make a claim against that coverage for the vehicle repair bills and lost wages that a liability policy could have theoretically covered for you.
You may need to go to court
Uninsured drivers have broken state law and left themselves vulnerable to civil lawsuits. You can file a personal injury lawsuit after a crash caused by someone’s violation of traffic laws or negligent behavior. The courts may award you compensation for any expenses that insurance would typically cover.
You could potentially obtain more compensation than insurance would provide, as the limits will reflect your costs rather than the coverage available. Sometimes, when crash costs are extreme and the other driver has few resources, third-party liability claims may also become necessary.
Knowing the options available to you after a car crash caused by an uninsured driver will protect you from the financial hardship caused by that wreck.