Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have a lot of medical debt and other damages. Normally, you would be able to receive compensation for these damages by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But what do you do when the driver that hits you isn’t insured?
Unfortunately, approximately 20.4% of drivers in Florida don’t have insurance coverage of any kind. With the national average at 12.6%, you’re much more likely to get into an accident with an uninsured driver in Florida over most other states.
If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact Osborne & Francis online or at (561) 293-2600.
So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:
Number One: See a doctor immediately.
A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.
A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care.
Number Two: Write everything down.
Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain.
You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered.
Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.
Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them.
So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.
Florida Car Insurance Requirements
In Florida, every driver is required to carry car insurance. However, the type and amount of coverage that drivers carry are often up to them. There are a few different types of coverage that all drivers are required to have, including:
Have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection
Have a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability
Florida is one of the states with the loosest insurance requirements. All other coverage is optional for personal drivers, including:
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Medical Pay Coverage
Extended Personal Injury Protection
Excess or Umbrella Policies
Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver in Florida?
If the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance, it’s unlikely that they’ll have the money to pay out a settlement. Instead of suing the driver that hit you, you can receive compensation through your own insurance by using both Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
However, if more compensation is required after maxing out your own policy, you may be able to set up a scheduled payment system with the defendant. That way, you get the money that you deserve, and they don’t fall into financial hardship. The payout schedule will depend on your damages and their ability to pay.
How to Receive Compensation When the At-Fault Party is Uninsured
Receiving maximum compensation for your damages when the at-fault party is uninsured can be stressful and complex. Thankfully, our team of attorneys is experienced in recovering damages and will be able to help you get the most money possible.
First and foremost, you’ll be able to receive compensation through your required personal injury protection coverage. You can recover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. If your damages are under $10,000, you’ll be completely covered.
If you only have the base level of coverage and your damages are higher than $10,000, you’ll need to look into other options. If you have Med Pay or Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you can receive payouts from those as well.
But what if you don’t have any additional coverage of your own? Well, your attorney (that’s us!) will be able to look into other avenues for you. Here are a few examples:
If a defective part was partially at-fault for the accident, you might be able to recover damages from their insurance coverage
If there was another driver involved in the accident that shared the fault, you might be able to recover damages from their insurance coverage
If the driver who hit you is a dependent, you may be able to recover compensation from their parent’s insurance coverage.
Damages You Can Recover from Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal Injury Protection insurance only covers medical bills, lost wages, and replacement services. Medical bills include:
PIP also covers “replacement services,” which refers to any household services you may have to pay for because of your injuries, such as a maid or shopper. It’s uncommon that you’d claim these damages, but they are included if you have the leftover coverage. Don’t forget to keep track of those expenses!
How to File an Uninsured Motorist Claim
In Florida, you have four years to file a lawsuit after the date of your car accident. If you fail to file within that time frame, the court may throw out your case entirely. To ensure you can recover damages, file your lawsuit as soon as possible.
After your accident, you’ll want to speak with an attorney right away. They’ll be able to speak with the insurance companies on your behalf—so you don’t accidentally damage your case by accepting a small settlement offer or signing away your rights.
We’ll gather evidence and file your uninsured motorist claim for you. We’ll ensure that everything is filed correctly and within the right timeframe. When your insurance company responds with their answer, we’ll negotiate higher. The first settlement offer is almost always too low, but we’ll work hard to make sure you get the most money possible.
If there’s another avenue to go through, like filing against a third party, we’ll take care of that as well. By hiring Osborne & Francis, you’ll have a strong, experienced attorney on your side who’s willing to fight for your claim. Not only that, but you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case. Even with our fee, we can get you more compensation than you would get without an attorney.
Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.
Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!
“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”
"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"
“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”
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Contact Osborne & Francis ASAP to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. However, Osborne & Francis is here to help you. We’ll walk you through every step of the process and keep in touch with you so you always know what’s going on. We’ll handle the hard work while you focus on resting and recovering.
To learn more about our law firm and how we can help you with your claim, please contact us online or at (561) 293-2600. Schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible after your accident occurs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Boca Raton Office
925 S. Federal Highway, Suite 175 Boca Raton, FL 33432