I Was Hit By a Driver Who Doesn’t Have Insurance, What Can I Do?

Being injured in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can have a significant impact on your life. Your injuries will likely require treatment. You may not be prepared to cover the cost of such treatment yourself.

Depending on the nature of your job, the severity of your injuries could also prevent you from working. This will limit your ability to earn an income.

You can seek compensation for such losses by filing a claim with your own insurer. If your accident resulted from the negligence of another driver and your injuries are severe enough, you can also file a claim to collect from their insurance.

However, you might discover that they don’t have any. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have no options. This overview will explain how you might still recover compensation in these circumstances.

Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver in Florida

It’s important to understand that whether a driver has insurance doesn’t always have much impact on whether a victim of their negligent driving can recover compensation in Florida. That’s because Florida is a no-fault state.

In most states, car accident victims can begin pursuing compensation for their losses by filing claims or lawsuits against the negligent parties who caused their accidents. Florida is among a few exceptions. In Florida, you begin seeking compensation by filing a claim to collect from your own insurance. This is the case regardless of who caused the accident.

Depending on your policy, the amount of compensation your insurer provides may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. For various reasons, your insurer might even deny your claim.

However, if your injuries meet the criteria to qualify as “serious injuries” under Florida law, you can seek additional compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit to collect from the insurance of the driver who hit you.

Unfortunately, recovering said compensation can be difficult if the driver doesn’t have insurance. Difficult, but not impossible.

What Happens When a Driver Who Causes an Accident Doesn’t Have Insurance?

You have a few options when you’ve been injured in a car accident resulting from the negligence of an uninsured driver. It’s best to review your case with an attorney after an accident even before you start pursuing compensation from your own provider.

Have an Attorney Handle Your Insurance Claim

They can optimize your chances of arriving at a fair settlement. If you also have reason to seek compensation from the negligent driver, your lawyer can determine the best approach.

Various factors will influence how you may go about seeking compensation when a driver who struck you isn’t insured. One factor is whether your insurance company offered an unfair settlement or denied your claim entirely. 

In this scenario, it may not be necessary to work with the uninsured driver at all. You can potentially sue your insurer to pursue damages in court.

File a Lawsuit Against All At-Fault Parties

Another option is to file a lawsuit against the driver. When filing an insurance claim is not an option, filing a lawsuit is an alternative.

That said, if a driver is uninsured, it may be because they don’t have the money for insurance. Even if it’s determined that you are eligible for compensation, they may be financially unable to provide it.

However, sometimes judges make arrangements that allow victims to be compensated over time in these situations. For example, a judge might order the uninsured driver to make monthly payments to you. These might be low, but they are more than nothing. Or, a judge can decide you should be compensated via any valuable assets the uninsured driver may have.

Consider Uninsured Motorist Coverage (If You Opted In)

All that said, you can always protect yourself by adding uninsured motorist coverage to your own policy. This optional coverage exists for situations like this.

Of course, adding it to your policy won’t help you much now if you’ve already been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. While you may want to add it anyway to avoid future headaches, right now your best option is to consult with an attorney.