A car accident can be a major headache even with insurance, but if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may be left with many questions on how to proceed. A Bradenton uninsured motorist accident lawyer can explain your legal rights and determine your best step forward from a legal perspective. If you or a loved one were a victim of an accident like this, you may need to seek affordable legal representation.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Following an accident, victims are often disoriented and upset. It's important to try and keep a cool head. Remember that your safety should be your main priority for you and any passengers. Once you do that, consider taking the following steps to protect your legal rights and your compensation:
1. Stay at the Scene of the Accident
If you leave the scene of an accident, it may reflect poorly on you down the line, especially if you want to make a personal injury claim or even an insurance claim. Stay at the scene, in a safe location, until a police officer gives you the go-ahead to leave.
2. Call the Police
Even if there were no apparent injuries, having the police at the scene allows you and the other driver to report what happened. If you don't have your phone, or your phone was broken in the crash, ask a bystander to call the police instead. No matter how small an accident may seem, notifying the police is always a good idea.
3. Analyze and Document the Accident Scene
Despite the circumstances, be as analytical as possible. If you can, take notes and pictures or ask a witness to take them for you. Be sure to specifically note damage to your vehicle, injuries, street signs and traffic cameras in the area, and road conditions. This can help provide an objective view of the scene down the line.
4. Do Not Admit Fault for the Accident
In these stressful situations, victims are often disoriented. Be deliberate about not accepting any responsibility for the crash. Something as simple as “I'm sorry” could cost you down the line. It is also important not to post about your accident on social media either.
5. Get Medical Attention
Even if you think you weren't hurt, or only hurt a little, be sure to be seen by a medical professional. After accidents, victims may not feel the full force of their injuries for a few days (or more). After your medical examination, remember to maintain all receipts and expenses associated with the visit.
Accidents with Uninsured Motorists
If you live in Bradenton, Florida, you know that it's a high-traffic area. People make their way from all over the country to visit Tampa, Sarasota, and the rest of the gulf coast. Drivers who aren't familiar with the area, combined with a high volume of motorists in general, can create an unfortunate number of accidents. Plus, even if you have insurance, other drivers may not.
By law, all drivers are required to have car insurance in the state of Florida. In fact, drivers are required to have car insurance across the entire United States. Despite this, only 87% of drivers nationally carry insurance while in Florida, this number is even lower at 73.3%. In other words, more than a quarter of Florida drivers are driving uninsured.
Florida Insurance Laws
The Florida insurance system is set up in a unique way. Florida is referred to as a “no-fault” state, which means the following:
- The insurance carried by a driver is designed to protect the policy carrier, instead of other motorists
- In Florida, drivers who get into any kind of car accident should make a claim with their own insurance company (instead of the insurer for the other driver)
- If compensation received through an insurance payout is insufficient, victims do still have options available to them, including a personal injury or wrongful death claim (if a victim died in the accident)
Types of Car Insurance
As mentioned before, Florida law requires that drivers have some form of car insurance. If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you will certainly have to work with your insurance company. The important types of insurance to understand for these kinds of cases are Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, Underinsured Motorist (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
- This is a legal requirement for drivers in the state of Florida.
- The minimum coverage that drivers must carry is $10,000.
- This coverage is designed to help accident victims recoup financial losses from the accident, particularly due to personal injury.
To ensure maximum compensation from your PIP coverage, it is essential to get your medical analysis and treatment done quickly after an accident. In most cases, if a victim does not get medical attention, they lose their ability to do so. If your PIP coverage does not recover all of your compensation, you have other options, such as UIM, UM, or a lawsuit.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
While not a requirement for all drivers, many choose to add UM and UIM to their policies to deal with being hit by an uninsured driver. UIM and UM provide policyholders with additional compensation. This can include a variety of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, UM and UIM do not cover costs associated with vehicle repair bills.
Get an Expert on Your Side
These cases can be complex, but our team is familiar with uninsured motorist accident laws and dealing with the insurance companies. Allow our attorneys to answer your questions and take on your case while you focus on making a complete recovery. Don't hesitate to contact the Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation.
6703 14th Street West Suite 207
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 613-5747