The Importance of Hiring a Tampa Uninsured Motorist Attorney After an Accident
Try as you may, it is likely to happen. All the skill and defensiveness in the world won’t save you.
Yes, getting in an accident is bound to happen to all of us at some point. But the suffering can be so much worse when you have the unlucky fortune of getting hit by an uninsured motorist.
Getting in an auto accident often has so many adverse effects on your life: between the need to treat your injuries, the missed work, and replacing your vehicle, getting back to normal can take a very long time, if it’s even achievable.
Getting into a wreck with an uninsured motorist severely complicates everything, which is exactly why you need to hire a high-quality attorney to ensure your interests are looked after sufficiently.
Florida Insurance: Mandatory But Not Suitable
In the state of Florida, there are many hazards on the road. Florida is home to the largest elderly population in the country.
It also has hazardous storms and blistering heat, all making the roads of Florida conditioned perfectly for negligent drivers to make a critical mistake, resulting in you getting hit.
Fortunately, unlike other states, Florida requires insurance by law.
Unfortunately, the minimum coverage required is quite low:
- $10,000 minimum in personal damage liability (PDL)
- $10,000 minimum in personal injury protection (PIP)
Now, while that $10,000 in PDL would apply to you in the event of a wreck, the PIP only applies to the other parties’ injury costs.
This means that even in a scenario where you run into a legally (but minimally) insured motorist, you may only be covered for $10,000, regardless of your total vehicle and medical expenses.
But when you have been hit by a completely uninsured motorist, not even that amount is guaranteed to you.
While insurance is mandatory in the state of Florida, it nonetheless is second to only Oklahoma in the overall percentage of uninsured motorists. The reality is that in Florida, there are a lot of uninsured or underinsured drivers out there.
So, what are your options when confronting either an underinsured or uninsured motorist? Read on to find out.
Dealing With An Uninsured Motorist
The reality of this situation is rather bleak. When you get hit by a driver without insurance, your options are quite slim.
Yes, they were required to have insurance. Yes, they broke the law by not having insurance. Yes, you can find a local personal injury attorney and sue them for your damages.
But the issue of them breaking the law by not having insurance is an issue for them, not some kind of advantage for you.
Furthermore, even if you have a slam-dunk case against the uninsured motorist, think about who you are likely suing. Someone without insurance isn’t likely to have personal wealth or substantial assets.
As a good general thought process, if they chose to not get insured, it is likely because they could not afford to do so.
The odds of you recouping anything substantial from these kinds of drivers is slim to none, to say the least.
This is precisely why it is so important to protect yourself before these incidents occur.
Mitigating Your Damages With An Uninsured Motorist
You need to be proactive about these things before they happen. To do this, you can always purchase uninsured motorist insurance, or UM insurance, working alongside your normal car or health insurance to make up for the losses that an uninsured motorist inflicts on you.
Coverage for uninsured motorists covers areas where your basic insurance may not be enough. It can cover expenses such as your lost wages, medical costs, and even compensation for your distress and suffering.
But even though it is important to adequately cover yourself, it is equally important to be financially aware and not purchase far more than would be necessary. Consulting with a Tampa area attorney about uninsured motorist coverage can yield you many insights into what would be the best UM policy for your needs.
Dealing With An Underinsured Motorist
Similar to uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage is also designed to make sure you are made whole again after an accident.
When you get hit by a motorist, there is a good chance that even if you were hit by an insured individual, you will encounter policy limits that may be insufficient to satisfy your damages.
As discussed earlier, the mandatory policy minimums in Florida only give you about $10,000 for everything. Oftentimes, repairs to a vehicle or replacing one will cost more than that alone. That isn’t even getting into any potential medical costs you have or the other claims you may make in such an accident.
In these situations, you can often feel that there is no point of having such low mandatory insurance minimums.
But there is a way to protect yourself.
Underinsured Motorist Policy
Underinsured motorist insurance policies operate largely in the same way as uninsured motorist policies. They serve to fill in the gaps when the other party has limits that won’t be enough for you.
In a state like Florida, where the bare minimums do not reflect the average total costs of a car wreck, it is even more important to protect yourself with a policy of your own.
Much like uninsured motorist coverage, you should talk to a lawyer to make sure you get all the coverage you need.
Hire The Firm That Treats Clients Like Family
Getting into a car accident is always a stressful ordeal. Make sure you don’t let it get any worse by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage to cover any potential losses.
If you need a Tampa personal injury lawyer, and you’ve been involved in a car accident, look no further than the Stratigakos law firm. Contact us today.