Unfortunately, it’s far more common than people think. In a study conducted in 2011, it was found that the national average for America was one in every seven drivers may be on the road without any kind of auto-insurance. These drivers may need a car, but either don’t want—or can’t afford—monthly insurance payments, so they cancel their insurance policy once they’ve used it to get approval on a car.
Florida is a “No Fault” state, meaning that for damage of up to $10,000, insurance companies can automatically handle these payments without any need for going to court. But what happens if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver here?
Making It Right Afterwards
If you get into an accident where you are not at fault but the other party has no automobile insurance, there are essentially three options.
It is possible for you yourself to acquire uninsured automobile insurance. This simply means that certain insurance companies actually do offer options on insurance premiums that cover your costs and damages should the other party not have insurance. You have to check with your own insurance company to see if this option is available and what additional cost this will incur for you, if you want that coverage.
The other option lies with the at-fault driver. Getting involved in an accident in Florida with no insurance can lead to a suspension of the license to drive for up to three years, possibly more if severe consequences like major injury or death are involved.
In order to avoid the license suspension, the at-fault driver still has the option to get automobile insurance retroactively, but now the new insurance company must immediately pay out the cost and damage involved.
The final option is, simply, that the uninsured driver is unable or unwilling to get retroactive insurance, and is willing to accept the license suspension and not legally be able to drive, or simply intends to run the risk of driving illegally. In this case, your final option is to sue the driver.
This is generally not recommended by most car crash lawyers since a driver with no insurance is unlikely to have much in the way of assets to sue. However, if it’s important to sue for the principle, so as not to let the other driver “get away with it,” payment plans and other options can be worked out in court, to ensure that the driver is penalized, though this type of compensation may take longer—and may not even be equal—to an insurance claim.