No one expects to get into a car accident. One minute you are driving down the road, headed to work or home or out running everyday errands. The next minute, you find yourself involved in a car crash. Suddenly, you are dealing with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries.
When the unexpected happens, we expect that, at the very least, our injuries and losses will be covered by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.
However, when the driver who caused your crash has lost his or her driver’s license to a suspension or revocation, the driver may have lost his or her auto insurance coverage as well.
In fact, one of the main reasons why many drivers do not carry insurance is because they are unlicensed. One of the main reasons why the driver may have lost his or her license is because they were engaging in the very same kind of careless or reckless driving that caused your crash.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, common reasons for a license suspension or revocation in our state are:
- Failure to comply with a traffic summons or to pay a fine
- Being deemed unable to operate a vehicle safely due to physical or emotional health concerns
- Receiving an excessive amount of tickets or being convicted as a habitual traffic offender
- Causing an accident resulting in injury or death
- Being convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a driver with a suspended or revoked license (and, in turn, no insurance), you should know about your options.
Filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claim
In Florida, the first step after any car accident is to file a personal injury protection, or PIP, claim. Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry PIP coverage.
Known as “no-fault” insurance, PIP pays benefits to drivers as well as any passengers in the vehicle after a car accident – regardless of who is at fault. So, regardless of the other driver’s license or insurance status, you can at least seek PIP benefits.
Benefits provided under PIP coverage in Florida include:
- Medical benefits – PIP will pay up to 80 percent of all medically necessary treatments and services, including medical and surgical care, rehabilitative services and ambulance charges.
- Lost-wage benefits – PIP will also pay 60 percent of lost income and wages as the result of a car accident. The benefits are paid every two weeks.
- Death benefits – In the unfortunate event that a victim in a car accident dies as the result of his or her injuries, PIP will pay death benefits to the relatives of the victim or the executor of the estate.
The amount of compensation PIP pays for medical and disability payments is up to $10,000. It pays up to $5,000 for death benefits.
However, while these payments may help accident victims and their families, they typically do not come close to covering the full costs associated with most major accidents.
If your claim for damages is above what PIP covers, and the other driver lacks liability insurance, you may be able to file a claim through your own insurance policy.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist (UM) Claim
If the other driver is uninsured, your coverage may pay medical costs, lost wages and compensation for any pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injury.
You should contact an Orlando car accident lawyer who can review your insurance policy to determine whether you have UM coverage and the amount of coverage available under your policy. The lawyer can also help you with filing a claim with your insurance company.
Other Options for Seeking Compensation from an Uninsured Driver
Being involved in a car accident is a serious, potentially life-altering event. You may have suffered severe, disabling and even life-threatening injuries – all of which can have a major impact on your finances and your ability to support your family – now and in the future.
It adds insult to injury to think that an accident that occurred through no fault of your own could still leave you holding the bill for the damages.
We understand how traumatic these types of accidents can be, and how frustrating and unfair it can seem when difficulties arise in getting the other driver to pay for your damages.
It is important to remember that even in cases where there is no insurance coverage available from the other driver, you may still have options through the Florida civil justice system.
In the event you are granted a judgment for damages, funds to satisfy the judgment could be obtained in the following ways:
- Levy – Law enforcement can seize the at-fault driver’s property and sell it at an auction. The proceeds would go towards satisfying the debt owed to you.
- Lien – This is a claim placed on real property such as a home. In the event the property is sold, the lien would be paid from the proceeds.
- Garnishment – If the at-fault driver has income, it may be possible to have his or her wages garnished. In this case, you would receive money from the court each month. The funds are taken directly out of the paycheck of the at-fault driver.
Get in Touch with an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a car accident in Orlando, Winter Park or elsewhere in Florida, contact attorney Frank M. Eidson today. He will work diligently to seek compensation for your losses while giving your case the personalized attention it deserves. Contact our office today at to schedule a free review of your case.