If my car was in an accident and I have no insurance, what happens?

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were NOT at fault in the accident, you can file a property damage claim with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  If you were injured in the accident, you can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.

If you were at fault in the accident, if the other driver did not have insurance, the other driver will sue you for his/her property damage and the personal injury claims of the occupants of his/her car.

If you were at fault in the accident and the other driver has uninsured motorist coverage, the other driver will file his/her property damage and personal injury claims through the insurance company. The insurance company will then sue you to recover the amount it paid on the uninsured motorist claim. If the other driver had insurance, but did not have uninsured motorist coverage, the other driver will sue you for property damage and personal injury.

The property damage claim would be the cost of repairs to the car.  The personal injury claim would include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and wage loss.

If you were at fault in the accident and the other driver gets a court judgment against you which you can't afford to pay, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  It would be premature to file bankruptcy until there is a court judgment against you.

If you were not at fault in the accident, as mentioned above you would file your property damage and personal injury claims with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  The property damage is usually resolved early in the case.  You would not file your personal injury claim until you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.  Then, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party / registered owner of the vehicle if someone other than the at-fault driver.  If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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