I reside in Orlando FL and do not have UM coverage.Can I sue in small claims for my deductible since the other party allowed her insurance to lapse.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I reside in Orlando FL and do not have UM coverage.Can I sue in small claims for my deductible since the other party allowed her insurance to lapse.

Was waiting at red light and was hit by a young man driving his mothers vehicle. She provided the police her insurance information however a couple of days later her insurance company called me to say her insurance was lapsed during the time of the accident so they wont cover it. My insurance will pay to fix my vehicle and my medical through PIP however I am out a thousand dollars. What recourse do I have if I don’t have UM coverage.

Asked on July 5, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the at-fault driver, and since the law presumes that the driver who rear-ended you was at fault (he was responsible to maintain a safe following distance and speed, pay attention and be able to brake in time), you have a good chance of winning. The at-fault driver *is* liable for any damage he or she provably does. You can also sue his mother, the car's owner, since the owner of a vehicle is liable for the damage, etc. done when someone whom she permits to drive her car is at fault in an accident. You can sue for your provable costs or losses which have not been paid by your insurance (e.g. a deducible). The main issues for you are--
1) Since a lawyer will cost you more than $1,000, the only cost-effective way to do this is as your attorney. (You can't recover your attorney fees; in the U.S. legal system, with a very few exceptions, each party pays his/her own attorney.)
2) You must therefore be comfortable filing and bringing a lawsuit, since that's the only way to get the money.
3) If they don't have money (e.g. they are broke or insolvent), suing them may not help: a court judgment does not make money appear where there is none, so if they can't pay you, they can't pay you.

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