Florida Car Accidents: How to Handle an Uninsured Motorist
Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry insurance coverage for both personal injuries and property damage. Unfortunately, far too many drivers fail to live up to this legal obligation. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that as many as 24 percent of Florida drivers lack the requisite coverage. To put this number into perspective, this is nearly double the national average. In fact, only Oklahoma has a higher percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. Inevitably, some of those uninsured motorists will cause serious accidents. This can leave victims stressed out and confused. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may feel like you are out of options. Do not give up. Please pick up the phone and call an experienced Tampa uninsured motorist accident attorney today to discuss your rights and legal options.
You May Be Able to Recover Compensation From Your Own Insurance Company
At-fault motorists can be held liable for the damages that they have caused. However, in most cases, uninsured motorists lack the assets to adequately compensate victims. This means that victims will generally need to look elsewhere to obtain the fair compensation that they deserve. Most likely, victims will need to seek recovery from their own insurance company. Many drivers carry some form of uninsured motorist coverage to protect them in this type of situation. In fact, under Florida law, insurance companies are required to offer all citizens uninsured motorist coverage. Though, everyone does have the right to decline this coverage if they choose to do so. We would all like to think that our own insurance company would be quick to pay us fair compensation. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Even when dealing with your own insurance company, recovery can prove challenging.
Four Tips for Dealing With the Insurance Company After an Uninsured Motorist Accident
- Report your accident immediately: Insurance policies put obligations on the policyholder. One of the most important duties of the policyholder is to report all accidents in a timely manner. If you were in a crash with an uninsured motorist, do not wait to file a report with your insurer. Failing to take action could cost you your legal rights.
- Be cautious when giving statements: When speaking to an insurance adjuster, you should always be very cautious. When detailing your accident, please stick to the facts and say as little as is necessary. Select your words carefully and do not editorialize about the accident. If you make any accidental misstatements, they can be used against you. Ultimately, it is best to deal with the insurance company through your attorney.
- Be patient when negotiating: The first settlement offer is rarely the best offer. If the insurance company is offering you a quick settlement, you need to be completely sure that the settlement covers the full extent of your damages before accepting it.
- Do not sign anything without attorney approval: Finally, you should always seek attorney approval before signing any documents from the insurance company. This includes everything from settlement agreements to the release of your medical records.
Contact Our Office Today
At Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, our Tampa car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling Florida uninsured motorist claims. If you have been injured by an uninsured motorist, please contact our office today to request your free initial consultation. Our firm is located in Tampa Bay and we serve accident victims throughout the region, including in Plant City, Safety Harbor and Clearwater.