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What if I Am in a Car Accident Without Insurance in Florida?

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If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance Policy

Is Full Coverage Insurance Enough Insurance In Florida?

Car insurance is required in the state of Florida and there is a misconception that ‘full coverage’ is all you need. Wrong. ‘Full coverage‘ is the bare minimum required to get a driver’s license and purchase a car. This means if you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or you are at-fault in a car accident, you could be on your own.

Full Coverage Insurance protects the other person’s car if you were at fault and the first $10,000 for your medical bills regardless of who is at fault under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits at 80%.

But what about if you were not at fault and you have more than $10,000 in medical bills? Who pays then? How can you protect yourself and your family? You could be on your own. Hence, this is why we highly recommend you buy Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.

In 2017, the Insurance Research Council found that almost 14% of drivers in the United States do not have insurance coverage. Another 2015 study by the Insurance Information Institute also found Florida to have the highest percentage of uninsured motorists in the United States, at 26.7%.

These numbers mean that the likelihood of being in a car accident without insurance held by both parties is much higher. If you do have car insurance, there are usually six basic aspects that are covered in an insurance policy.

It is important to first understand these policy elements for your insurance protection before you can understand what happens if you are uninsured.

What Are The Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage?

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that are caused to the driver that is not at fault and the passengers who were in the accident.

Property damage liability: This covers the repairs to the other vehicles involved, as well as buildings, fences, etc., to the person not at fault.

Collision insurance covers the damage that is caused to your vehicle and property regardless of who is at fault.

Personal injury protection (also known as Florida ‘No-Fault’) is the cover that pays out for the injuries and lost wages that you, your resident relatives and the passengers in your car sustained.

Comprehensive insurance is there for when the damage to your vehicle is caused by incidents other than accidents. These incidents can include events like:

  • vandalism
  • natural disasters
  • damage from fire/wind/floods
  • theft
  • hitting an animal
  • falling objects

The last coverage we will mention, but perhaps the most important one, is to protect against uninsured and underinsured motorists, called ‘UM coverage’. This covers costs and damages that are caused by a person who does not have insurance at all (i.e., hit-and-run driver or an unlisted driver).

It could also protect you if someone has so little insurance that it will come up short. Basically, UM coverage is very useful to have in case the other driver does not carry enough insurance to cover your losses.

UM coverage in Florida is typically the cheapest coverage to buy ‘dollar for dollar.’ Yet, it is perhaps the most important because it follows you wherever you go, wherever your family goes and protects any occupants in your car when you are not at fault.

Florida Statute § 627.727 clearly makes this coverage so important that you need to affirmatively sign off on rejecting this coverage. At Fernandez & Hernandez, we highly recommend you protect yourself and your family by buying ‘Uninsured Motorist’ coverage equivalent to your household income. It’s important!

How important is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist coverage is so important that the legislature not only told insurance companies the exact language they must use for you to reject it, but what font to use and how bold and clear it must be. We have read many statutes in Florida and this is the only we have seen that states the exact language it must use, the font size and that it must be bolded. Florida Statute § 627.727 mentioned above states that if you want to reject this coverage, you must sign a form under the following restrictions:

‘The rejection or selection of lower limits shall be made on a form approved by the office. The form shall fully advise the applicant of the nature of the coverage and shall state that the coverage is equal to bodily injury liability limits unless lower limits are requested or the coverage is rejected.

The heading of the form shall be in 12-point bold type and shall state: ‘You are electing not to purchase certain valuable coverage which protects you and your family or you are purchasing uninsured motorist limits less than your bodily injury liability limits when you sign this form. Please read carefully.’

If this form is signed by a named insured, it will be conclusively presumed that there was an informed, knowing rejection of coverage or election of lower limits on behalf of all insureds. The insurer shall notify the named insured at least annually of her or his options as to the coverage required by this section. Such notice shall be part of, and attached to, the notice of premium, shall provide for a means to allow the insured to request such coverage, and shall be given in a manner approved by the office.’

All too often, our firm needs to discharge an injured party because the at-fault party does not have bodily injury coverage or even insurance at all. Moreover, our client’s did not adequately protect themselves by purchasing ‘Uninsured Motorist’ coverage.

What Does It Mean for Florida to be A No-Fault State?

Florida has a no-fault insurance system for accidents on the road. This means that if a crash happens, each driver’s insurance must pay for the damages regardless of who is at fault, which can be tricky as well as frustrating.

Auto insurance policies cover the basics such as damage and medical bills. If the accident has caused permanent physical damage, injury or disability, then they can pursue a civil lawsuit against you. It is best to seek legal advice immediately.

If you are uninsured and you are in an accident with another vehicle whose driver is also uninsured, then you might have a bit of a problem. You cannot get blood from a turnip and you may not be able to force the other person to pay when the other person does not have any money to begin with.

You will then possibly be liable to pay for the damages to your car. Medical expenses, lost wages, and other property damage will also be out of your pocket. Even if you have another form of insurance, it will likely not be covered if you did not have motor vehicle insurance.

When you have sustained serious injuries or are left permanently disabled, you can file a civil lawsuit against the other driver. The driver who is at fault. With this lawsuit, you will be able to recover, among other expenses, pain and suffering and medical expenses. To determine whether you have a case for a car accident without insurance, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer.

To Insure or Not to Insure?

It’s important to remember that if you do not have insurance, you are on your own. The same can be said if you are in a car accident without insurance.

The medical bills alone will bankrupt you if you are seriously injured. Lawsuits take a long time to come to a conclusion and reach a verdict.

You cannot bargain on getting any form of compensation from a civil suit. Your life can be ruined by not having insurance on your vehicle in an accident.

There are multiple policies that offer affordable car insurance on the market. If you do the research, you will be able to find insurance that falls into your budget. The bottom line is that you do not want to be the unfortunate person that is in a car accident without any or enough insurance.

Tampa Injury Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez at Fernandez & Hernandez in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones.

We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well.

Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez speak Spanish as well. Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation. For your convenience, we also offer a contact form online for you to get started with your attorney case review electronically.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free legal case review now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

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Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.
4.9
Based on 251 reviews
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Dominique mason
Dominique mason
16:18 29 May 20
I had nothing but good experiences with Martin. He goes to great lengths to get the job done and makes sure you are... aware of all of your responsibilities. He will talk to you one on one and keep you up to speed. I am sincerely grateful and appreciative of his hard work and effort in my case.read more
Dustin Walker
Dustin Walker
12:56 26 May 20
Martin handled my case well. He was on top of everything and it seemed like my case went smoothly. I actually enjoyed... meeting with the doctor he referred me to. I wouldn't hesitate to refer Mr. Hernandez to anyone that needed legal help.read more
Jesse Jimenez
Jesse Jimenez
15:05 15 May 20
Martin and his team got me paid very fast. I got into an accident and 30 days later they got me more money for my car... and all the money there was and all within 30 days. These are the best injury lawyers in Tampa. Hire them and don't go anywhere else.read more
albert mckinzi
albert mckinzi
13:16 13 May 20
I am very thankful for the wonderful job that Martin and his awesome office staff did to settle a case for my grandma.... As people age, they do have trouble understanding legal matters and terminology & can get bewildered at times. They were very patient and explained everything in a way that could easily be understood. In this fast-paced world finding someone to have patience with older people shows true care for a client and their level of integrity, which means the world to us! I highly recommend them to anyone in need of his services. Our only disappointment was not knowing about him sooner. Thank you so much.read more
Luis Atencio
Luis Atencio
00:55 07 May 20
The right attorney for the right legal assistance! Definitely five stars for the great legal assistance of the... attorney Hernandez and his staff. Very knowledgeable and lavish with his time, I feel very satisfied with his assistance as well with the help of his assistant Sofia, which led to a satisfactory results on my case.read more
Valerie Anderson
Valerie Anderson
18:17 28 Apr 20
First I want to say Thank you Mr Hernandez for your service in our community. I truly recommend Martin for your legal... needs. My Mom had a case pending when she passed.not re Not related to the accident but Martin went over and beyond to make sure me and my brothers was compensated. Keep up the good work Mr Hernandez we ruly appreciate you.read more
Jinnifer Stanley
Jinnifer Stanley
15:39 07 Apr 20
I was in a car accident and like some people weren’t sure how to handle it. I called a few lawyers but Mr. Hernandez... was the one who appeared to be more interested, not only as a lawyer but also as a human being. He made the process very smooth. He was a very great man and a lawyer. I am very thankful to him. I would recommend him to anyone.read more
Daniel Fernandez
Daniel Fernandez
21:18 05 Mar 20
Martin Hernandez is highly regarded lawyer and a 5 star attorney. He and his staff are on top of their game. We... highly recommend this law firm and will tell you that you will not regret hiring this law firm.read more
Liliana Alvarez
Liliana Alvarez
19:33 02 Mar 20
Martin Hernandez and Daniel Hernandez are the best lawyers ever. They helped us a lot and we got great results. Thank... you!read more
Benjamin Blevins
Benjamin Blevins
17:19 21 Feb 20
This is the best auto accident lawyer in Tampa. I was involved in a car accident and did not know what to do, who to... call, who to see, find a doctor that could help me, or even what to say. I called Martin Hernandez and he sat down with me and explained everything from beginning to end. He quickly resolved me my case and got me the most amount of money possible. When people ask me who is the best lawyer in Tampa? I always Martin Hernandez is the best auto accident attorney in Tampa..read more
dylan harper
dylan harper
17:09 20 Feb 20
Martin was able to explain my case to me very well. I got good advice on what my particular options were and an honest... assessment of what I should expect going forward. When the world is falling around you its best to ask the smartest, hardest working person you can find what to do, and then do it.read more
Carmina Wilson
Carmina Wilson
16:39 19 Feb 20
I had an absolutely amazing experience with Martin’s firm. I had incurred personal injuries as a result of a bad auto... accident. His team not only treated me with respect, but they also made me feel like I was their only client. They handled my case with an astounding amount of expertise. Martin and his team is a lifesaver.read more
Katie Gulledge
Katie Gulledge
16:43 12 Feb 20
Mr. Hernandez represented me for my car accident in March 2019 and he was able to get my maximum settlement in less... than a year! He genuinely cares and has a great team of assistants that were able to answer any of my questions through the past few months.read more
cedrick wilson
cedrick wilson
15:17 05 Feb 20
I was in an accident lately and he was suggested by a friend. He met with me in person and was very punctual. He was... very calm and determined throughout my entire situation. Overall, I was extremely satisfied and impressed with Martin in reaching very positive results. I would recommend him and his office to anyone for solid advice and bottom-line results. Thank you again!read more
Tamika Jones
Tamika Jones
22:29 06 Jan 20
My experience with Martin Hernandez has been stressful not on his part. Martin has been very patient with me when I... wanted to pull every strand of hair from my head. From day one he took time to explain the process of how this was going to be but he would be there to hold my hand all the way and he did just that. His paralegal Angela walked with and held both my hands as well during all of this. When I couldn't get ahold of Martin she would make sure he got everyone of my messages. I would use his services again and recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for all you have done and I'm forever grateful.read more
Russell Craig
Russell Craig
20:51 19 Dec 19
Very pleased with how the case was handled. I hope to never be in this position again as it was a stupid mistake but... with the help of Martin Hernandez I didn’t even have to appear in court on my own. I highly recommend using him and his team, you wont be disappointed.read more
Nicholas Nagowski
Nicholas Nagowski
22:34 14 Nov 19
Worked with Martin in Tampa, Florida. He executed on everything he promised. A well run organization. He called me... back very quickly whenever I reached out, if not answering right away. Definitely would recommend Martin to my friends and family. Thanks again for everything.read more
Mark Lenox
Mark Lenox
16:55 14 Nov 19
I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and I've reached out to Mr. Hernandez explaining my situation. He made me feel safe... through out the whole process. He helped me and extremely happy with the result. Martin knows clearly what are the best steps to take that's why I highly recommend him to anyone.read more
Kimberly McLendon
Kimberly McLendon
02:06 14 Nov 19
Martin Hernandez and his entire staff are extremely friendly,caring,knowledgeable, and treat you like apart of the... family. I hired Martin approximately 2 years ago. My case was a complicated one. But Martin Hernandez did an absolute amazing job. I was always kept current of what was going on with my case. Anytime I called, if Martin was unavailable his hard working staff got the answers I needed. I would recommend Martin Hernandez to everyone. He's dedicated to each case. If you're looking for a lawyer who doesn't just represent you,but welcomes you like family to his firm, Here's your answer. If I could give 50 stars I would. Thank you Martin& staff for all you did. Kimberly Mclendonread more
Chuck Hermanes
Chuck Hermanes
22:21 07 Nov 19
My medical bills had been piling up long before I decided to contact an attorney, and by that time the statute of... limitations was close to ending. My friend recommended Martin Hernandez who is very knowledgeable and who saved me in my situation. My medical bills are finally taken care of because of the work of Martin and his team. From the very beginning, I have no doubt that’s why he had so many great reviews from others. And I am 100% satisfied client who definitely recommend him to anyone.read more
Kymii Plur
Kymii Plur
14:49 01 Nov 19
Martin is the absolute sweetest most understanding lawyer I have ever met. He is very knowledgeable of every situation... and will get you the money that you are deserved. His staff is amazing I love everyone there I couldn't speak more highly of all of them. I would recommend Martin and his staff to my family and anyone who is in need of an attorney don't waste your time with others go see Martin he will take care of you !read more
Gabbie Bell
Gabbie Bell
09:32 26 Oct 19
Martin is very professional, marvelous , and meet all expectations far as handling my family law case.I strongly... suggest him to anyone who is in need of the best lawyer in Florida. Finest lawyer I've ever meet and i thank him for winning my case . He'll be hired by me anytime needed.read more
Johanna Gonzalez
Johanna Gonzalez
21:17 24 Oct 19
Great service. They took my case and guided me throughout the entire process with care and kindness. Thank you!
Parker Darlan
Parker Darlan
17:27 21 Oct 19
Martin and his office were very quick to respond to our inquiry and very professional. Extremely helpful and willing to... listen to the issue and address it in a timely manner. I would certainly use him in the future.read more
Stetson Madison
Stetson Madison
21:02 27 Sep 19
He has been very helpful as my attorney and made himself available whenever I needed. There has been multiple times I... wanted to just take a deal to get it over with but he has continued to work for me to get me in the best situation possible. He is very easy to work with and passionate about helping. He is not just a great lawyer but also a great human being!read more
Louie Serg
Louie Serg
15:51 13 Sep 19
My needs were met and the firm was invested in my case and me as a person. They were easily accessible, return phone... calls and emails promptly. Aggressive, when it was require and got the job done. Martin and his staff all produced the quality of an attorney and firm that anyone would want to hire.read more
Ted Esposito
Ted Esposito
16:49 07 Sep 19
I was involved in a car accident and the first person I called was Martin. He was very understanding and made it very... easy to get the insurance claims process underway. After a year of physical therapy, my case was settled and closed. Thank you so very much!read more
Arica Schmied
Arica Schmied
18:04 20 Aug 19
Amazing attorney!! Martin Hernandez and his firm are the best you'll find. I have known Martin for years and he has... helped my sister and friends in their car accident cases. I can't say enough good things. He is very knowledgeable, kind, and will treat you like family!read more
Noah Chase
Noah Chase
08:48 19 Aug 19
Mr. Hernandez is clearly very experienced - based on my interactions with him. I look for an attorney based on... integrity and experience. I found the integrity that I was looking for with Mr. Hernandez. I would recommend his services to anyone.read more
Fabian Prentice
Fabian Prentice
18:49 13 Aug 19
Martin is an amazing attorney and was able to get all 3 charges off my record. I knew I could count on him from the... moment I retained him as my attorney. He was quick to answer any questions I had and was very reliable. My case lasted over a year and he was always keeping contact with me the whole time. I would highly recommend him if you need a criminal defense attorney.read more
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