Florida Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Claims Lawyer
Every driver in Florida must carry auto insurance as a legal requirement. Regrettably, drivers who irresponsibly hit the road without the required coverage could also disregard other traffic regulations, causing serious car accidents.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage is designed to safeguard you in case of an accident involving a motorist who either lacks insurance or doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover the damages. If you do not have this coverage, you could be left with medical bills with no one else to pay for them.
Florida uninsured motorist claims can be complicated and time-consuming, and insurance companies are often reluctant to provide your rightful compensation. Reach out to Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney for assistance in filing a claim under your UM coverage, ensuring that you receive the justice you deserve. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-299-8878.
How a UM Coverage Can Compensate Your Accident Losses
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage can aid in covering the following costs:
- Present and future medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost income resulting from unexpected absence from work
- Pain and suffering
- Impairment or significant deterioration of your quality of life
- Wrongful death of a loved one in the accident.
Insurance Requirements for Florida Drivers
In accordance with Florida insurance law, all drivers are obliged to have the minimum insurance coverage which includes:
- At least $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
- At least $10,000 for property damage insurance.
Despite this, numerous drivers in Florida disregard the state’s legal requirements and operate their vehicles without any insurance whatsoever. Some who do have insurance opt for the bare minimum coverage, thus they could be underinsured in case of a serious car accident resulting in significant injuries or property damage.
What If The Other Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?
When involved in a collision with a driver who lacks insurance, you may encounter the following consequences:
- Huge medical expenses
- Painful injuries
- High costs to repair or replace your vehicle.
Unlike insured motorists, the uninsured driver cannot compensate for the damages incurred. What options, then, are available to you?
Firstly, it is important to note that Florida implements a no-fault insurance system. Irrespective of who’s responsible for the crash, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can provide coverage for $10,000 (or more, depending on your policy limits).
However, if you sustain severe injuries or if car replacement becomes necessary, the financial losses you incur could quickly exceed your coverage limits. This is when you’ll need to claim from your UM policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Applicable in Various Situations
Uninsured motorist coverage is not limited to covering you while you are driving your vehicle. This coverage also safeguards you if you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. UM also extends its protection to your family members if they get hurt in a vehicle accident, whether it’s in your car or not. Additionally, UM can cover passengers traveling in your vehicle.
UM insurance also applies in hit-and-run crashes, collisions involving unidentified vehicles, as well as accidents where you or your family members were pedestrians or cyclists. According to the Florida Bar, this coverage provides financial compensation for various aspects such as lost wages, medical expenses, bodily injury, sickness, and diseases resulting from the motor vehicle collision.
Does Florida Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pain And Suffering?
In addition to covering medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and wrongful death, your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage may also compensate you for your pain and suffering from the accident. However, to be eligible for these damages, you must meet the “permanent injury threshold” as defined by Florida Statutes Title XXXVII. Insurance § 627.737.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Motorist in Florida?
You are entitled to receive financial compensation for your losses if a negligent driver caused them. If your PIP and UM coverage do not cover all your costs from the accident, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
In order to win the lawsuit, it is necessary to establish the liability of the uninsured motorist for the accident. To accomplish this, you must provide sufficient evidence that substantiates the following elements:
- The motorist had a legal obligation to exercise due care towards you.
- The motorist breached this legal duty of care.
- The breach directly caused the accident and resulting injuries.
- As a result of the accident and injuries, you suffered substantial losses.
However, it is not always financially viable to sue an uninsured motorist as they may not have sufficient resources to fully pay the damages. In such cases, the recommended approach is to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Underinsured Motorist Claim In Florida?
If you need to file a lawsuit against your own auto insurance for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) benefits, this particular claim is classified as a breach of contract action. As per Florida Stat. §95.11(2)(b), the statute of limitations for such cases is five years.
If, on the other hand, you decide to sue the uninsured at-fault driver for causing your injuries, this would be a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of injury.
To ensure the smooth progress of your claim, it is important to seek the assistance of an attorney. A legal professional will carefully monitor the statutes of limitations and help collect the necessary evidence for your claim.
The Problem with Insurance Companies
You may expect that if you purchased ample insurance and are consistent in paying your premiums, you would be rightfully compensated in times of injury. Unfortunately, insurance companies often prioritize their financial concerns and fail to empathize with the distress you experience after an accident. They may disregard various factors pertaining to your accident and only provide partial coverage for the overall damages.
This is why many injured claimants end up receiving a much smaller amount than they deserve. Claimants who do not have a lawyer are even less likely to receive compensation, often facing denials from insurance companies.
How a Competent UM Lawyer Can Help
With the complexity of insurance policies, state laws, and insurance tactics, you’ll need the help of a skilled Florida personal injury attorney to navigate the aftermath of your accident.
Working with a proficient UM law firm in Florida can ensure the insurance company is held accountable and help avoid the denial of your claim.
If you are trying to claim from your UM insurance, or if you’re still uncertain about whether to get this additional coverage, we encourage you to contact the DeBerard firm without delay. Our attorneys can provide sound legal advice regarding the purchase of underinsured and uninsured auto coverage. We can also represent you in your UM claim, fighting for your maximum compensation and helping ensure the insurance company treats you fairly.
Contact a Skilled Florida UM Attorney Today
If you have been a victim of a car accident in Florida caused by the negligence of an uninsured motorist, it is crucial to seek justice by contacting Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Our team of skilled attorneys is readily available to provide you with the necessary legal assistance. Schedule a free consultation by calling us today at 800-299-8878.
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