Uninsured Motorist Accidents
Were you injured by an uninsured motorist?
It's common knowledge that Florida drivers are required to carry auto insurance. When someone is involved in an accident, the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy kicks in and covers the victim's losses such as the repairs to the victim's vehicle, the medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering; this is in a typical scenario. But, what happens when you're involved in an accident with someone who doesn't have auto insurance?
While most Floridians carry auto insurance, there are a substantial percentage of drivers that elect not to purchase auto insurance, and in most cases this occurs because the person simply can't afford it but they choose to take this risk and they drive anyway. In the most severe cases, drivers don't even have a driver's license or they're driving on a suspended or revoked license, and this is not all that uncommon.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones who were involved in an accident with one of these uninsured drivers, and your chances are rather significant that this could happen, then your chances of pursuing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and collecting money from him or her are slight, especially when they can't afford insurance to begin with.
Filing a Claim Against Your Own Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage (UI/UIM) is covered under Section 627.727 of the Florida Statues. Under this Section, no motor vehicle insurance policy shall be issued or delivered unless it includes uninsured motorist coverage. This means that the insurance agent is required by law to include the coverage in the policy. The only exception to the rule is where the policy holder rejects the coverage in writing. Therefore, unless you expressly refused this coverage in writing, your auto insurance policy should have uninsured motorist coverage.
Here's how it works: if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or if the at-fault driver has insufficient coverage to cover your damages, then you would activate your auto insurance policy's uninsured motorist coverage. You would actually file a claim with your own auto insurance carrier in order to seek damages up to your policy's full limits, or if it becomes necessary, you could file a civil lawsuit.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Necessary if No-Fault Insurance is Mandatory?
An interesting question arises when one considers Florida's laws concerning Uninsured Motorist coverage and its mandatory policy on no-fault insurance. According to Florida's no-fault insurance laws, claims for accidents are made by the victim to his or her respective insurance provider for compensation regardless of fault or negligence. This means that car accident claims are never made to the at-fault driver's insurance company and lawsuits over car accidents are seldom filed. However, if that is the case, then it seems as though Uninsured Motorist coverage is unnecessary because an insured motorist would not be paying for the victim's damages anyway. On the contrary, Uninsured Motorist coverage is very valuable in special situations involving serious collisions.
No-fault insurance provides guaranteed payment to covered drivers and dependents for a portion of their damages and injuries in a car accident. The keyword in the previous phrase is "portion." While this policy is adequate for some minor collisions, more serious accidents involving catastrophic injuries and the loss of life will undoubtedly be far more expensive in terms of losses both emotional and financial. In this case, it may be possible for the driver to seek additional damages from the at-fault driver but if that driver is uninsured, the victims have no way to seek further compensation – unless their insurance coverage includes Uninsured Motorist coverage. In that case, the victim would invoke the coverage and claim additional damages from their own insurance provider.
Benefits of Stacking Coverage
In Florida, drivers have the choice of stacking or not stacking coverage when there are multiple vehicles in their household. When people choose to stack coverage, it allows them to maximize their financial recovery by pursuing compensation under both of their vehicles UM coverage after they are involved in an uninsured motorist accident. In simpler terms, the policy holder can take advantage of the UM coverage on both of their vehicles and "stack" it together in order to obtain more compensation. We always advise people to purchase as much stacking uninsured motorist coverage as they can afford, and we also tell them that UM coverage is the most valuable insurance coverage that will protect them.
Contact a Plantation Car Accident Lawyer
Contrary to what you would like to believe, your own insurance company is interested in minimizing their losses and maximizing their profits. Sometimes people are surprised to discover that when it comes to filing an uninsured motorist claim with their own carrier, their insurance company delays or denies their claim and in turn, actually becomes their adversary. As an injured person who has been involved in an uninsured motorist accident, you have the right to receive the coverage that you have been paying into all this time. We have found that policy holders benefit dramatically by hiring a Plantation car accident lawyer to ensure they receive the full uninsured motorist coverage they are entitled to under their policy, and you would greatly benefit from this service as well. To learn more about filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Jason T. Corsover without delay to find out how we can help you!