Hiring an uninsured motorist accident lawyer is a smart move if you have been in a motor vehicle crash that is not your fault and involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
Florida’s “no-fault” law means that, in the event of a car accident, all parties must claim certain damages directly from their auto insurance policies, and not the other driver’s insurer, regardless of who was at fault. To cover this, Florida law requires that everyone who registers a vehicle a standard 4-wheeled motor vehicle in the state must have the minimum required car insurance:
- $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) coverage to protect you from property damage and injuries as a result of an accident you caused.
- $10,000 no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to protect drivers and their passengers from losses related to a collision, regardless of who caused it.
However, statistics indicate that one in three to sometimes as great as 1 out of every 2 Florida motorists typically maintain low amounts of coverage and NO Bodily Injury (BI) coverage which may not be enough to compensate you for your injuries. And those that may have BI liability coverage, may have purchased very little insurance limits, not enough to cover your loss. Those situations are when you may have an underinsured motorist claim.
So, what to do?
One of the only ways to protect yourself prior to being in an accident is to purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) with your own insurance carrier. We always recommend to our clients to purchased either Stacked UM/UIM coverage (which multiplies the amount of coverage times the number of vehicles in your household) or an Umbrella Policy which covers you for more than your UM/UIM coverage for a defined amount (e.g., a $1,000,000.00 Umbrella Policy).
Uninsured Motorists Lawyer, Florida
Should your losses after an accident which was not your fault exceed the insurance payouts, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to obtain compensation. However, as any reputable uninsured car accident lawyer will tell you, drivers with no car insurance typically don’t have much money either. Sometimes, where there is some BI insurance, liability coverage, it often is not enough to pay for the extent of damages you sustained. So, although a judgement could be made to recover the costs by liquidating assets of the uninsured driver or through a monthly payment plan, it may not be a particularly effective solution.
An uninsured/underinsured driver lawyer can assist you by having an investigator run a credit and asset check on the defendant, filing a lien on any discovered assets to prevent them from being unloaded, and representing you in all the lawsuit proceedings.
A more prepared approach is to find out if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If so, immediately alert your insurance company about the accident and have your attorney tell them that you will be filing an uninsured motorist claim.
While insurers have the right to investigate your medical treatment, injuries, and any other relevant details, despite being a first party claim where your own company owes you a higher degree of fair dealings and good faith will likely fight your claim and should be regarded as your adversary. Get the knowledge and experience of a lawyer for uninsured/underinsured motorist first party claims.
The purchase of UM/UIM coverage is a great way to protect yourself and your own family. Contact your insurance agent if you do not know you have it or you have not yet purchased it.