What to do After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country with more than 1 in 4 drivers on the road without insurance. In addition, Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance. However, they are required to carry property damage liability insurance. So, if you’re seriously injured in an accident, your no-fault personal injury protection may not be enough to cover all of your expenses. When that is the case, you need to explore other avenues for coverage.
Before the Accident: Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage
While not required in Florida, your insurance company should offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of your policy. If you decline this coverage, it must be in writing. UM coverage kicks in if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance or does not have a sufficient amount of insurance. In addition, collision insurance can help cover any property damage, especially if the driver who damaged your car is uninsured. You should consider getting stacked UM coverage so that you can recover at higher limits.
Make a Claim on Your Insurance
Since Florida is a no-fault state, you should be able to recover from your personal injury protection (PIP) regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Your recovery is capped at the amount of coverage you have; the minimum is $10,000 in Florida. PIP pays 80% of your medical expenses and some of your lost wages. After the accident, you should also notify your insurance company that you want to file an uninsured motorist claim.
Importance of Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
If you are injured by an uninsured driver, there is little hope of a fair recovery without having uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, if you are injured by an underinsured driver, you may be limited to that driver’s policy limits which will be inadequate to fairly compensate you.
When either of these scenarios occur, UM coverage, if purchased by you, is available to pay you compensation. As an example, if your damages are $100,000, the at-fault driver is uninsured, and you purchased $100,000 in UM benefits, you will be fully paid. If the at-fault party is underinsured with a $25,000 policy, your same UM coverage will pay you the additional $75,000, thus making you whole.
The bottom line is that UM coverage is exceedingly important, and you should purchase it in the highest amount you can afford to protect yourself and your family members from uninsured motorists.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you should be sure to consult with an experienced attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.