The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Bill Allen | December 5, 2022 | Car Accidents
If you were in a car accident, Florida’s no-fault insurance rules require you to pursue compensation from your own PIP insurance policy before you can file a claim against the at-fault party. In fact, you can only seek compensation from the at-fault driver if you suffered a serious injury.
Minimum PIP insurance only provides $10,000 worth of coverage. If you suffer a car accident injury, chances are good you will incur more than $10,000 worth of damages. Therefore, you would need to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver or their insurance company to recover your remaining damages.
Unfortunately, Florida does not require drivers to purchase Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage. Therefore, many drivers choose to forego this type of insurance. So, what happens if the other driver involved in your car accident doesn’t have insurance to cover your losses? You could be in trouble — if you don’t have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?
If an at-fault driver in Florida doesn’t have BIL insurance, your options against them are limited. You could file a lawsuit against them and try to collect a personal judgment against them. However, the driver might not have sufficient assets to cover your damages. A driver that cannot afford BIL coverage likely cannot afford to pay a personal injury claim.
Therefore, your only option would be to pursue compensation through your own insurance. However, as previously discussed, your PIP insurance will not pay all of your claim. Your BIL coverage compensates others for the harm you cause in an accident — not harm done to you.
If you hope to recover compensation in such an instance, you must have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of a hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver. Most insurance companies offer UM coverage as an optional add-on to liability insurance.
What Do UM Policies Cover?
Depending on the exact coverage, UM will cover all damages that would have been covered under the at-fault driver’s BIL policy.
That means UM will provide money for:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- The cost of in-home care
It will also cover non-economic losses like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
You should now see how important UM coverage is in Florida. It can mean the difference between getting nothing after an accident and recovering all the compensation you need to move forward.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Florida
It’s always best to consult an experienced car accident attorney if you are in a collision with an uninsured motorist. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights and identify all possible avenues for compensation, including a UM claim.
Your attorney can be your greatest ally in your personal injury claim. Insurance companies are notorious for fighting UM claims. They will often try to claim your UM coverage doesn’t apply to your accident. However, they are less likely to get away with it if you have legal representation.
Your injury lawyer can help your claim in the following ways:
- By investigating your accident to gather evidence of the other driver’s fault
- By recording and calculating your damages to arrive at a value for your claim
- By working with experts in medicine, finance, and accident reconstruction (if necessary)
- By handling all communications and negotiations with the insurance company
- By taking your case to trial to protect your right to compensation
Contact Allen Law Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers today for help pursuing a car accident claim. Our legal team is standing by to schedule your free consultation.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
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