Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, at approximately 25%, and with a similarly high rate of underinsured drivers (drivers who opt to carry the state mandated minimum coverage, which is far lower than would be required to cover the majority of accident situations that may occur on the road) there is a significant chance that you will eventually be involved in an accident with a driver whose auto insurance will not cover your losses. And, since there is a solid correlation between unemployment and our country’s current struggling economy, these numbers are very likely to get worse in the future as more people are willing to take the risk of legal repercussions to cut down on their household expenses.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Policies
Florida law requires companies that sell auto insurance to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist policies with coverage equal to that which is offered in the liability and collision policies that they sell. However, the law also allows a person buying auto insurance to opt out of this coverage in writing when they buy their policies, and because many people see these as an unnecessary expense that covers an unlikely eventuality, many buyers do not purchase uninsured and underinsured policy riders.
Additionally, uninsured and underinsured motorist policies come in two separate types: bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. While bodily injury coverage is readily available for those who choose to take advantage of the option, property damage coverage is much more difficult to acquire and in many cases is not even offered by insurance companies.
“No-Fault” Insurance Statutes
Florida uses a “no-fault” system for auto insurance claims. What this means is that in the event of an auto accident each party involved in the accident is required to use their own insurance coverage to pay for their medical care and other losses that fall into the category of personal injury protection insurance. However, in cases where significant and permanent scarring/disfigurement or the significant and permanent loss of a bodily function results, state “injury threshold” clauses allow a party to pursue a claim against the at-fault motorist directly.
While recovering from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist may seem daunting, the legal team at Alan Goldfarb, P.A. is here to help. An uninsured motorist has made an illegal decision, and an underinsured motorist has made a bad one, but you can still be made whole by litigation where insurance fails. There are usually other avenues for recovery when an auto insurance claim is unavailable, such as wage garnishments, and in some cases claims against general liability riders on homeowners’ policies.
When Insurance Fails We Can Recover
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, or a motorist whose insurance policies are insufficient to cover your damages, we encourage you to contact the accident attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A., by telephone at 305-371-3111 or online today to explain your situation and find out how we can help you get back on the road to recovery.