Uninsured Motorists: A Problem for Florida Drivers
No one wants to get in an accident. Accidents are dangerous, costly, and interrupt the lives of the victims. Unfortunately not wanting to get in an accident won’t prevent a Florida driver from going through such an ordeal. “At least,” you might say to yourself, “I have insurance and the person at fault has insurance as well.” Not so fast. Increasingly in Florida there are drivers that do not have insurance, or if they do it is not enough to cover all the costs.
In cases such as these, Florida has laws that protects the insured. For example, in a typical situation where a driver is injured by an uninsured driver, the driver can make a claim on his own insurance policy. This is known as a first-party insurance claim. Under this scenario the driver would submit all of his claims for pain and suffering, lost wages, bills, and other costs to the insurance to be paid out. Unfortunately, in this circumstance the injured party may not always receive due compensation.
Of course, insurance companies are for-profit entities. That means that they are not always eager to pay your claims, or anyone else’s. Every claim they pay is money out of their pocket, so naturally they try to hold on to as much of it as possible. But that presents a real problem for victims of car accidents looking to be compensated for their injuries. What, then, is an insured victim to do? Fortunately there are laws in Florida to protect them.
Bad Faith Claims – The Laws Involved
Florida law puts an expectation on insurance companies to deal quickly, honestly, and fairly with the people who buy their coverage. If an insurance company fails to deal in good faith with one of its insured, then Florida’s bad faith claim law will come into play. Found in Florida Statutes 655.155, the law provides a private cause of action for when an insurance company fails to pay out a claim under certain circumstances, such as:
- Failing to settle a claim in good faith when all the circumstances show that it should be settled;
- Failing to act fairly and honestly with an insured in settling their claim;
- Failing to provide a statement of coverage when payments are made; or
- Failing to promptly settle a claim to influence how much the insurance company will eventually pay.
When an insurance company fails to live up to these standards, an insured motorist can make them pay.
Obviously this is the last thing that a victim of an accident wants to deal with. As if the accident itself was not bad enough, the person at fault did not have insurance, and now the victim’s own insurance company will not deal in good faith. The same company that gladly took your insurance payments every month now wants to avoid providing adequate compensation for injuries. Florida law frowns on this kind of business. That is why if a victim’s insurance does not deal in good faith, the victim can recover costs and attorney’s fees from the company if they succeed in court.
A Law Firm for Accident Victims
If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact us. We handle these cases in Miami and have dedicated our practice to fighting on behalf of accident victims. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., we will review your case and provide you with your legal options.