The complex rules of insurance in a Florida car accident can be overwhelming for a victim to evaluate. Hiring an experienced Florida UIM/UM accident attorney is necessary for charting a path towards your recovery.
Many people are under the impression that because they pay for UIM or UM insurance that they do not need a lawyer to help them navigate through the claim process. However, the impact of the accident can be catastrophic and it might feel as though your entire world has been turned upside down. This is why you need to rely on a lawyer who can help you during your greatest time of need and can explain to you various insurance regulations that affect you.
Understanding UIM/UM Claims
Uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage types are there to help you when the other party didn’t have insurance or did not have enough to cover the range of your injuries, or when a driver hit you and fled the scene of the crash.
This is important insurance coverage especially since research has found that Florida ranks number one for the most uninsured motorists in the country.
Experienced Florida car accident attorneys know that UIM and UM coverage is not mandatory for drivers. This means that vehicle owners can reject this coverage. The financial responsibility rules mean that some people will purchase it anyway, however.
What Is the Impact of Personal Injury Protection?
Florida does require personal injury protection insurance which goes up to $10,000 for disability and medical benefits and $5,000 in death benefits. This is regardless of was at fault for the accident. Furthermore, this can extend to up to $10,000 in liability for property damage. This type of limited coverage might be cheaper to invest in the short term but can come with a significant cost over the long run.
Without UIM or UM coverage, you might feel alone after a serious crash caused by a driver who never purchased insurance, bought only the statutory minimum, or let their insurance lapse. Data from the CDC shows that motor vehicle accidents in the state of Florida cost more than $3 billion in a single year including work related losses, and medical losses.
All too often families and individuals are responsible for bearing that burden, but this does not have to be the case when you retain a dedicated and trusted lawyer to help you navigate your injury claim.
Knowing What to Do After an Accident
It’s all too easy to realize that you’re unlikely to find the culprit behind a hit and run. Even when you attempt to contact witnesses in the area or review video camera footage if you’re lucky enough to find it, this might not give you the information you need to hold that driver accountable.
If you exchange information with a driver who did stay at the scene after a crash and discover that they either don’t have insurance or did not carry enough to cover the full range of your injuries, don’t give up. Your own UIM/UM coverage could help to cover this gap and is the very reason why many insurance customers purchase this kind of protection.
Make sure that you proceed as you normally would following any other crash. Get medical attention for your injuries, keep track of your doctor’s appointments and your various medical records, set up a consultation with a uninsured motorist lawyer in Florida to discuss the specifics of your case, and file your insurance claim.
Even as a loyal customer, it is not uncommon to experience challenges in getting the insurance company to process and approve your claim in a timely fashion. Many Florida residents experience delays or lack of communication after notifying the insurance carrier about an accident. If you feel that your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company, where relevant, is giving you the runaround, hiring an attorney can escalate the management of your case and ensure that you get more prompt updates about the issues.
Reasons to Get an Attorney Even with UM or UIM Coverage
Even as a loyal customer of your insurance company when you have invested in UM or UIM, these carriers are unlike any other form of insurance carrier and they are looking for ways to limit their own exposure to liability.
Your lawyer can help you keep all the details organized, can let you know when someone is taking advantage of your lack of knowledge about how insurance works in Florida and can assist you with the filing requirements of your case. When you’re trying to put the pieces of your life back together, a lawyer’s insight can ease this burden.
Fault and Filing Cases Following a Crash
Even in cases in which it is relatively clear that the other driver is at fault such as drunk driving or distracted driving accident and in cases in which your injuries are quite extensive, a simple request doesn’t always mean that your claim will be easily paid. In fact, insurance adjusters are looking for every opportunity to minimize or deny your claim.
Having a dedicated personal injury lawyer familiar with UIM and UM coverage working for you from the beginning makes the insurance company aware that you don’t intend to fade away without getting a fair resolution for your injuries. Sometimes retaining the right attorney in and of itself can send a significant message to the insurance company to pay up. However, it is more likely to be the beginning of negotiations.
A lawyer can play an important role in recovering compensation for your injury based on the extent of your accident. You need a Florida UIM/UM accident lawyer who can evaluate your claim, gather evidence that supports your claim, and properly file it. Furthermore, your attorney might need to follow up with the insurance company and also have to explain how this impacts you other possible claims such as those with health insurance and workers’ compensation.
It can be very valuable to retain a UIM/UM injury attorney since he or she will likely only be paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer is only paid after he or she succeeds in your case, which gives you peace of mind that you can remain focused on recovery. The many complex aspects of UIM and UM coverage make it extremely important for you when identifying your next steps and opportunities with damage expenses.