Uninsured / Under-insured Motorist Insurance Claims

Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Insurance Claims

In 2009, one in seven motorists in the United States were uninsured according to a recent study published by the insurance Research Council. The same study found that Florida ranked fifth in the nation for the highest number of uninsured motorists, with 24 percent of motorists being uninsured. Our Miami, Florida car accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients from insurance companies in uninsured or under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) claims.

Florida drivers who are involved in a car accident face a high probability that, in addition to dealing with the emotional and physical trauma of the accident, they may have to fight with their insurance company to receive the benefits for which they have been paying premiums. The Miami, Fl. auto accident lawyers at Hannon Legal Group represent car accident victims in UM/UIM claims throughout the state of Florida. A UM/UIM claim is essentially a claim for breach of contract against the insurance company that issued the policy. After all, an insurance policy is merely a contract to provide insurance coverage for a given risk. When insurers refuse to pay legitimate claims, they breach the insurance contract and a lawsuit is usually necessary to recover the insurance benefits.

Florida No-Fault Insurance

Florida is what is called a "no-fault state." Under Florida's no-fault law, drivers are only required to have a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage and a minimum of $10,000 of Property Damage Liability insurance coverage. As a result, even if a negligent driver has the minimum insurance coverage required by law, there may still be insufficient coverage to fully compensate accident victims for their injuries.

Uninsured and Under-insured Motorist Coverage

If you or someone you know have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver, you may still be able to obtain compensation for your injuries if you or a resident relative have uninsured motorist insurance coverage on your automobile insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional coverage in Florida that allows accident victims to make a claim under their own insurance policy for compensation for injuries caused by a negligent uninsured or under-insured driver up to the limit stated in the policy. Compensation may be recovered for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, disability and for the wrongful death of a family member. In the case of an under-insured driver, the victim's UM/UIM policy may cover the balance of the value of her injuries not covered by the under-insured driver's policy. For example, if a negligent driver has only $10,000 of liability insurance coverage and the injured victim suffered injuries valued at $1 million, the victim's insurance company may be responsible for paying the balance up to the policy limits. It is not always clear to the injured victim what her policy limits are since UM/UIM coverage can be "stacking" or "non-staking" and can have a single limit or one limit per person and another per accident limit. It is important to have a Miami, Fl car accident attorney who understands the intricacies of the laws governing this type of claim.
Too often in Florida, when a claim is made for UM/UIM benefits, the insurance company attempts to deny coverage or to minimize the victim's injuries or to blame the victim in an attempt to save money. Insurance adjusters know the laws that apply to motor vehicle accidents and insurance policies and use them to put victims at a disadvantage. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car accident with an uninsured or under-insured motorist, you need an experienced Miami, Fl. motor vehicle accident lawyer on your side. E-mail a Miami, Fl auto accident lawyer at Hannon Legal Group or call (866) 835-6872 to speak with an attorney today.