If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can reasonably expect that the other driver will have adequate insurance coverage to pay you for the expenses that you incur. But what if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or what if the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is not enough to pay for everything?
The uninsured accident attorneys at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano P.A. fight for the rights of those who have been harmed by such drivers. We will investigate your crash and examine your own insurance policy to determine every potential source of compensation. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, we may be able to help you pursue payment for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
Call (352) 275-5974 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
Florida law requires motorists in the state to maintain automobile insurance with a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability coverage. When a person’s insurance lapses, the insurance company is required to notify the state. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will then notify the driver to provide proof of new coverage.
A driver who does not provide proof of a new insurance policy can have his or her license suspended for up to three years. There is also a $150 reinstatement fee for a first offense that increases to $250 for a second offense within three years and $500 for a third offense within three years.
While Florida requires all drivers to be insured, some people choose to drive without any insurance coverage whatsoever. In other cases, a person’s limits are far too low to cover the amount of damages caused.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in an automobile accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver? Make sure that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible for smart legal advice on pursuing compensation through uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
What You Need to Know About Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional form of automobile insurance that is designed to cover damages resulting from an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage provides compensation when another driver’s policy limits do not cover all of the damages you have suffered as a result of a crash. When a person is involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, the victim can file a claim with his or her own insurance company under the UM or UIM policy.
An insurance company must offer you UM coverage, and you may have to specifically decline it in writing if you do not want the coverage. It is generally beneficial for most people to have UM and UIM policies.
Unfortunately, you cannot assume that an insurance company will be on your side simply because you are a regular customer. Insurance companies are profit-minded businesses, and the less they can pay you, the better. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side, even when filing a UM/UIM claim.
How Our Attorneys Can Help with Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Claims
When you have an UM or UIM claim, you likely expect your own insurance company to quickly and easily handle your claim. Many people are surprised when they encounter delays with investigations and numerous questions about their crashes.
While your own insurer may seem concerned at first and act willing to help you, you should be careful what you say when discussing your crash. Insurance companies will often ask victims questions about their accidents that are designed to get the victims to admit to some degree of fault. It is best to stick to the basic facts ─ when and where the accident happened, who was involved, etc. ─ when reporting the crash to your insurance company.
In some cases, insurance companies may offer lump-sum settlements. You are right to question whether your offer is really all that you are entitled to because chances are very good that it is not.
An insurance company will typically make a lowball settlement offer, hoping that you’ll be desperate to get any compensation and won’t question the amount of the offer. Accepting this offer is usually a mistake, and you could be leaving a significant amount of money on the table. This money is often the actual amount that you’ll need to truly rebuild and move on with your life.
At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano P.A., our uninsured motorist lawyers can immediately step in and handle all communication with insurance companies on your behalf. Our firm will thoroughly review your policy to ensure we are negotiating for the full amount you are owed. We will provide detailed documentation of the losses you have suffered and advocate aggressively for you throughout the process.
Compensation in Uninsured Car Accident Claims
Compensation through your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can pay for a variety of losses stemming from a car accident. This includes:
- Medical expenses, both now and in the future
- Mobility devices such as wheelchairs
- Long-term care related to your injuries
- Loss of income
- Reduced earning capacity in the future
- Payment for pain and suffering
The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive will depend on the losses you have suffered, as well as the limits on your UM/UIM coverage. If you have elected stacked coverage, for example, your limits may be much higher because you can tap into coverage for all vehicles listed on your policy, not just the one involved in the crash.
What to Bring to Your Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney
When meeting with your attorney for the first time, be sure to bring as much documentation and evidence from the accident as possible. Don’t feel that you might “overwhelm” the lawyers with too much information ─ in fact, the more information that you can provide, the easier it will be to evaluate your accident and your injury claim.
- Bring any and all photos that you have of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries.
- You should also give the attorney the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the crash scene.
- If a police report was filed, bring a copy of it to your initial consultation.
- Other important documents to bring include copies of your automobile insurance policies, medical bills, and any other receipts relating to your injuries.
- Also, be prepared to supply your lawyer with all of the information about your treatment and the impact the accident has had on your life.
- Know the name and address of the hospital to which you were taken, all of the dates that you missed work because of your injuries, and the dates and times of all medical treatment you have received.
- If you have received any kind of correspondence from your insurance company, also be sure to bring that to your initial consultation.
Contact an Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Attorney Today
The immediate aftermath of any car accident is a stressful and confusing time for most people. Discovering that the other driver did not have insurance or had inadequate insurance can be disheartening. Fortunately, many individuals can seek compensation from their own insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, doing so often requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
Make sure you have a lawyer before you speak to any insurance company — even your own — about your crash. Your lawyer will examine your insurance policy’s language and will help you file your claim. If your insurance company tries to minimize or deny your claim, your lawyer will fight aggressively for the full and fair compensation you are owed as a policyholder.
The dedicated uninsured driver lawyers at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano P.A. have been helping injury victims all over the greater Gainesville area since 1980. You can have our attorneys review your case and explain all of your legal options in a free consultation. But please contact us as soon as possible after an accident because your policy will have strict deadlines on reporting a crash and filing a claim.
Call us today at (352) 275-5974 or contact us online to get the legal advice you need. You do not pay us anything to review your policy or begin work on your claim. In fact, we only collect attorney fees if we recover money for you.