What If The Other Driver Has No Bodily Injury Coverage?
When you are injured in a motor vehicle crash, the person who caused the crash is legally obligated to pay for your injuries, medical expenses (past and future), lost wages and pain and suffering. Those payments are generally made by the insurance company that covers the person whose negligence caused the crash, and are made out of that person’s Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, Florida law does not presently require driver’s to have Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage. And many don’t have it!
So how do you get payment for your injuries and other damages if the person who caused the crash didn’t have Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage? Well . . . you can either look directly to the person who caused the crash, which generally is an unsuccessful undertaking, or you can look to your own Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance coverage is an optional form of insurance that will pay you, as the person insured by the policy, for losses, injuries and damages you are legally entitled to recover from the negligent driver and/or owner of an uninsured motor vehicle. An uninsured motor vehicle is one that is not covered by an insurance policy that provides Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage, or one that has an insufficient amount of Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage.
Because the law does not presently require driver’s to have Bodily Injury Liability coverage, UM coverage is perhaps the most important form of insurance a person should carry. Check your policy to make sure you have it, and consider adding it if you don’t!
In order to have Uninsured Motorist coverage, you must also carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage on your auto insurance policy. That’s because your BI coverage policy limits will determine the maximum amount of UM coverage you’re allowed to purchase. The law provides that the limits of UM coverage can equal or less than the limits of BI coverage provided by the same policy, but they cannot exceed the limits of the BI coverage.
Oftentimes insurance agents or brokers do not do a thorough job of explaining the benefits of UM coverage. They frequently do not sufficiently explain that if you sustain an injury in a motor vehicle crash that is caused by the negligence of another driver who does not have BI coverage, your UMM coverage will pay to compensate you for your losses, injuries and damages. Also, many will try to persuade their customers to either completely reject UM coverage or purchase coverage limits that are significantly less than the BI coverage limits. They argue that the customer will save money, but in reality they probably are simply trying to reduce the insurance company’s financial exposure.
When you are injured in a crash, it is vitally important to immediately investigate and determine the full extent of UM coverage that is available. Your lawyer must evaluate whether or not your insurance company and agent properly did everything the law required them to do when you first purchased insurance coverage and at all times since. The actions or inactions by the insurance company and agent could significantly affect your rights and the amount of UM coverage to which you might be entitled.
This probably sounds very confusing, and it is. The truth of the matter is that navigating UM coverage is intended to be confusing to individuals who try to represent themselves for injuries and other damages sustained in a car accident. Adjusters might be hopeful that their own insureds do not understand how UM coverage works and that they may therefore be able to avoid providing coverage for an otherwise legitimate claim.
The Barker Law Firm has performed this investigative process thousands of times over the years. They know which documents to request and what questions to ask the insurance company.
To really protect yourself and your future after an automobile crash that is not your fault, you should retain the services of a law firm that has years of experience dealing with automobile insurance companies. The Barker Law Firm is that firm.
Initial consultations are always FREE at The Barker Law Firm. And you won’t pay any FEES or COSTS unless you receive a financial recovery. The Barker Law Firm will fight hard to recover every dollar you are legally entitled to recover for the losses, injuries and damages caused by a crash, including those associated with your injuries, your pain and suffering, your medical expenses and lost wages.
If you are injured in an automobile crash, let The Barker Law Firm stand between you and the insurance companies. You’ll be glad you did! Call The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000.