Most people buy car insurance with the hope that they never have to use it. Indeed, aside from being required by law, car insurance provides motorists with the peace of mind of knowing that, should the unthinkable happen, at least they will be covered. However, thousands of South Florida car accident victims are shocked each year when they are made a low-ball settlement offer that doesn’t cover their expenses, or they are told by their insurance company that their claim has been denied.
Following most Florida car accidents, the accident victim will file a claim with the other driver’s insurance policy. However, there may be several reasons why a driver files a claim against their own insurance company as well. For example, if the other driver’s insurance limits are too low, the accident victim may seek compensation through their own policy’s underinsured motorist provision. A recent case illustrates how a driver’s own insurance company may try to limit the amount of money payable to the accident victim.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiffs were the surviving family members of two people who were killed in a car accident. At the time, the plaintiffs’ family insured five cars through the insurance company. Since the company had a rule to only have a maximum of four cars per policy, the company generated two policy numbers. Three of the plaintiffs’ cars were on one policy, and two of their cars were on the other policy. Each policy had a limit of $250,000 for underinsured motorist protection.
Following the accident, the plaintiffs sought $500,000 from the insurance company, $250,000 under each policy. However, the insurance company only paid out $250,000, explaining that the plaintiffs had just one policy. The plaintiffs filed a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company, seeking to compel the company to pay out the full $500,000.
The court, however, rejected the plaintiffs’ claim for $500,000, finding that they only had one true policy. The court noted that the plaintiffs were only issued a single bill, and under the second policy number, it referred to the original policy number. There was also a disclaimer on the bill, notifying the plaintiffs that, despite there being two policy numbers, “all your vehicles are insured under a single policy.” As a result, the plaintiffs were limited to the $250,000 limit under a single insurance policy.
Have You Been a Victim of a South Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a South Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the South Florida law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience handling a wide range of Florida personal injury cases, and we know how to successfully work with insurance companies to pursue maximum benefits for our clients. If a fair settlement is not offered, our experienced trial attorneys are not afraid to take our clients’ cases to trial. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Determining Damages in South Florida Car Accidents, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 21, 2017.
Pre-Suit Requirements in Florida Personal Injury Cases Naming Government Defendants, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 7, 2017.