Articles Posted in Insurance Issues

Under Florida law, all motorists are required to maintain a base level of insurance coverage in order to legally operate a motor vehicle. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that, in the event a motorist causes a Florida car accident resulting in serious injuries or death, the motorist has sufficient assets to cover the costs incurred by the accident victim.

Car CrashInsurance companies, however, are for-profit businesses, and like other businesses, they rely on making a profit to stay in business. This means that insurance companies must take in more money each month in monthly premiums than they pay out in settled claims. As a result, insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims for as little a sum of money as possible. In some cases, insurance adjusters have taken advantage of less-than-savvy accident victims who may not know what their claim is worth. A recent case illustrates one court’s unwillingness to enforce a settlement agreement that it determined was unfair.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a passenger in a friend’s car when she was involved in a car accident. Police cited both the plaintiff’s friend as well as the other driver. After the accident, the plaintiff complained of pain in her neck and side.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case that presents a valuable lesson to Florida car accident victims. The case involves an accident victim’s conflicting testimony and how courts resolve such conflicts. Ultimately, the court determined that it would be improper to credit either of the plaintiff’s statements, and it sent the case to a jury for resolution.

Rear-EndedThe Facts of the Case

In 2015, the plaintiff was injured when her vehicle was struck by another driver. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against that driver but later found out that he did not carry auto insurance. Thus, the plaintiff added the name of her father’s insurance company to the case, claiming that she was covered under the policy’s uninsured motorist protection.

After the plaintiff filed the claim, the insurance company sent the plaintiff a list of questions. When answering the questions, the plaintiff stated that she lived with her three children. She also stated that her father lived across the street.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued a written opinion in a personal injury case involving allegations that an insurance company acted in bad faith when it failed to settle a case that later resulted in a substantial jury verdict. Ultimately, the court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to survive the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment, and the case was ordered to proceed toward trial.

Rollover AccidentThe case is interesting and relevant to Florida accident victims because it illustrates the difficulties that Florida personal injury plaintiffs may encounter when dealing with insurance companies after an accident.

The Facts of the Case

A motorist caused a five-car collision, in which he was killed and several others were seriously injured. This case involves just two of the victims, J.A. and J.H. The attorney for J.A. and J.H. contacted the at-fault motorist’s insurance company, inquiring about settling the case. The attorney expressed the interest of his clients to settle the case for the policy limit maximum but requested that additional information be passed. The letter asked for a response within 30 days.

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Florida is known for its fantastic golf courses. Unfortunately, Florida is also known for its bad drivers. When Florida drivers get behind the wheel of a golf cart, accidents are bound to happen. This is especially the case when a golfer has a few drinks while on the links.

Golf CartFlorida golf cart accidents are more common than most believe. This is due in part to the fact that serious injuries are rare in golf cart accidents. However, golf cart accidents are very real, and a significant number of Floridians are injured in golf cart accidents each year.

A recent case brought by an injured pedestrian who was struck by a golf cart illustrates the difficulties accident victims may encounter when filing a claim after a golf cart accident.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida car accident case involving an out-of-state student who was listed as a driver on her parents’ Florida insurance policy. The case required the court to determine if the insurance company’s refusal to cover the accident was proper under the insurance contract. Ultimately, the court parsed the language of the insurance policy and determined that the plaintiff should be covered under her parents’ policy.

Front-End DamageThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was originally a resident of Florida but attended college out of the state. Although she had moved away, the plaintiff remained as a listed driver on her parents’ insurance policy. The policy covered both parents as well as the parents’ relatives. As many contracts do, the policy defined the term “relative” to mean either a related person who lived with the parents or an unmarried and un-emancipated minor who is away at college.

While away at school, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident. The accident was undisputedly the fault of the other motorist. However, that motorist did not have car insurance. Thus, the plaintiff filed a claim with her parents’ insurance policy under the uninsured motorist protection clause.

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As is often the case in many of life’s endeavors, preparation is crucial to the outcome of a Florida personal injury case. While this is true across the board – from the moment the case is filed to when the jury returns a verdict – preparation is especially important when it comes to understanding the other side’s case and anticipating which issues may arise. Such preparation gives a Florida personal injury plaintiff an advantage that cannot be overstated.

Rollover AccidentA recent case illustrates how an insurance company’s lack of preparation resulted in the company waiving an issue that would otherwise likely have been resolved in its favor. As a result of the company’s failure to raise the issue, the plaintiff was successful in getting an adverse lower court ruling reversed in her favor.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured when she was involved in a car accident that was caused by another motorist. The at-fault motorist did not have adequate insurance coverage to fully compensate the plaintiff for her injuries. However, the plaintiff was covered by two other insurance policies, both of which contained underinsured motorist protection. The plaintiff’s mother had a policy with Allstate that provided $25,000 in underinsured motorist coverage. Additionally, the plaintiff’s father’s policy with Geico provided $20,000 in underinsured motorist protection.

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After a driver is involved in a South Florida car accident, they will likely make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, seeking compensation for the damages they sustained in the accident. In the event that the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance, the accident victim may then have to file a claim with their own insurance company.

Car AccidentInsurance claims, however, are not always approved. Insurance companies operate on a for-profit model and are often looking for ways to reduce their costs. This may mean trying to find ways to deny a claim that would otherwise be costly to the insurance company. A recent case illustrates the difficulties one motorist had when making a claim with his own insurance company following a serious car accident.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff and his wife were involved in a serious car accident with another driver. The plaintiff’s wife was seriously injured and later died before she could recover from her injuries. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver as well as his insurance company. In addition, since he believed that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy was not going to provide full compensation for his loss, the plaintiff named his own insurance company, based on the underinsured motorist provision in his insurance contract.

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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.

Rear-EndedFollowing 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.

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Florida has long had a reputation for being a state with a large number of “bad drivers.” Indeed, Florida drivers are involved in over 250,000 auto accidents each year, with over 100,000 of those accidents resulting in serious injuries. In all, Florida car accidents are responsible for approximately 1,800 fatalities each year.

Smashed CarIt may come as no surprise, then, that according to a study released earlier this month, Florida ranks among the states with the worst drivers in the country. The study took various variables into account, including the total number of drivers, the number of DUI accidents, the number of traffic tickets issued, the total number of traffic fatalities, and the number of uninsured drivers. After all of the data was analyzed, Florida was ranked as the state with the worst drivers.

Interestingly, one key variable that stuck out when looking at Florida driver data was the unusual number of internet searches for “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets.” Presumably, if a motorist is researching traffic tickets, they have recently been issued a ticket or warning by a police officer. Florida also had the second-highest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation, second only to Oklahoma.

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Anyone who has been injured in a South Florida car accident knows how difficult it can be dealing with insurance companies. In many cases, insurance companies will seek out ways to settle claims for as little as possible or deny claims outright. Earlier this month, an appellate court in Rhode Island issued a written opinion in a car accident case involving a passenger’s claim against the driver’s uninsured motorist protection policy. The court concluded that the insurance company improperly denied coverage because the woman was “occupying” the vehicle at the time of the accident, and her claim should have been approved.

Rear-EndedThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was the passenger in a friend’s car. The two were on their way to the grocery store and had pulled into the parking lot when they began talking in the car. As they were talking, the plaintiff heard a loud bang and turned her head to see that two cars had collided on an adjacent road.

The plaintiff exited her friend’s vehicle and approached the scene of the accident. She walked around the back of one of the vehicles involved in the accident to get its license plate number. As she was looking down at the license plate, another vehicle crashed into one of the cars involved in the initial accident. The plaintiff was struck by one of the cars and was injured as a result.

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