Florida motorists should engage in a comprehensive and thorough review of their available insurance policies to ensure that they have adequate protection in the event they are involved in an accident. One area of coverage that deserves close scrutiny is the terms of the insurance company’s uninsured and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM coverage protects Florida drivers that suffer injuries because of a negligent driver who does not have adequate vehicle insurance. A shocking 25 percent of Florida drivers do not have insurance, and this can have disastrous consequences for injury victims.
Florida’s no-fault insurance rules require that insurance companies protect their own policyholders in minor accidents, so long as the drivers purchase personal injury protection. However, issues arise when a driver sustains serious injuries in a Florida collision. In these instances, Florida drivers must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Filing a complaint with the negligent driver’s insurance company often raises challenges because Florida law does not require drivers to purchase insurance coverage that protects them from liability if they injure someone else.
Appropriate UIM coverage can provide a motorist with extra protection in case the other party is under or uninsured. However, policyholders often face difficulty evoking this policy because insurance companies are reluctant to pay out substantial amounts. Insurance companies will sometimes wrongfully delay claims, or assert specific provisions to avoid paying out claims.
For example, a state appellate court recently issued an opinion in an insurance dispute stemming from injuries a special-needs child suffered while on a school bus. The boy was restrained with a harness in a school bus seat when two other classmates viciously attacked him and another student. The child’s family filed a claim under his mother’s UIM coverage; however, the insurance company denied coverage. The insurance company argued that the injuries did not arise out of the common use of the school bus as a vehicle. The boy’s family countered that the coverage should apply because he was injured while the school bus was transporting students, and the harness allowed the assailants to attack the children. The court reasoned that plaintiffs in these cases must be able to provide evidence that the injury was a result of the school buses use as a vehicle. Here, they ultimately found that the insurance company did not have to pay out damages because the attack was not the result of the regular use of the bus.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident with an Under or Uninsured Florida Driver?
Car accidents can have devastating financial, physical, and emotional toll on accident victims and their families. Florida injury victims should retain an experienced attorney at Friedman, Rodman & Frank to represent their interests. The attorneys at our law firm have almost 45 years of experience handling various complex personal injury lawsuits in Florida. Our reputation is built on decades of successfully representing and recovering damages on behalf of Florida car accident victims. The lawyers at Friedman, Rodman, and Frank possess the unique skills that these lawsuits require, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with a South Florida injury attorney at our office.