Importance of UM/UIM Coverage
Motorists purchase insurance policies not only because certain coverage is mandatory but also so that they have the comfort of knowing that they will be able to deal with financial burdens if they are involved in a collision. However, after an accident, often when it is too late, motorists discover gaps in coverage of which they were unaware. Many times, this lack of coverage involves policy terms regarding an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). If you have been involved in a car accident, and you have questions regarding the importance of UM/UIM coverage or another issue, the Miami car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are available to discuss your options. We also represent victims in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as elsewhere in South Florida. Our firm can handle negotiations with insurance companies as well as any necessary legal actions following a victim’s involvement in a collision. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact our office today to set up a free consultation about your case.Understanding the Importance of UM/UIM Coverage
Florida residents are not required to have UM/UIM insurance. Florida law only requires that motorists have a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP), which applies to any individual injured in a collision, including drivers as well as passengers. The minimum amount of PIP coverage that a driver must have to operate a vehicle in the state is $10,000 to be applied to medical or disability benefits, as well as $5,000 in the event that a fatal accident occurs. In Florida, drivers are also required to obtain at least $10,000 of property damage liability insurance.
Bodily injury (BI) coverage is also not mandatory in Florida for most people. Only people who have been convicted of certain offenses or have a prior history of car accidents are required to possess at least $10,000 in BI insurance to cover any injuries or fatalities. Additionally, drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must obtain BI insurance covering at least $100,000. Since BI coverage is not mandatory for everyone, an estimated 40 percent of Florida drivers do not carry it, and people who do carry it may only have a very limited amount that does not account for serious injuries.
Despite these minimum requirements, drivers from other states where insurance minimums are different, as well as drivers who simply do not obey the law, may drive without insurance or with policies that fall below what is necessary to cover damages resulting from a serious accident. In these instances, a motorist’s own uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance policy is important. This coverage protects an injured driver when someone else involved in the collision does not have the insurance or resources to cover the costs.
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that insurance companies are required to pay on the claims of their policyholders, regardless of who is found responsible for causing a collision. Uninsured motorist coverage applies both to the policyholder and to relatives who live with the policyholder in the event of an accident. UM coverage may assist with damages sustained in a car accident, including medical expenses, loss of wages or disability, any long-term care that may be necessary, and pain and suffering.Seek Guidance from an Attorney Following a Motor Vehicle Collision in the Miami Area
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a serious car accident, many questions may arise in trying to cope with the financial impact that these life-altering situations create. The importance of UM/UIM coverage is critical if you were struck by a driver with inadequate insurance. From dealing with insurance companies to negotiating with at-fault drivers and filing lawsuits when necessary, the Miami attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist you with determining what the appropriate steps are for you. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer at (877) 499-4878 or contact us online.