Clearwater Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Do you know what to do if you are in an auto accident, and the person who hit you does not have insurance? Do you pursue a claim against the driver anyway? Does your own insurance coverage play a role? The Clearwater uninsured motorist attorneys at Roman & Roman have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you understand Florida’s complicated scheme of no-fault and fault-based insurance, and can fight to ensure you are compensated from the appropriate parties when you are hit and injured by an uninsured driver. Let the experienced uninsured motorist attorneys in Clearwater help.
Florida law requires all licensed vehicles to be covered with a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 property damage liability coverage. Despite these ridiculously low minimum amounts, as many as 20 to 24% of Florida drivers choose to flout the law and drive without insurance. That means that if you are hit by another driver, the chances are one in four or five that the other driver is uninsured.
Even if the driver is carrying the minimum PIP coverage, that does not mean the driver will have any Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage, which can be accessed in the case of permanent injury to pay for damages such as present and future medical expenses, present and future lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and loss of ability to enjoy life. BIL is only required in Florida for certain drivers, such as those who have been convicted of a DUI, regardless of whether they actually caused an accident while driving drunk.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Help
So what do you do when the driver who hit you is uninsured? If you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on your own insurance policy, then you can file a claim with your insurance company for your damages up to your policy limits. Insurance companies are required by law in Florida to offer UM coverage, but the policyholder is not required to accept the coverage, and many people decline the additional cost because they do not fully understand what it is or how many uninsured drivers there are out there on Florida roads. As attorneys who have dealt with countless personal injury and auto accident claims in Clearwater, Tampa and surrounding areas, we believe that the additional cost of UM coverage is well worth the expense to keep you protected, and we encourage you to look into adding UM to your policy if you don’t have it already.
It is important to understand, however, that just because your UM claim is filed with “your” insurance company, that does not mean that your interests and the insurer’s interests are the same. Insurance carriers are motivated to maximize their profit, which means denying claims or minimizing the payout whenever they can. Common tactics include denying that your policy was in effect at the time of the accident, downplaying the serious nature of your injuries, putting the blame for the accident on you, or trying to get you to settle quickly before the full extent of your damages are known or before you have talked to a personal injury attorney. It may be necessary to fight the insurance company to get what you deserve. In any event, being represented by an experienced attorney will help ensure that the settlement offer from the insurance company is appropriate.
Experienced Clearwater Uninsured Motorist Attorneys
If you have been injured in an auto accident and the other driver was uninsured, it is important that you act quickly and contact an experienced Clearwater uninsured motorist attorneys before you sign any documents, make any statements or accept any payments from an insurance company. We also handle criminal defense and business and real estate law cases. For a free consultation from a team of knowledgeable and experienced Clearwater uninsured motorist attorneys, contact Roman & Roman at our offices in Clearwater, Tampa and Hudson, Florida.