All too many times I have heard a client say, “What do I do when the person who hit me doesn’t carry enough insurance to cover my mounting medical bills?” The fact of the matter is, Florida drivers are not obligated to purchase Bodily Injury Coverage and if they do purchase a policy with BI coverage, it does not always compensate for all the expenses (and aggravation) involved when a person is significantly injured. PIP, or personal injury protection, is all that is required in Florida and will usually cover only 80% of your medical bills up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00). This is when having Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) becomes paramount.
Not only does UM/UIM coverage protect you when the tortfeasor’s policy is little to non-existent, but it has significant value to someone who wants to proceed with a personal injury claim and would like to recover not only for their medical bills, but also for intangibles, such as pain and suffering, and future lost wages. Let’s face it-most of us have some form of health insurance, but what if after everything is said and done we are still suffering at the hands of a careless driver? UM/UIM will kick in, along with PIP or personal injury coverage, and any BI coverage available, and will compensate you for these losses. (Think about this: The aggravation of going to the doctor, missing work for possible surgical treatment, and possible future impairment even after treatment.)
You may be wondering why we don’t go after the tortfeasor, or the person that hit you, directly for the full amount of losses that you may have incurred. The fact of the matter is that an attorney can only really rely on the policy limits that are obtainable to him/her. Although it is possible to sue someone individually, it is not always an economically viable route for both the attorney and client. Therefore, not many attorneys will do this.
Without UM, you may be left with a wrecked car, bodily injury damages, an exorbitant amount of medical bills, and no monetary compensation for your pain and added suffering. This is easily avoidable as you are now a well-informed consumer. Think of UM/UIM coverage as a much-needed policy for all of the “what-ifs” that might happen after a motor vehicle accident.
Ask your insurer about this form of coverage today and gain that added peace of mind that comes with being fully prepared. This form of coverage is easily obtainable by your respective insurer and is usually relatively inexpensive to add to your existing policy. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A. we are here to listen to your story and answer any questions that you have. As always, there are no upfront fees or costs.