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In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an auto insurance add-on. It’s not legally required. Many drivers who carry UM coverage expect their car insurance company to automatically pay for an uninsured motorist claim. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Recovering benefits from your insurance policy is not a guarantee. Some insurers use stalling tactics to delay or avoid paying legitimate claims. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine are available to help you claim the benefits laid out by your UM policy. Call us today at (954) 525-0050.
How do I Prove My Uninsured Motorist Claim?
Florida law requires all drivers to have $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage is meant to provide up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages to injured car accident victims. The at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance may cover any damages beyond the $10,000.
However, some of these at-fault drivers do not have auto insurance or do not have enough insurance to cover your remaining costs. If you get in a car crash with one of these drivers, you will need to file a claim for uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits. For your claim to be accepted, you will have to prove that you are entitled to UM/UIM benefits following a collision.
Provide Proof of UM/UIM Coverage
UM/UIM coverage can protect you if you sustain injuries in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. This coverage allows you to recover money from your car insurance company when the at-fault driver in your accident does not have coverage. It may be possible to stack UM/UIM coverage so that people with coverage on more than one car can seek compensation under the coverage for both vehicles.
Drivers may hear the phrase “full coverage” and assume they have UM/UIM coverage included in their policy. However, if you have full coverage, this only means that you meet the minimum Florida requirements of PIP insurance and property damage coverage. Our car accident lawyers can review your policy and make sure that it includes UM/UIM coverage.
Obligations of Your UM/UIM Coverage
Car insurance companies often say they denied a claim due to a lack of cooperation or lack of payment. To receive UM/UIM benefits, we will need to show that you have met the obligations of the contract you hold with your insurance.
These obligations include:
- Paying in full and on time
- Cooperating with your insurer’s investigation
- Agreeing to an examination under oath (EUO)
After you file your claim, your insurance company will conduct its own investigation before accepting or denying it. Your cooperation will help the process go more smoothly. An alternative to a EUO is an independent medical examination (IME) by a physician of your insurer’s choice. Our team of Florida personal injury attorneys can help you understand the claims process.
In fact, we can handle the claims process on your behalf if you are significantly injured and need to take time to recover. You should not have to add stressful legal work to your plate when you have suffered injuries. We are familiar with filing claims and communicating with insurance companies. We want to advocate for you and achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Representing yourself in such cases or managing a claim without uninsured motorists accidents lawyers might be a risky decision. As you know, insurance companies are not happy to pay you money, even if you have a right to them. In some motor vehicle accidents, your insurer will try to offer you a small, insignificant sum knowing you need money fast. In most circumstances, however, insurers will deny your claim altogether for various reasons. Having a lawyer will discourage such practices and will push claim discussions forward in your benefit.
What if the Other Driver was at Fault?
You don’t need to establish fault for PIP benefits, but you do for UM/UIM benefits. Insurers deny many UM/UIM claims when they find the alleged “at-fault” driver is not responsible for the accident. You will need to provide strong evidence to show that the other driver was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries.
To prove the other driver was at fault, we need to show that they acted negligently and their negligence caused your accident. Drivers must operate their vehicles responsibly and abide by all traffic laws.
A driver breaches this duty by:
- Drunk driving
If the other driver’s irresponsible driving caused the accident, they are at fault and should be liable for damages. To establish that the other driver was at fault, your personal injury lawyer will provide your insurer with photos, witness statements, videos, and other documentation relating to the accident.
Cause of Injury and Need for Compensation
Your insurance company may claim that your injuries resulted from a pre-existing condition or that they are not severe enough to warrant compensation. It is our job to make sure that we provide your insurer with the medical documentation necessary to prove that the crash caused your injuries and that they are serious.
It is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately after an accident. You want to be able to prove that there is a connection between your injuries and the accident. Waiting a few weeks to see a doctor and finding out you need treatment can lead the insurance company to argue that your injuries came from elsewhere. Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible, and we are here to make sure you get the settlement that covers all your losses.
If the insurance adjuster is not budging when we negotiate with them for a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to litigate your case. We will continue the fight for an adequate monetary award in court.
Call Us Today for Help with Your UM/UIM claim
The attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can assist you with filing your claim and the appeals process if needed. We offer free consultations and work on contingency. We will not take any payment from you unless we obtain compensation for you. Our fees will be taken out of your settlement or court award.
A compassionate team member is ready to take your call and learn the facts of your situation. They will let you know how we can help. To discuss the details of your case, contact us at (954) 525-0050.