Car accidents happen almost every single day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 there were nearly seven million police-reported
crashes in the United States. Florida, ranked well above the national average in terms
of deaths from motor vehicle crashes per capita with over 3,000 crashes that year.
Motor vehicle accidents survivors may face major financial hardships due to high
medical bills, lost earning capacity, or property damage, which is why the state
administers a PIP statute.
I am sure by now most Florida residents have heard of the term “no-fault” when
purchasing their auto insurance policy. This is due to the Florida Personal Injury
Protection “PIP” statute which requires drivers to carry $10,000 when selecting an auto
insurance plan. This $10,000 is used to cover the driver’s injuries as well as their
household members, children, and sometimes passengers. The $10,000 PIP coverage
is applicable regardless of fault, which is where the term “no-fault state” comes from.
Bodily Injury Coverage
You may be wondering, “What about the person who IS at fault, can’t we go after their
insurance for pain and suffering?” This may be possible if there is bodily injury liability
(“BI”) coverage on the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy, which pays for injury or
death to others. However, Florida does not require drivers to include BI in their auto
insurance when selecting a plan (with a few exceptions).
Why is this important to know?
Imagine you are driving home from a long day of work or school, it’s 5:15pm, there is
heavy traffic, and you are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to turn green, then
BOOM! A 2002 Jeep Wrangler slams onto your rear bumper, demolishing the entire
back of your car. You instantly feel a jolt of pain running up your neck from the
whiplash, and your head is bleeding from smacking onto the steering wheel. You are
about to step out of your car to check the damage, then the light turns green, the
Wrangler backs up and speeds past your vehicle before you are able to capture their
license plate number. You are now a victim of a hit-and-run accident.
This is a common scene in Florida which leaves the victims with high medical bills, pain
and suffering. Fortunately, there is PIP coverage to take care of these bills, however as
previously mentioned, this coverage requirement is limited to $10,000.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In addition to the mandatory PIP coverage, Florida residents may purchase different
types of insurance Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, aka “UM” or “UIM.” UM is
purchased voluntarily as an additional insurance to supplement PIP. The purpose of
UM is to ensure that you have full auto insurance coverage when an at-fault motorist
has insufficient liability insurance, or in a hit-and-run accident or other situation where
the at-fault driver cannot be identified.
Essentially, if the at-fault driver has no BI, your UM will step in and provide coverage.
Similarly, if the at-fault driver has insufficient BI to cover your injuries resulting from an
accident, your UIM will also provide coverage. Both examples are referred to as simply
How can we help?
If you were in a crash similar to the example from earlier or with a driver who did not
have proper insurance coverage or is underinsured, it is essential to have on your side
an experienced Florida car accident attorney, especially when you are faced with large
medical bills and other losses as a result of another negligent driver. Demesmin &
Dover Law offers determined and skilled attorneys to the injured .
Even if you have UM coverage, you may encounter resistance from your insurance
company. They may try to unfairly deny or limit the amount you are compensated for
your injuries. Our attorneys face these tactics on a weekly basis and are fully prepared
for and ready to respond accordingly. We can help you navigate the complex path to
maximizing your insurance claim. We offer free consultations to motor vehicle accident
victims to discuss with them how we can help through the claims process.
Our attorneys have a strong history of dealing firmly with insurance companies and will
not hesitate to pursue a bad faith insurance claim, if necessary. Contact us to learn
about your options for pursuing compensation. D&D Law represents victims and their
families throughout the state of Florida.