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Hi, I’m attorney Fran Haasch. And with me today, I have Professor Carl Hynes. We’d like to talk to you today about the importance of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. I realize that this is not the most exciting topic, but in my opinion, UM coverage is the most important insurance you can buy to protect you and your family if you’re involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. In the state of Florida, bodily injury coverage is not mandatory, and you can’t rely on the at-fault party in an accident to carry bodily injury coverage or enough bodily injury coverage to protect you. It’s heartbreaking to tell a client that we’re unable to help him or her because the at-fault party does not carry bodily injury coverage. UM coverage is insurance you can purchase to protect yourself and your family. But the actual party has no bodily injury or not enough bodily injury insurance to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Thank you for watching, and if you have any questions, please give me a call at (866) law-fran. I’d love to talk to you. And so would professor Carl Hynes.

Do you really need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Accidents happen every day. And when they do, you want to make sure that you are fully compensated for the damages and injuries you have suffered. Many drivers choose to go without insurance, or they carry only the minimum amount of coverage required by their state. This means that if you are involved in an accident with one of these drivers, you could be left footing the bill for your own damages and injuries.

Accidents are stressful enough when you’re dealing with someone with insurance, but when the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, it can be even more stressful. And while Florida has a minimum car insurance requirement, all drivers do not carry it. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, at 26%, Florida has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers in the country, making being in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured more likely.

This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage comes in. If you have this type of coverage on your auto insurance policy, you will be protected if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages they have caused.

5 Reasons to Carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

1.) UM Helps You If the Other Driver Has No Insurance

If you are involved in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have insurance and you’ve exhausted your PIP insurance, you can turn to your UM policy for coverage. While UM may not cover all of your expenses, it will help to cover some of the damages and prevent you from spending too much on out-of-pocket costs. 

2.) UIM Helps You If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance

Underinsured drivers may only purchase the minimum amount of insurance required by Florida law, which usually isn’t enough to cover damages related to an accident. For example, Florida only requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance and $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. Florida also only requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability under certain circumstances.

If a driver with low coverage limits hits you and causes a serious injury, it’s likely that their policy won’t cover all of your expenses. In this case, your underinsured motorist coverage would kick in and help cover the difference, up to your policy limit.

3.) UM/UIM Helps Protect You From Financial Hardship

UM/UIM coverage is important because it can help you avoid financial ruin in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you could face significant medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. 

Even with Florida’s minimum requirement of personal injury protection, you may need additional coverage to help cover the rest of your expenses related to the accident. Having UM/UIM coverage will help ensure that you are protected financially in an accident. 

4.) UM/UIM coverage generally pays for:

  • Ongoing and long-term medical treatment
  • Medical equipment (such as wheelchairs)
  • Loss of income/wages
  • Lost or reduced earning ability (disability)
  • Pain and suffering

5.) UIM/UM Coverage Helps You in Hit-and-Run Car Accidents

In hit-and-run accidents, it can be difficult to identify the at-fault driver. If the driver is not identified, there’s no insurance company to file a claim with, and you may be left to pay for your own damages. This is where uninsured motorist coverage can help. Even if the driver who hit you is not identified, your insurance company may still be able to provide you with compensation through your UM coverage, up to your policy limit.

Those injured in a car accident, and even more so victims in motorcycle accidents can sustain very significant injuries that lead to medical bills and more. In the state of Florida, Bodily Injury coverage is not mandatory, and may not protect you in an event of an accident. If the at-fault party does not carry Bodily Injury insurance, your uninsured/underinsured can protect you. 

 By having the appropriate amount of coverage for bodily injury, you protect yourself and loved ones from what can be catastrophic financial consequences.

 


 

“I am always saddened to have to turn away a severely injured potential client because there is not any insurance available to compensate them for their injuries and losses.  I urge all of you reading this article today to pull out your bike and auto insurance policies and make sure that you are adequately protected in the unfortunate event you are the victim of an uninsured or underinsured driver. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is the most important coverage for motorcyclists to carry.  UM coverage provides compensation to you for damages to you caused by someone who carries little or no liability insurance or if you are injured by a “hit and run” driver.  I have many people tell me that they don’t believe they need UM coverage because they have health insurance.  Health insurance is not enough.  In addition to medical bills, damages that an accident victim may sustain include lost wages and pain and suffering. 

Many people are surprised to find out after they are a victim of an accident that Florida does not require motorists to carry bodily injury coverage, therefore, the chances of being injured by someone without liability insurance are substantial.    

In the event that you are injured by someone with little or no insurance, you are able to make a claim with your UM carrier to be compensated for your injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering. 

If you carry liability insurance, your insurance company has to offer you the same amount of UM coverage.  Always consider purchasing the highest amount of UM offered to you.  Clients are always surprised to find out how quickly their medical bills can escalate into the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Also, if you insure one or more bikes or automobiles through the same insurance carrier you may opt for stacked UM coverage, which means that your UM limits can be multiplied by the number of vehicles insured under the policy.  Stacking your UM coverage is relatively inexpensive and is one of the best ways to “get more bang for your buck.”

Protect yourself and your loved ones.  Check your policy today and make sure that you are carrying adequate insurance coverage.  If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident please contact our office at (727) 784-8191 or 866-LAW-FRAN.  We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge. “

Attorney Fran Haasch

Palm Harbor

www.lawfran.com

 


 

Understanding UIM/UM Coverage in Florida

Tampa Bay Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Lawyers

 

Accidents happen every day. And when they do, you want to make sure that you are fully compensated for the damages and injuries you have suffered. If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may need to speak with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Lawyer.Uninsured/underinsured claims are complex, so it is important that you speak to an experienced and knowledgeable underinsured/uninsured motorist attorney about your legal options. At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we will help you determine if your losses are covered and work to secure the full compensation you are owed. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Florida Car Insurance Laws

Florida drivers must show proof of two types of car insurance before they register their vehicles.

  1. Personal Injury Protection Insurance Coverage (PIP) covers 80% of your medical expenses and lost wages up to $10,000 regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
  2. Property Damage Liability Insurance Coverage (PDL) pays for the damage to another driver’s vehicle or someone else driving your vehicle, up to your policy limit.

 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Unlike PIP and PDL coverage, UIM/UM coverage is not required in Florida, but it is something you should consider purchasing. UIM/UM insurance protects you if you are involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver.

UM/UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive, and it is well worth the peace of mind that it can provide.

UIM/UM Coverage and Hit-and-Run Car Accidents

UIM/UM coverage protects you in car accidents with uninsured drivers and protects you from hit-and-run accidents. When you have this coverage, a law firm will help you file a claim against your own insurance company regardless of if the other driver is found or if they had car insurance.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Cover?

In most cases, UM/UIM coverage pays for the following damages: 

  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing and long-term medical treatment
  • Medical equipment (such as wheelchairs)
  • Loss of income/wages
  • Lost or reduced earning ability (disability)
  • Pain and suffering

When you purchase your insurance, it is a good idea to purchase collision coverage. This will cover expenses related to your vehicle if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you. UIM and UM coverage does not pay for property damage to your car.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?

If you do not have UM/UIM coverage and are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will likely have to pay for your damages. If an underinsured motorist hits you and you do not have UIM/UM coverage, you could be left facing enormous medical bills and other devastating, life-altering damages.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver

If you have been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages. In a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably prudent person would use in similar circumstances. To prove negligence, you will need to show that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and as a result of their breach, you were injured and suffered damages.

What The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Do For You

At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.

vehicle accidentWith over 20 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.

Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.

We Get You the Compensation You Deserve

At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we understand that no amount of financial recovery can undo what you have been through. However, a fair settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with your accident.

We have obtained multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements in cases involving auto accidents, as well as claims concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. Our Case Results

  • $1.8 million for our client in Pinellas County who was injured in a car accident
  • $1.8 million for a 33-year-old female client in  Hillsborough County who was lawfully stopped for a left-turning vehicle ahead when she was rear-ended by the defendant vehicle, which was then rear-ended by the vehicle behind it, causing the client to feel two impacts. This resulted in multiple back surgeries and an infection which caused the client to be hospitalized several times.
  • $1.6 million for a 25-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle when the defendant cut across the client’s path. The client was thrown over 200 feet from the motorcycle. The accident resulted in a fractured leg, broken finger, back surgery, and many other injuries.
  • $1.55 million for a 46-year old male in Pasco County who was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County and was rear-ended by the defendant at a high rate of speed.
  • $1.35 million for a client in Pasco County. The defendant turned left in front of our client, causing the client’s vehicle to flip and resulting in many injuries.
  • $1.34 million for a 69-year-old male client in Orange County who was in the left turn lane when the defendant came across his pathway while attempting to turn and collided with the client. The accident resulted in multiple severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, punctured lung, a broken arm that required surgery, and several lacerations.
  • $1.3 million for a 33-year-old female client in Pinellas County who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light with her three children in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
  • $1.025 for our client injured in a car accident in Hillsborough County.
  • $1.0 million for a client in Hillsborough County rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on the interstate.

Contact an experienced Florida Uninsured Motorist Lawyer Today

At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and victims of bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accidents. 

If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 637-0100 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.

More About Car Accidents

Want to learn more about car accidents? Whether its how to prevent them or what to do once you’ve been in one, our blog can help you gather the knowledge and information you need.