It happens almost every day at our law firm. A person who has been involved in an accident caused by another driver without car insurance tells us they have “uninsured motorist”, or UM, coverage on their car insurance policy. So, they think there will be no problem collecting on a claim from the accident.
This is only one of the many misunderstandings about what happens when you're injured in a car, motorcycle or truck accident.
The experienced accident attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D'Alessandro & Noone have some information you need to know when you buy auto insurance – the key point being that car insurance companies are not on your side.
Sure, they may SAY so in their television commercials, but there are many things people simply don't understand. When it comes to your coverage and whether your accident claim is paid or not, it's basically every man for himself – simply having UM coverage does not guarantee anything when it comes to covering your bills for medical treatment, continuing therapies, lost wages or pain and suffering.
In Florida, all you need to have by current law is PIP coverage, or “personal injury protection”, to be considered legal to drive. This is the bare minimum, and MANY people are on our roads under this type of car insurance. PIP means that if you're hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you're potentially entitled to $10,000 in overall coverage, and a minimum of $2,500 – PROVIDED you seek medical attention within the first 14 days following the accident. For more info on that, please click here.
Florida drivers are NOT required to carry Bodily Injury Protection. Basically, under current Florida law, it is not necessary to buy insurance coverage that covers someone else. So now, UM coverage comes into the equation. Um coverage would provide financial compensation for medical costs, their injuries, lost wages from being unable to work and pain and suffering, even if they were hurt by someone without any type of car insurance.
But, there is so much more you need to know. YOUR UM COVERAGE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY GUARANTEE YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER WILL PAY YOUR INJURY CLAIM.
It's no secret that insurance companies, large and small, routinely turn down payment of accident injury claims automatically. Insurance companies make money by NOT paying accident claims – that's why they have such huge, iconic skyscrapers for headquarters and bombard you with television marketing all night long. But when it comes time to collect what you are rightfully and fairly due as an accident injury victim, they are NOT likely to be as friendly as you may have hoped.
Denying your accident injury claim means more profit for their bottom line. We find that in so many cases, it takes the involvement of a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney to get their attention in order to even get them to consider your claim. Just because you pay them every month, thinking that because you have UM coverage, you're gonna be OK, means nothing. There are certain ways to go about ensuring that you are justly compensated for your injuries – and that's what we help people like you with, every day.
We'd like you to know that it doesn't cost a thing to sit down with us and go over what happened in your accident. Our motor vehicle insurance team – we have lawyers who spent years working as senior insurance clams analysts – have the knowledge and experience to deal with any insurance company, and their high-powered attorneys. We suggest you give us a call BEFORE you answer any questions from your insurance company or that of the others involved in your accident, and learn the facts.
They may say that they're “on your side”, “you're in good hands”, or some other catchy slogan, but when it comes time to pay your injury claim, you most likely won't hear them say anything but “no”.