Uninsured Motorist Coverage: A Florida Necessity

Categories: Car Accidents

Although Florida is well known for its beaches, theme parks, and summer vacations, it’s not all fun and sunshine. Dangers are hiding in plain sight, and you might be at risk. Statistics show that Florida is one of the top five states in the nation for uninsured drivers. This problem puts at risk many families who don’t have specific additional insurance to protect them from accidents involving those who are not insured.

Uninsured Epidemic

Times are tough. Not everyone is financially able to sustain all of their bills when they may have suffered a job loss, or perhaps they may simply be a victim of low wages or an economic recession. Thinly stretched funds may leave some individuals in a position to make difficult decisions, such as eliminating car insurance to pay for necessities like food, rent, and electricity.

In Florida, it’s illegal to drive without insurance, and although many want to properly obey the law, they may not be able to afford it. Knowing this, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from the possibility of having an incident with uninsured drivers by investing in uninsured motorist coverage.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage is additional insurance that can be added to most plans to cover costs associated with bodily injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and death when an uninsured driver is at fault. Accidents are never expected and you don’t want to be in a situation of financial ruin if an unfortunate day arrives. Be prepared when disaster strikes!

Hit and runs are good examples of circumstances where uninsured motorist coverage could be lifesaving. Being involved in a crash where a fearful uninsured motorist drives away could leave you bankrupt if you or your family sustain serious injuries requiring long-term hospitalization or expensive surgeries. Having peace of mind from these types of car accidents will give you confidence that you’ll be covered during a catastrophe.

A Small Investment for Big Protection

Hospital bills aren’t cheap. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver at fault, you want to be certain that you won’t lose everything for which you’ve worked so hard. Adding uninsured motorist protection to your current insurance plan is often only a small additional cost, but it could save you thousands.

Part of being financially responsible involves considering risk. Living in a state with a high population of uninsured motorists is a clear and present danger. Avoiding this hazard can be as simple as calling your insurance provider and paying a little more. 

Uninsured vs Underinsured

There are several different types of additional coverage that you can purchase to protect yourself from a variety of circumstances. Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is slightly different from underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) insurance. Underinsured means the driver has some insurance but not enough to meet the needs of the claim, which could leave a large sum of money unpaid.

Depending on the severity of the incident, having protection from underinsured drivers may be just as important as uninsured motorist coverage. In the event of a deficit, you don’t want to find yourself on the hook for hospital bills or in lengthy court battles trying to recoup the costs. In this case, it would be best to consult a lawyer. Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries.

Consequences of Being Underinsured

While being underinsured is not against the law, it could lead to massive financial debt and hardships for you and your family. One of the most terrifying experiences is being at fault for an accident, realizing you’re underinsured, then being sued. Being dragged into a legal battle to defend yourself and your finances is a frightening reality to avoid. Don’t put yourself in a position to owe thousands, when it could have been avoided by taking out proper insurance beforehand. 

Stacking Insurance

When taking on additional coverage such as UM and UIM, you may be able to take advantage of a practice called “stacking.” Stacking may occur when you own multiple vehicles and want to apply UM or UIM to all of them, resulting in a higher total amount of coverage. For example, if you own two cars and apply $50,000 worth of coverage to each, you might be able to enjoy the benefit of $100,000 worth of total coverage when an accident occurs involving one of those vehicles. 

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you find yourself in a wreck, the first thing to do is remain calm. Panicking or getting angry won’t help resolve the situation and it may only escalate the problem. Next, check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you feel like you may have sustained a major injury, do not attempt to stand or move, as it could make the damage worse. 

Next, call 911 to notify them if you need a police officer or ambulance. Be sure to get to safety first if you’re in a dangerous position and at risk of causing more wrecks. Wait patiently and help should arrive shortly to assist you and any other people involved in the accident.

If you’re able, the next steps would be to document the incident by taking photos and exchange information with the other driver involved. If they do not have insurance to show you, speak to the officer on site and notify your insurance company to file a claim. If you’re injured, it may be necessary to contact an injury lawyer right away to represent your case. 

After an accident:

  • Remain Calm
  • Check for injuries
  • Call 911
  • Get to safety
  • File a police report
  • See an injury doctor
  • If injured, contact an injury lawyer

If you have been injured in an uninsured motorist accident in Palm Beach County, contact Brian D. Guralnick personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now.