Many people mistakenly believe that as long as they have uninsured motorist coverage (UM), their insurance company will automatically pay them UM benefits if they are ever involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. However, recovering benefits from an insurance policy is never a guarantee, even if your case seems cut-and-dry. Some insurers use stalling tactics to delay or even avoid paying legitimate claims.
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine has worked with many clients who expected to recover benefits, only to find that their insurance company denied their claims. Our attorneys are available to assist you in pursuing benefits under your UM policy. Call us today at 800-747-3733.
How Can I Prove My Uninsured Motorist Claim?
Florida law requires all drivers to have $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which will provide up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages to 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 insurance at all or do not have enough insurance to cover your remaining costs. If you are in an accident with one of these drivers, you will need to file a claim for uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits. To establish that you are entitled to UM/UIM benefits after an accident, you will need to prove the following:
You Have UM/UIM Coverage.
While Florida does not require you to carry UM/UIM coverage, it can protect you if you sustained injuries in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. All insurance companies must make UM/UIM coverage available to you unless you reject it in writing. If you do not reject UM/UIM coverage, your insurer must provide coverage equal to the limits of bodily injury liability in your policy. This coverage allows you to recover money from your insurer when the at-fault driver in your accident does not have any or enough coverage. You may also be able to stack UM/UIM coverage so that people with coverage on more than one vehicle can seek compensation under the coverage for both vehicles.
Some motorists hear that they have “full coverage” and assume that they have UM/UIM coverage. However, if you have full coverage, this only means that you meet the minimum Florida requirements of PIP insurance and property damage coverage. Our attorneys can review your policy and make sure that it includes UM/UIM coverage.
You Met All Contractual Obligations of Your UM/UIM Coverage.
Insurers often claim that they denied an accident victim’s 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 all the obligations of the contract with your insurer. These obligations include:
- Making full, timely payments to ensure that your coverage does not lapse
- Cooperating during your insurer’s investigation of your claim
- Agreeing to an examination under oath (EUO) or independent medical examination (IME) by a physician of your insurer’s choice, if requested
The Other Driver Was At-Fault.
You do not need to establish fault for PIP benefits, but you do for UM/UIM benefits. Insurers deny many UM/UIM claims when it finds that the alleged “at-fault” driver is not responsible for the accident. That is why accident victims need to provide strong evidence to show that the other driver was, in fact, at-fault for the accident and the victim’s injuries.
To prove that the other driver was at-fault, we will need to show that they acted negligently behind the wheel and that their negligence caused the accident. Motorists must operate their vehicles responsibly and abide by all traffic laws. When a motorist breaches this duty by speeding, tailgating, drunk driving, or otherwise acting irresponsibly, and their breach directly and proximately caused your accident and injuries, they are at-fault for the accident and should be liable for damages.
To establish that the other driver was at-fault, we will provide your insurer with photos, witness statements, videos, and other documentation relating to the accident.
You Suffered Injuries Because of the Accident and Warrant 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.
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. If your insurer refuses to pay your damages, we may consider filing a legal claim against them. To discuss the details of your case, contact us at 800-747-3733.