A single-vehicle accident took place in Miami-Dade County on September 13, 2015 in which all four passengers were hospitalized. This incident underscores the need for Floridians to be aware of their rights as injured passengers and the need to carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. They can assert a claim against the bodily injury insurance of the driver of the vehicle they were in, however it is always safe to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. To ensure that IF you are in an accident and the defendant has insufficient coverage or no coverage to compensate for your injuries and pain and suffering, your own UM/UIM will be there for you.
If you or your passengers are hurt in a single-vehicle accident or an accident caused by a driver with minimal bodily injury such as a ten thousand dollar bodily injury policy, those funds would potentially be divided amongst each party based upon their injuries. Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage can cover loses such as medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. UM / UIM insurance also protects you for such losses even if you are not in your own insured vehicle.
While Florida insurance companies must offer you UM insurance, you can elect to waive your right to this coverage. Those that do almost always regret this decision when the UM rejection letter has their signature on it and their chances of recovery are minimal at best.
Those passengers injured in an accident have the right to file injury claims under:
- The injury coverage of the driver of any liable vehicle
- The injury coverage of the owner of any liable vehicle
- The injury coverage of the driver if they were partially liable
- The injury coverage of the owner of the car you were in your driver was partly at-fault
Once you are injured, you can also file a claim under the Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) of your driver or owner’s insurance policy, which is not based on fault and does not require interactions with insurance companies as to who was to blame for the accident. This will cover up to the first ten thousand dollars of your medical expenses, lost wages and some other potential coverage’s.
Further, most UM policies will offer coverage for those injured in auto accidents involving a phantom vehicle; that is, one party who leaves the scene of the accident and is unidentified. You should still be sure to report any phantom vehicle accident to your insurer as soon as you can.
Speak with the trusted Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. to handle the complexities of your accident and recover the damages you need to cover any losses incurred.