Uninsured motorist insurance is a limited form of coverage which protects injured persons by providing a source of financial responsibility for the uninsured or underinsured tortfeasor. In Florida, every auto insurance provider must offer UM coverage in an amount equal to the policyholder’s automobile liability insurance. Once the offer of UM coverage is made, the policyholder will have the option of rejecting it. If it is accepted, the policyholder will have to pay an additional premium for it. The statute provides that UM coverage only protects the insured who is “legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles.” This means that the UM carrier will have to pay the insured only if the tortfeasor would have to pay if the claim were made directly against him. Therefore, once the insured files a claim against his UM carrier, the carrier will, in effect, stand in the shoes of the tortfeasor and will have available to it all defenses that could be raised by the tortfeasor. This makes UM coverage a limited form of third-party insurance even though the insured pays for it because the coverage not only directly benefits the injured insured by providing a source of compensation for his injury, but it also inures indirectly to the benefit of the tortfeasor whose conduct caused the injury but who is without adequate insurance to enable him to be financially responsible for his acts.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works: If an insured is involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, he may sue the uninsured motorist directly who will have all applicable legal defenses available to him. If the insured obtains a judgment against him, the insured may attempt to satisfy it against the tortfeasor’s assets. On the other hand, the insured will have the option of foregoing suit against the tortfeasor and file a claim against the UM carrier. If he elects this avenue of procedure, he will have to show that the tortfeasor is without insurance or has not complied with the self-insurance provisions of the statute. However, the insured will not have to show that the tortfeasor does not have sufficient assets to satisfy the claim or that he is not financially able to pay it. The insurer will be subrogated to the rights of the insured to proceed against the tortfeasor and if he is financially responsible or capable, the insurer will be able to obtain reimbursement from him for any amounts it paid to the insured.
Speak With a Miami Accident Lawyer Today!
After any accident, it is always a good idea to discuss any injuries or insurance benefits with a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney miami can help you understand your legal rights and obligations after a car accident. When you’re involved in an accident with another driver who is uninsured or underinsured and you sustain injuries, the claims process can become a bit more complex. Let the car accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero evaluate the circumstances of your case and provide you with a clarification of your legal options going forward so that you can make an informed decision. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your injury claim, the team at Suarez and Montero has the experience necessary to ask the right questions and take the necessary actions to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve! Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries!
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