What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Should I Have It in Florida?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects a policyholder who is involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have any liability coverage. Simply put, uninsured motorist coverage will protect you if you are hit by another person that does not have insurance. Along those same lines, underinsured motorist coverage protects a policyholder who is involved in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover property damages or medical expenses.
All drivers in Florida are required to carry some level of personal injury protection (PIP). PIP is insurance that covers the policy holder’s own medical bills when they are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault (i.e., if you get into an accident then your PIP will cover the costs of your own medical bills regardless of who was at fault in the accident). PIP covers up to $10,000 in medical costs related to injuries that the policy holder sustains in an accident, but PIP will not cover more than $10,000 in bills.
If you have more than $10,000 in medical bills then the at fault driver may cover your bills if they have liability coverage, but not all drivers have liability coverage. In fact, one in every eight drivers in the United States does not have insurance, so chances are you may be hit by someone who has no insurance. In a situation where your medical bills are more than $10,000 and the at fault driver has no insurance, you will be responsible for paying your own medical bills out of pocket; which is why you should have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage covers you when the at fault party does not have enough insurance to cover your bills, lost wages and/or your pain and suffering.
In Florida, you can have uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury claims or property claims, but you are not required to have either one (I still highly recommend having uninsured motorist coverage for both property and bodily injury). If you are involved in an accident you can end up with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, you can be forced to stop working and you can be stuck with thousands of dollars in automobile repairs. If you are saddled with bill and unable to work, you credit score will be impacted, your financial stability will be disrupted and you could be forced into bankruptcy. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can help cover lost wages and medical bills for both you and any passengers in your car, and uninsured motorist property damage coverage can help pay for vehicle repairs so you don’t have to pay out of pocket. Underinsured motorist coverage works the same way; your policy will cover you in the event the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover all of your medical bills or property damage.
If you have been injured in a car accident then you should contact the Law Office of Matthew C. Williams to discuss your rights and determine whether or not you need to file a claim using your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. You can also give us a call if you haven’t been in an accident and you just have questions about the pros and cons of adding uninsured or underinsured coverage to your policy. Depending on the facts of your situation and the facts of your case if you have been in an accident, we may be able to hold the at-fault driver or vehicle owner accountable for their negligence and/or find other individuals or companies that may be liable in your case.
There are many benefits to retaining a lawyer after you were injured in a car accident, or when you are deciding what kind of insurance coverage to purchase on your vehicle. Attorney Williams and his legal team focus primarily on personal injury matters and they take pride in having a personal relationship with their clients. Attorney Williams treats his clients like family because he knows what they are dealing with is always more than just a case, and he refuses to let adjusters, defense lawyers, or big insurance stand in the way of getting his clients what they deserve. He obtains results for his clients and he’ll do the same for you, so give The Law Office of Matthew Williams a call to find out what your case is worth today.
Can I Sue a Business if Their Employee Gets into a Car Accident with Me?
Yes, you can file a personal injury claim against another driver that hits you, but you may also be able to file a personal injury claim against the company they were working for if they were on the clock or driving a company vehicle at the time of the crash. It’s best to speak to an attorney to determine whether or not you should file suit against the driver and the company, or just the driver, because there are a number of factors to consider when determining who to sue.
Employers can be held liable for their employees’ negligent acts in a number of situations. Generally, employers are not responsible for their employee’s negligence when the employee is driving to or from work; however, if the employee is driving to work with the intent to use the car or complete tasks for their employer while at work then the employer may be liable for the accident. For example, if a pizza delivery man is driving to work and gets in an accident then the pizza company he works for may be held liable for the accident since the employee was driving to work where they were going to use their car to complete their work. On the other hand, if a McDonald’s cashier got into a car accident on the way to work then McDonald’s would not be liable since the McDonald’s cashier is not required to bring their car to work.
Likewise, if an employee gets into a car accident while they are working or completing a task for their employer then their employer can be held liable for the employee’s actions. For instance, if the pizza delivery man from the example above got into an accident while he was in the process of delivering a pizza then the pizza company can be held liable for the driver’s negligent acts. An employer can also be held liable for negligent hiring if an employee gets into a car accident while working for the employer. In those situations, you will be successful in bringing a negligent hiring claim if you can prove the employer knew the employee had a history of bad driving and the employer still hired the employee to drive.
Regardless of who you are involved in an accident with, your health should always be your number one priority after an accident, so make sure you call 911 and receive immediate medical care if necessary. Once you’re in good health, contact an attorney immediately to determine what your next step should be. Your attorney can speak to you about the value of your case, who is liable in your case and whether or not you can sue the other driver’s employer. Oftentimes, employees are not in uniform or they don’t disclose that they were working at the time of the accident, so it’s important for you to speak to an experienced attorney who has the resources to investigate the individuals involved in your case to determine who can be held liable for your damages. It’s also important for you to speak to an experienced attorney to determine whether or not the driver’s employer is liable because employers generally carry far greater amounts of insurance than an individual driver. If the other driver’s employer is liable, then there will probably be substantially more insurance money available to cover the damages in your case.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, call the Law Office of Matthew C. Williams. We can represent you in your car accident claim and answer any questions you have about the process of filing a personal injury claim or determining who is liable. Attorney Williams treats his clients like family because he knows what they are dealing with is always more than just a case, and he refuses to let adjusters, defense lawyers, or big insurance stand in the way of getting his clients what they deserve. He obtains results for his clients and he’ll do the same for you for you, so give The Law Office of Matthew Williams a call to find out what your case is worth today.
How Much Money Will I Get Paid After Being Injured in a Car Accident?
The exact amount of money that you receive after being injured in a car accident depends on a few factors. The extent of your injuries, your medical bills, and the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are the three most important components in determining how much money you’ll receive. Future medical costs, pain and suffering, and how much time you missed from work will also be considered in determining the amount of compensation you’re eligible for. Some people believe car accident victims are trying to get rich quick, but the purpose of receiving money after a car accident is to “make you whole” again or to put you back in the position you were in before the accident. In most cases, making you “whole” is nearly impossible, so the money you receive is supposed to get you back to a place of normalcy like the accident never happened.
The extent of your injuries is always a major factor in evaluating a personal injury claim after a car accident, but the exact value of injuries can be difficult to calculate since everyone’s injuries are valued differently. For example, a car accident involving a young Olympic track athlete who has their leg amputated will be valued differently than a car accident involving a retired elderly man who has his leg amputated, mainly because the track athlete’s earning capacity will be diminished much greater than the elderly man’s earning capacity. The young athlete’s case will also be valued more in general because of the future medical costs the young athlete will have in comparison to the elderly retired man. Obviously, the elderly man would receive a significant amount of compensation for his amputation, but the young athlete would likely be able to recover more for his or her injuries because the retired elderly man will face fewer long-term consequences given his age.
Medical bills, medical expenses, and lost wages are all expenses that the at-fault party’s insurance company is required to cover as well. Medical bills are objective and can be easily calculated, but damages for pain and suffering are extremely subjective. Using our example above, the young athlete and the elderly retired man may recover similar damages for pain and suffering at the time of the accident since they experienced similar injuries, but how long the pain lasted, how much they continue to suffer, and how much they plan to rehabilitate their injuries will likely be different. The young athlete in our example may require multiple surgeries and physical therapy in the future as he or she attempts to learn to walk/run again, while the elderly man may decide to use a wheelchair or vice versa. Even when injuries are similar in nature, damages for pain and suffering or future medical costs may be drastically different.
Even if the medical bills, pain and suffering and the future medical costs warrant hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, the insurance company is generally limited by the policy limits of the at-fault driver. Meaning, if the at-fault driver has a $10,000.00 insurance policy limit, the insurance company will usually only cover up to $10,000.00 in damages regardless of what your injuries and damages amount to. You can also recover individually from the at-fault driver, but most personal injury lawyers do not pursue individual claims against the at-fault driver unless the at-fault driver has assets available to cover any judgment the lawyer receives in the case.
If you have been injured in a car accident or some other situation, then you should contact The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams to determine how much compensation you can receive for your injuries. Insurance companies will oftentimes claim you are at fault, argue your injuries are superficial, or they will delay their case until you are willing to settle for less than your case is worth, but with the help of Attorney Williams, you will have the same resources, financial backing and experience that the insurance companies have.
The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams focuses primarily on personal injury matters and we take pride in having a personal relationship with their clients. Attorney Williams treats his clients like family because he knows what they are dealing with is always more than just a case, and he refuses to let adjusters, defense lawyers, or big insurance stand in the way of getting his clients what they deserve. He obtains results for his clients and he’ll do the same for you, so give The Law Office of Matthew C. Williams a call to find out what your case is worth today.