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Uninsured Motorist Claims

Injured by an uninsured driver in Clearwater?

With the recent economic downturn, more and more Florida drivers are electing to forgo auto insurance simply because they cannot afford it. This is unfortunate because, while the rest of us do our best to adhere to Florida law and maintain our auto insurance, we are left in a difficult position when hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

In most cases, when someone is in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, the other driver's insurance company is responsible for paying for everything. This is in a normal situation; but what happens when the at-fault driver doesn't have auto insurance?

Most Floridians carry auto insurance as required by law, however many do not carry the type of insurance which covers injuries caused in accidents. There are a percentage of individuals who elect not to purchase auto insurance, and even more who cannot get it because they don't have a valid driver's license to begin with! When you are involved in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, but they don't have auto insurance, your chances of pursuing a personal injury claim against him or her and collecting money are very slim. Unfortunately there are thousands of uninsured drivers in the state of Florida and your chances of being involved in a collision with one of these uninsured motorists is substantial.

Uninsured and Underinsured Vehicle Coverage in Florida

In Florida, uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage (UI/UIM) is covered under Section 627.727 of the Florida Statutes. Under §627.727, it states that no motor vehicle liability insurance policy which provides bodily injury liability coverage shall be issued or delivered in Florida unless the uninsured motor vehicle coverage is provided. However, the uninsured motorist coverage required in this section is not applicable when the policy holder makes a written rejection of such coverage on behalf of all who are insured under the policy.

If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, then this is where you can engage your uninsured motorist coverage under your own auto insurance policy. In such cases where the at-fault driver either didn't have any auto insurance or where their insurance was insufficient to cover your damages, then you would file a claim against your own policy to seek financial recovery up to the full policy limits or if necessary through filing a civil lawsuit.

"Stacking" Auto Insurance: Why You Should Do It

The residents of Florida have the option of stacking or not stacking coverage. Stacking coverage allows individuals with more than one vehicle to maximize recovery by pursuing compensation under the coverage for both of their vehicles after an accident. In its simplest form, when a policy holder is injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, the policy holder can use the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage available on each vehicle they have insured and "stack" it together.

Stacking your insurance coverage in an amount equal to your personal injury coverage will maximize your recovery. Stacking also protects your family members ,such as your spouse and your children, and it protects you if you're injured on a motorcycle. Our advice is this: Always buy as much stacking uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford. Usually only the first "layer" of insurance is expensive, and it's surprisingly affordable to double or triple your coverage. Uninsured Motorist coverage is the only insurance coverage that protects you!

Unless you expressly declined uninsured motorist coverage with a written rejection at the time you took out your policy, you should have stacking uninsured motorist coverage. If you do have this coverage, then having a Clearwater personal injury lawyer from our firm can make a world of difference when it comes to obtaining the full compensation that you legally deserve.

Speak to a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today!

With 45 years collective experience, and with a former insurance defense lawyer on our team, a former trucking company lawyer and a former DUI prosecutor, at Cope, Zebro & Crawford, P.L., we are uniquely qualified to handle uninsured motorist claims. We are concerned about our clients' physical, emotional and financial wellbeing and in effect, we aggressively pursue maximum financial recovery at all times.

By leveling the playing field, we will fight for just monetary compensation that will allow you to comfortably cover all current expenses as well as future medical bills that might arise. With an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, it is vital that you have skilled representation on your side to effectively pursue the results that you need in your case.