What Is Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

A Sarasota Injury Lawyer Explains

Florida law mandates that every driver carries $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage insurance. Unfortunately, not all drivers carry the insurance required by law, which can leave you vulnerable to the massive financial and medical costs that come with an automobile accident. Thus, many insurance companies have begun offering uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.

A Sarasota injury attorney can help you if you have been hurt by an uninsured motorist. Legal action may be the best remedy for the pain you have suffered due to a catastrophic injury caused by a reckless driver.

Basics of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) are insurance coverage options that allow a driver to recover additional funds in the event that the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot pay for the total costs of the accident. Though UM and UIM are considered different types of coverage, they are often bundled together by insurance companies, which means you will have protection regardless of whether a driver carries no insurance or only the minimum required by Florida law.

For instance, let’s say your medical bills from an accident total $20,000. If the at-fault driver carried only the Florida minimum of $10,000, you would be liable for paying the other half of your medical bills. Conversely, if you carried a $20,000 underinsured motorist policy, then your medical bills would be completely taken care of by insurance payments.

UM and UIM coverage are not mandated in Florida, but it is highly advisable to carry them in addition to your legally-required PIP and property coverage. The National Safety Council estimates the average cost of a nonfatal car crash to be close to $70,000 – far, far above the minimum amount of coverage required by law.

The Dangers of Auto Accidents

An automobile accident can be an incredibly harmful event for a person to suffer. Injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Organ puncture
  • Blood loss
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Without uninsured motorist coverage, the cost of treating your injuries may overwhelm your personal finances.

Help is Available

By contacting a Sarasota injury lawyer, you can learn valuable information about your case. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, medical bills and lost enjoyment of life. Victims of negligence have options for recovering damages in times of need, even when some parties do not have the required insurance coverage.