Uninsured Motorist coverage gives the same benefits as bodily injury (BI) liability coverage. This means that you can get the same types of damages that you can recover against an at-fault driver or owner in a vehicle accident case.
You are hit by a car in Florida while you are a pedestrian. Your ankle is fractured in the accident. You can make a claim under the Personal Injury Protection coverage in your auto insurance policy.
In a personal injury case against the car that hit you, you could recover damages from the at fault driver or owner for:
- Past Lost Income
- Future lost income reduced to present value
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Replacement value of lost personal property (e.g. damage to your car, broken glasses, watch, etc.)
- Funeral expenses
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments
- Pain and suffering
- Future Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
- Punitive Damages (in rare cases)
Your spouse can make a claim for loss of consortium. These damages would be paid by the auto insurance company for the driver or owner of the vehicle that hit you. They are paid under the BI liability coverage of the driver’s auto insurance policy.
If the driver was uninsured, you can make a claim against your uninsured motorist insurer for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering (if you have a permanent injury).
Your spouse could make a claim for loss of consortium.I settled a similar case for $325,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car in Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Similar to a bodily injury liability insurer for the car that hit you, your uninsured motorist insurance company does not have to pay you for punitive damages.
Even so, if you have the ability to bring punitive damages, the UM insurer will probably pay you more for your pain and suffering than they would if you are able to make a case against the at-fault car for punitive damages.
This is because in situations where punitive damages are given, the jury is bothered at the conduct of the at-fault driver or company and will generally give for money for pain and suffering.
UM coverage covers damages that are caused by an uninsured motorist who commits an intentional tort against you. The bodily injury liability coverage of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance will not cover intentional acts.
You are hit by a driver that is mad at you and intentionally drives his car into you. Assume he admits that he was trying to hurt you. If you make a claim against his bodily injury liability insurer, they will probably deny coverage to you because their driver was committing an intentional tort. But your UM coverage will cover damages to you that were caused by this intentional act of the at-fault driver.
In most vehicle accidents in Florida, the injured person must meet the tort threshold (e.g. prove a permanent injury) in order to get money for pain, suffering and mental anguish that were caused by an at-fault driver. The same is true in a UM case.
You are driving your car in Florida and you are hit by a driver – who lives in Florida – that runs a red light. The at-fault driver receives a ticket. He or she admits fault. You have fractured wrist and you need surgery.
Since you were hit by a car while you were in a car in Florida, you would need to show that you have a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering, and mental anguish from the at-fault driver. I settled a case like this for a driver in Miami for $200,000.
Let’s assume that the other driver had no BI liability coverage in his or her auto insurance.
You could make a claim against your UM auto insurance, but you would still need to show that you have a permanent injury in order to get money for pain, suffering and mental anguish.
The exception to this is that if the driver or owner at-fault driver does not have PIP coverage in his or her auto insurance policy AND your UM policy states that you have coverage for damages for bodily injury that you are legally entitled to recover from the uninsured vehicle.
Does a UM Insurer Have to Pay You for Your Bills that Medicare Paid?
Yes, assuming that an uninsured motorist’s negligence caused your injuries. This assumes that you’re an insured under a auto insurance policy that has UM coverage.
This is because bills paid by Medicare are not deductible from a verdict for uninsured motorist coverage under Section 627.272(1), Florida Statutes. Atkins v. Allstate Insurance Co., 382 So.2d 1276 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980).
How long do you have to sue for uninsured motorist (UM) benefits from a Florida auto accident?
Learn the time limit to sue for UM benefits from a Florida auto accident.
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