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Client Gets Into Accident With Underinsured Driver


Attorney Daniel VillalobosAuthor: Attorney Daniel Villalobos

What happens when you get into an accident, and the person who hits you does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries? You must file an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company (if you purchased the coverage… it is not required to buy underinsured motorist insurance in Florida). In this instance, your insurance company would pay you the money that the at fault driver’s insurance company would have paid you, had the at fault driver’s insurance company had more coverage available under the policy. In short, your insurance company stands in the shoes of the at fault driver to pay you what you are owed. Our client was a middle aged woman minding her business driving on a busy highway in Miami Florida. An awful Miami driver (shocking, I know) lost control and struck our client causing serious injuries to her neck and back.

Insurance Company Only Has A $25,000 Policy Available

After the accident, our client was rushed to the hospital. She underwent an intense physical therapy regimen. The orthopedic surgeon found herniations in her neck and administered several injections for pain. After a lengthy treatment process, our client finally was back to normal post-accident. Our firm filed a bodily injury claim against the at fault party’s insurance, who only had coverage up to $25,000 to pay for our client’s injuries. At this point, if our client did not purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the most the insurance company would pay is $25,000, and the only way to get more than the policy limits would be to reject the policy limits from the insurance company, and sue the at fault driver personally for more money. Almost always, suing an at fault driver personally would be a waste of time, since the at fault driver would not have much assets to try to collect on. Fortunately, our client did have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $100,000 available.

Dell and Schaefer Negotiate A Settlement

After treatment finished, our firm collected the $25,000 available from the at fault drivers insurance company. Our firm then sought additional benefits from our client’s own underinsured motorist coverage. We demanded the policy limits of $100,000. At first, the underinsured motorist company refused to tender arguing that $65,000 would have been enough of a payout. Our firm held firm and strong and refused to budge off the $100,000 UM demand. After months of negotiation, the underinsured motorist carrier finally tendered the $100,000 available under the policy. Our client was absolutely ecstatic to recover $125,00 for her injuries!

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