Dealing with Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

Defining Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may have an especially difficult task ahead. There is a difference between an uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist:

  • Uninsured motorist: An uninsured motorist is one in who does not have bodily insurance liability coverage insurance. A hit-and-run driver is considered an uninsured motorist until he or she can be identified.
  • Underinsured motorist: An underinsured motorist is one who does not have sufficient bodily injury insurance coverage to cover the total amount of the personal injury damages.

Learning More about Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 12.6 percent of motorists nationwide are uninsured. Unfortunately, Florida ranks one of the highest with an estimated 3.2 million uninsured.

In a no-fault state, such as Florida, your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should cover at least some of your injuries but not much of it. But in an at-fault state, being hit by an uninsured driver may mean there is no money at all available to cover your injuries. You are free to sue, of course, but most individuals are not wealthy enough to fully pay for a serious injury.

In a no-fault state like Florida, and in at fault states with low coverage limits, more and more drivers are responding to this risk by carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance that supplements their basic policies. In fact, some states require it. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage compensates you for the costs of the accident, up to the limits of the uninsured and underinsured policy. Unfortunately, the actual cost of your injuries can still exceed those limits.

What to do Next

If you have questions about filing a claim after being hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, an experienced auto accident lawyer can help. Contact John Bales Attorneys today.