Visitor Question

At-fault driver’s insurance policy limits don’t cover medical bills?

Submitted By: Maryann (Florida)

I was hit by a drunk driver, my neck was broken and I have permanent nerve damage. My daughter broke her nose and has knee and back problems, and my husband has soft tissue injuries.

The insurance company offered the maximum coverage amount of 40k for everything and everyone.

My lawyer said they acted in good faith and so we can’t sue. That amount is not even enough to cover our medical bills! Can we do anything? This is extremely unjust. What legal options do we have to recover more compensation? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Maryann,

The State of Florida is one of thirteen states which requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance, often referred to as “PIP” (Personal Injury Protection) in the amount of $10,000.00.

In a no-fault state, the victim of an car accident must turn to his or her own insurance company to pay for damages arising out of a car accident. This is true even though the other driver may have been entirely at fault.

Learn more about no­-fault insurance here.

The State of Florida requires insurance companies to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, but does not require drivers to purchase the insurance. UIM covers medical expenses and lost wages (not fully paid by your no-fault coverage), future medical expenses and future lost wages, and non-economic damages such as disability, pain and suffering, and the loss of ability to enjoy life.

From the facts you present, you didn’t carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage at the time of the accident. As a result, you recovery may be limited to the amount of $40,000.

You, your daughter and husband do though have a right to sue the at-fault driver personally for your losses in excess of $40,000. To do this, you’ll need the help of a licensed personal injury attorney. To read more about Florida’s car insurance laws go to Florida Statutes Part X1 – Motor Vehicle And Casualty Insurance Contracts.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 8, 2017

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