Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Uninsured Motorist Selection/Rejection Pursuant to Florida Law

By Steve Charpentier on December 14, 2018

Statue of justice with scales and swordUninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are among the most important insurance coverages one can carry in Florida. There are many dangers on the road, and not all drivers have sufficient insurance coverage. In fact, even with auto insurance, car accident benefits may not cover injuries, recovery, and the long-term effects of a crash. That’s why attorney Stephen G. Charpentier works diligently with motorists in and around Melbourne, FL, helping them receive just compensation and insurance benefits.

The team at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. would like to consider a case we’re handling right now that involves uninsured motorist coverage and Florida laws regarding the responsibilities of insurance companies to their policy holders.

The Motorcycle Accident and Its Lasting Impact

Our law firm has a case right now where we represent a young Palm Bay woman who was in a serious motorcycle crash. The collision was not her fault, and she sustained significantly injuries.

As in many motorcycle cases, the insurance policy limits of the at-fault party are less than adequate to fully compensate the injured person. Our client suffered a broken leg, a serious knee injury, and other types of injuries that necessitated surgery and extensive post-op medical care. She has also suffered significant lost wages, as well as a loss of capacity to earn money or wages in the future.

An Additional Detail Regarding the Accident Case

There’s an additional detail to this client’s story that’s of significance importance to this blog post. Our client lived with her father, who had an insurance policy providing bodily injury liability coverage. The policy declarations page, however, indicated that the father had rejected that uninsured motorist coverage.

This detail is important to keep in mind. If the father had uninsured motorist coverage, there would be additional benefits available to his daughter following her crash. In fact, in this particular case, the additional benefit would have been another $100,000, which would help with the present financial burdens of medical treatment as well as the accident’s long-term impact on her career and future earnings.

A Dispute Over the Rejected Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In order to reject or select lower limits of uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury liability coverage, Florida state law requires that the insurance company obtain the rejection after appropriately informing the insured of what they are giving up. To put it simply, the company must explicitly inform the policy holder of the benefits they are not going to receive.

In this particular case, it is our position that the insurance company (GEICO) did not comply with the language of the statute. GEICO contends that they have followed the law. At present, our law firm is involved in litigation aimed at resolving the issue.

Important Takeaways from This Accident Case

There are two big takeaways for Brevard County residents reading about this case:

  • Make sure your policy provides uninsured motorist insurance coverage
  • If the insurance company claims you do not have such benefits available, check with a qualified attorney to see if the rejection of those benefits (or selection of lower benefits) was in compliance with Florida state laws

Learn More About Auto Collisions

To learn more about your legal rights and options following a car crash, be sure to contact our team of auto accident lawyers. The team at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. are here to help. You can reach our Melbourne office by phone at (866) 615-7868, our Cocoa office at (321) 631-5446, and our Titusville office at (321) 308-8025.

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