If you suffered an injury in a hit and run accident in Florida, several different insurance policies potentially could help pay your losses. Trying to sort out what different insurance policies will cover can be complicated, so it is good to speak with a personal injury lawyer about whether your hit and run accident will be covered by insurance in Florida.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Florida is a no-fault automobile insurance state. That concept means that regardless of who caused the accident, your automobile insurance policy will cover your losses, up to your policy limits. Motor vehicle insurance in Florida must include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that pays up to $10,000 for medical and disability claims and $5,000 in death benefits for injuries suffered in a crash.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Hit and Run Accidents
When a driver leaves the scene of an accident illegally, the injured person does not have the hit-and-run driver’s insurance information to file a claim for damages. In situations involving significant injuries that meet Florida’s threshold injury test for seeking compensation above and beyond your own personal injury protection coverage and going after the at-fault driver, the law treats the hit-and-run driver as an uninsured motorist.
The reason for this rule is that we cannot go after the insurance coverage of someone without knowing his identity. The law will treat the hit and run driver the same as a driver who had stayed at the scene but did not have automobile liability insurance.
Not All Policies Include Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Although Florida law does not require that you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy, the insurance company is not allowed to sell you a motor vehicle liability insurance policy unless the policy either:
- Includes coverage for uninsured motorists or
- States on the policy in bold letters that the buyer is allowed to choose not to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
Damages That Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Pay
If your automobile insurance policy contains uninsured motorist coverage, the policy can provide compensation for:
- Bodily injury
- Wrongful death
Damages That Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Does Not Pay
Your uninsured motorist coverage usually will not compensate for your:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
What to Do If There Is More Than One Uninsured Motorist Policy
In some situations, particularly with multiple vehicles, there might be more than one possible uninsured motorist policy that could pay your damages. When this happens, you need to know:
- You can usually only get compensation from one uninsured motorist policy. In other words, you cannot “stack” the coverage of more than one policy.
- Usually, the uninsured motorist coverage for the vehicle in which you are riding will pay your losses.
- You get to choose between any uninsured motorist policy that covers you if you were not inside a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. If you were riding a bike or walking at the time of the accident, you can select coverage under either a policy that you or someone in your household owns if it names you as an insured or the uninsured motorist coverage that applies to one of the cars in the crash.
We understand that these insurance questions can be complicated. You can call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to see if your injuries from a hit and run accident will be covered by insurance in Florida.