If we haven’t convinced you yet that you need uninsured motorist coverage, and lots of it, let us try to light another fire under you – Covid-19- flares around us. In the age of Covid-19, people have lost their jobs. They’re hurting and forced to make decisions about what to pay for first- food, rent, utilities, health insurance, auto insurance, etc. Many of them, despite their better judgement, will reduce or eliminate their auto insurance, dangerously relying upon others to protect them and making a problem that existed before the pandemic even worse now.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage on your automobile policy protects you if the at-fault driver in a crash has little or no insurance coverage to protect you from their negligent driving. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, upwards of 40% of South Florida drivers were uninsured, and another 20% underinsured. This means that for you there is a 40% chance that you will have no recourse, and 60% chance that any recourse you had would not cover your losses. This means that there was a greater chance that the other driver did not have enough insurance to cover your injuries than a chance that he did. We fully expect these numbers to increase significantly in the coming months. Therefore, carrying enough uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family will be essential, now more than ever.
Picture this scenario that plays out in our office more times than we can remember. Dave the Drunk (not his real name), rear ended you as you were sitting at a red light, seriously injuring your neck. After countless visits to the doctor, you are being told you need surgery to fix the problem. You are staring at potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost earnings from work. You are limited in what you can do daily, no longer enjoy pain free golf, bowling or sleeping and life is starting to pass you by. You toss and turn every night, unable to get comfortable. It hurts all the time and probably always will.
So you look for the best personal injury attorneys you can find- attorneys who have great results, have tried countless cases to verdict, and whom you believe will get you the best result possible, Cutler Rader.
Attorney Andrew Rader is happy to try to help. After an initial meeting and quick but thorough investigation, he explains that Dave the Drunk had no bodily injury coverage. “But,” you say, “can’t we go after Dave the Drunk personally?” “In theory, yes,” Andrew responds. “But if he cannot afford insurance, what’s the likelihood he will have assets? People with assets protect those assets with insurance. Unless Dave the Drunk is independently wealthy and doesn’t have insurance, which is unlikely, we cannot recover from him. We can also look at a Dram Shop action, in which we sue a bar that may have over-served him, or see if there is another third party that had responsibility for the crash or determine whether a product defect caused this collision; otherwise, there is not much we can do.” Your heart sinks.
“Lucky for you,” Andrew continues, “you have plenty of uninsured motorist coverage. It will pay for your losses because Dave the Drunk was uninsured. So, we can get your bills paid, lost earnings and pain and suffering covered through your own insurance because you paid premiums for that coverage. You were thinking ahead. I wish I could say that to everyone who calls me after a collision. In the last few years, we’ve had many people call whose family members were killed in collisions, but there was no coverage. Zero. It was heartbreaking to tell the family that we could not help them. There was no money available for the spouse or the kids. Worse, the at-fault driver, who had no insurance, walked away unbruised and unpunished.”
Today, it is more important than ever before to protect yourself and to make sure you have uninsured motorist insurance, and plenty of it. Call Cutler Rader for an evaluation of your policy and to help you determine the amount that’s right for you.