Articles Posted in Insurance

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Broward County recently drafted and threatened to file a lawsuit against ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft if they continued to operate in an illegal manner in the county.  In a warning letter disbursed to Uber and Lyft, the County warned against drivers picking up passengers at the airport, port, or anywhere else in Broward County.  Uber and its competitor Lyft have announced that they will withdraw from the Broward County market and no longer accept passengers in this area.  However, in the warning letter issued by the county, Uber and Lyft drivers were warned not to even drop off passengers in Broward who were picked up in other counties. This, the county attorney claims, is still a violation of Broward County regulations.

The county has stated that it hopes Uber and Lyft will move forward with filing applications that would allow them to operate legally in the county.  As of now, the county is concerned with both company’s lack of substantial background checks and insufficient insurance that does not meet state requirements.   Continue reading →

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This is the second installment of our two-part blog post discussing potential insurance issues that face car crash injury victims.  While we have attempted to discuss significant insurance coverage issues, every situation is unique.  If you have specific questions about your specific situation, we invite you to contact us to speak to an experienced Miami auto collision injury lawyer.

Uninsured Motorists/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: Stacked vs. Unstacked

Although Florida law requires all motorists to carry BI liability insurance or a bond if the driver is at-fault in an accident, many drivers fail to comply with this mandate.  When the negligent party that causes a car crash is an uninsured driver, an injury victim might need to pursue a first party insurance claim against his or her own insurance carrier unless there are other viable defendants.  Many people presume that their insurance carrier will cooperate since policyholders pay premiums for this form of financial security.  Unfortunately, the insurer-policyholder relationship becomes adversarial when an insured needs to pursue a first party insurance claim under his or her uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pursuant to the injury victim’s own policy.

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If you are involved in a serious car accident that results in hospitalization for broken bones, fractures, spinal cord damage, brain injuries, or other significant injuries, you can quickly be overwhelmed by legal requirements and insurance company obstacles.  When you suffer an injury or lose a loved one to a motorist who is alcohol impaired, distracted, or a reckless driver, you will need to navigate insurance issues to maximize your financial recovery.  Our Miami auto accident lawyers have provided an overview of a couple of key insurance issues relevant to Florida crash injury victims.

Woefully Inadequate Florida Liability Insurance Requirements

The Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires that all drivers carry bodily injury (BI) liability coverage or post a bond if they are at-fault in an accident.  However, this requirement rings hollow given the minimal amount of coverage that motorist are required to purchase.  The statutory minimum for BI liability coverage under Florida law is $10,000 per injury victim and $20,000 per crash for all victims.  The minimum liability coverage for property damage is $10,000.

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This is the second installment in our two-part blog post offering an overview of some of the tactics used by insurance companies to refuse to pay for damages caused by the negligence of their insured.  Our Miami personal injury lawyers have provided a few examples of ways insurance companies will try to mitigate their liability and avoid paying valid claims.  If you have specific questions about your situation, we invite you to contact us.

Providing a Check for a Low-ball Amount: The insurance company might surprise you by sending a check shortly after the accident or offering a quick settlement.  The initial settlement proposal from an insurance company will NEVER be equal to the actual value of your claim.  A quick settlement offer or check means that the insurer has a reasonable concern you might receive a substantially larger recovery in litigation.  The insurance company also knows that the best time to persuade a car crash victim to accept a lowball claim is early before the insurer obtains legal advice regarding the strength and value of his or her claim.  The check or settlement offer will be accompanied with a document called a “General Release” or a similar document that releases ANY AND ALL claims including those that an injury victim does not even know exist.  If you discover injuries after signing a General Release, you might not even have access to funds to pay medical bills.  The best practice is never to sign any documents provided by an insurance company without obtaining legal advice.

Communicating Directly: The insurance adjuster also might call you and attempt to ask you questions or communicate with you about your claim.  Frequently, insurance adjusters are affable people, but they do not have your best interest in mind.  The adjuster will attempt to obtain information that can be used to weaken your chance of recovery or decrease the value of your claim.  All communications with the at-fault driver’s insurance company should be conducted by an experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney.

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When you are involved in an car accident in Miami or other areas in South Florida, you might be saddled with overwhelming medical bills at a time when you are unable to work.  If you are disabled for an extended period of time, you might struggle to pay your mortgage, car note, and other monthly expenses.  While an injury victim can pursue legal compensation from a negligent driver, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will usually handle the claim and pay the settlement or judgment unless the at-fault driver is uninsured.

While an insurance company owes a legal duty of good faith and fair dealing to its policyholder, the other driver’s insurer does not have an obligation to treat your fairly.  Rather, the insurer of an at-fault driver has an adversarial relationship with a plaintiff seeking damages, and the insurer will use a range of strategies to avoid paying a claim or to minimize any payment.  Our experienced Miami car accident lawyers have provided some examples of strategies that insurers might use to prevent injury victims from receiving the full value of their legal claim in this two-part blog post.

Requesting a Recorded Statement: The insurer for the at-fault driver might contact you and ask that you agree to provide a recorded statement.  The insurance adjuster might seem cordial and helpful, but the adjuster’s job is to ensure you receive as little compensation as possible for your claim.  Although the adjuster might contend that the recorded statement will allow the insurance company to evaluate your claim and cut you a check, the purpose of the recorded statement is to acquire information that can be used to deny or lowball your claim.

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This is the second installment in our two part blog analyzing the challenges and special issues involved in personal injury claims involving hit and run accidents and uninsured drivers.  While this blog series addresses specific issues involved in cases where there are challenges in identifying a viable defendant or source of funds to pay a settlement or judgment, we recognize you might have specific questions about your unique situation, so we invite you to speak to one of our experienced Miami personal injury lawyers.

Alternative Sources of Financial Compensation

If you are injured in a collision with an uninsured motorist or hit and run driver, lawyers at our Miami Personal Injury Law Firm investigate all potential responsible parties, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

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When people have been injured in a car accident, they may believe that the biggest hurdle is going to be getting the insurance company to acknowledge that the other driver was at fault, or that they were injured as a result of the accident. However, many times, it is the nature of the injury that is the most fiercely contested issue. Attorneys for the insurance company will argue that the injuries are only temporary, thereby limiting the amount of damages that will be awarded. In Florida, damages for pain, suffering, disfigurement and for the loss of the enjoyment of life are only permissible when someone has a injury that according to the doctors is “permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability.” Skilled and dedicated Miami car crash attorneys understand the importance of proving that the victims of car accident will suffer for a lifetime as the result of the negligent actions of the other driver.

Even low-impact car crashes can lead to permanent injuries that negatively can alter the life of the victim. The skilled and knowledgeable South Florida car accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano understand how to build a successful case, demonstrating how the victim has suffered from an injury that will hinder his quality of life permanently. Our attorneys have more than 120 years of collective experience obtaining justice for our clients.
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Most people know what basic types of insurance are available to consumers. Car insurance, flood insurance, hurricane insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and long term care insurance are widely known. However, many people are not aware that identity theft insurance is yet another way to insure against potential harm. In Florida, identity theft is rampant, ranking higher than any other state.

To combat the wrongful intrusion on the privacy of Florida citizens, insurance companies have become clever. They are now offering identity theft insurance coverage. It is astounding that 1 in 23 Americans are affected by identity theft. If your identity is stolen and you file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company, our Miami insurance claim lawyers know you may be able to receive the amount of money stolen up to a certain limit, depending on your policy, lost wages in addition to the processing fees for forms and mailings that are required to get your life back on track without having to pay a deductible.
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If you have been in a car accident and filed a lawsuit against another driver, then you likely know what an independent medical examination (IME) is. The correct term is actually DME (Defense Medical Exam) because there is nothing “Independent” about the doctors performing these exams. The IME (DME) is often a required component of a personal injury lawsuit involving an auto accident, as in all personal injury claims.. If you have filed a claim for personal injuries resulting from a car accident, the opposing party’s attorney (who represents the opposing party’s insurance company), will have a doctor evaluate you and form an opinion as to whether the car accident, and thus the opposing party’s conduct, was the actual cause of your injuries.

Is An IME Legitimate?

An IME is not really independent for many reasons. First, the defendant’s attorney and the defendant’s insurance company, is choosing the doctor that is evaluating you. Our Miami motor vehicle insurance claims lawyers know this doctor is getting paid big bucks to find that your injuries are not really related to the car accident at all. The doctor does this for a living, and some get paid $900 an hour or more for their time in reviewing records, examining the patient, writing reports and testifying.. While the doctor may agree that you are injured, he or she may indicate that you already had this particular injury prior to the car accident.
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If a person is hurt in a car accident in the United States, chances are about 14% to 15% that the driver responsible for the accident will not be insured. With the costs of living and everything else seemingly on the rise, it isn’t a surprise that many are taking huge risks by foregoing state mandated essentials, such as automobile insurance. According to recent statistical data issued from the Insurance Research Council, our Miami personal injury lawyers find the amount of uninsured drivers in the United States is currently around 14%. However, in Florida, the amount of uninsured drivers is shocking, and accounts for nearly 20% of all drivers state-wide. This percentage is much higher in South Florida. In fact, the State of Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation. With this in mind, it is important to consider the ways in which you can protect yourself, such as adding uninsured motorist coverage to your existing auto insurance policy.

Why is uninsured motorist coverage important if I already carry no fault insurance?
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