Serving the Areas of Sunrise, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale
If the other person who caused the auto accident does not have insurance and they don’t have assets, then we look to the client’s own policy to see if they have what is called underinsured motorist/uninsured motorist coverage (UM for short). That is a part of your own insurance policy which will pay you money if the driver who hit you and caused the accident does not have bodily injury liability coverage, or does not have enough liability insurance coverage.
For example, if you have an wreck and the other driver is at fault, and that driver has bodily injury liability insurance coverage of $10,000, and you break your legs in the accident, $10,000 will not be enough to cover you for those injuries, your medical bills, and the time that you are going to miss from work.
If you have UM coverage on your own policy of, say, $50,000, that means that there is a total of $60,000 available to cover your pain and suffering and damages. That’s $10,000 from the other driver and $50,000 from the UM portion of your policy. If the driver that hit you has no bodily injury liability insurance coverage, instead of your being able to get $60,000 in benefits, you will only be able to get up to $50,000 in benefits pay. This certainly does not include the $10,000 for no fault insurance, which is available to you no matter what, whether the other side has bodily injury liability coverage or not provided you seek medical care within 14 days of the date of an accident and your medical care was considered an emergency. That would be on top of everything else we’ve talked about to help pay your medical bills and lost wages.
What Happens If My Medical Bills And Other Costs Are More Than My Insurance, Or The Other Party’s Insurance, Can Or Will Cover?
There are two things that can happen. If, for example, your bills and costs are $100,000 (more than the insurance company has to offer), and the other driver only has $10,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, and you do not have UM, and the other driver has no assets, and $10,000 is all we can get, we can try two things.
First and most important, David M. Benenfeld tries to work with the medical providers; we let them know that there is only $10,000 available even though the bills are $100,000. As a general rule, we are able to work out deals with the medical providers where the clients can actually receive money and have those bills paid in full. It is not unusual to have that happen. Sometimes that deal is worked out over the phone as well as with letters and correspondence.
If it can’t be worked out that way, we can file for what is known as an Equitable Distribution with the court where we go before a judge. We explain to the judge that the bills are $100,000 and there is only $10,000 available. The judge will make a determination as to what amounts of money are fair to give the medical providers and the client.
So, yes, it can be done and we get these bills reduced all the time.
Have You Ever Seen People Become Hesitant Or Frustrated While Pursuing An Auto-Accident Case?
Of course! People are sometimes hesitant to pursue claims because they don’t want to be annoyed and aggravated, they’re afraid of getting stuck with bills they can’t pay, or they just have other things going on in their lives. But if you’ve been hurt, you need to have medical care to make sure that you’re going to be the best you can be medically. If you don’t get medical care and proper treatment at an early stage, things can happen to you many years later that will be attributable to the accident that you had.
It is really important to get that medical care, not only to help you feel better at the time, but for future possible problems. The longer you wait and the more hesitant you are, the more it will affect you, not only medically, but also with respect to the financial value of your case. As soon as you have had an accident, the quicker you can get in to see a doctor, and the quicker you can have an attorney help you on your case, the better off you are.
For more information on Uninsured or Under-Insured Motorists, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (954) 677-0155 today.