As a South Florida personal injury lawyer who sues construction companies, many of the cases that I litigate involve clients injured due to car accidents within a construction site. In my post from August 28, 2012, I illustrated the importance of holding the construction company responsible for its potentially negligent maintenance of a construction site. Yet, sometimes construction site car accidents occur and fault does not lie in the hands of the construction company. So, the only means of recovery for your injury is through the other driver’s automobile insurance policy. Or is it?
In Florida, every licensed driver is required by law to carry automobile insurance. Additionally, every driver’s insurance policy comes equipped with Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, for short. PIP provides each driver injured in a car accident with up to $10,000 in medical expense coverage. However, once that $10,000 has been exhausted by the medical providers, the injured driver falls mercy to the bodily injury coverage that the other driver has according to their auto policy. What if the other driver elects not to carry bodily injury coverage?
Unfortunately, in the state of Florida, if you are in a car accident, whether it occur in a construction site or not, and the other driver does not have any bodily injury insurance coverage, then you may be out of luck. Of course, you may be able to file a lawsuit and attempt to recover against the other driver personally — but good luck with that, unless the driver that hit you happens to be Lebron James. Although, there is one other option that you can explore so that you can avoid the gamble of whether the other driver has bodily injury insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage.
Unlike PIP, every driver in Florida has the choice of electing to carry uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage. Why pay the extra money for UM coverage? Simple. In Florida, with all the highways, the massive amount of traffic, and construction sites and work zones to travel through, you are constantly putting yourself in harms way while driving. All it takes is that one rear-end collision because the other driver was texting or talking on their cell phone — leaving you with a debilitating neck or back injury requiring a significant amount of medical treatment.
Now, you would like to have the other driver pay for all of your medical treatment, but if that driver chooses not to carry bodily injury coverage, then that ship has come and gone. So, this can all be prevented by electing to carry UM coverage. When purchasing automobile insurance, if there is one type of coverage that you do not want to skimp out on, it is UM coverage. The higher your UM coverage is, the more likely that your car accident injury will be covered in full by your own insurance policy.
Ask yourself this — do I even have UM coverage? If I do, then what are my coverage limits? These are two very important questions that you should ask yourself because if you are injured in a car accident in a construction site, then even if the construction company did no wrong, you can still do right for yourself and seek medical treatment courtesy of your uninsured motorist insurance policy.
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident or a construction site accident, please contact us today.
By: Brandon Stein