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Discussion Starter #1
Last month my mother in law was hit by a drunk driver while sitting still at a stop light. Thank G-d she is alive. Her car was totaled and she has lots to medical bills. I would have though the drunk driver whose previous arrest was 9 days before hitting my mother in law would surely have to pay for this. The driver does not have any money so its up to her insurance to pay.

Problem is Florida’s min insurance it 10,000 property and 10,000 bodily damage! Crazy that about half the price of a new car and like one visit to the emergency room. Because the driver did have insurance uninsured motorist coverage does not help. It would have been better it the drive had no insurance at all.

Her car was a lease so the gap insurance will cover the car but she it stuck with the dr. bills over the $10,000.

If your dart lives in Florida or drives in that state a lot I would look at what the cost on under insured motorist it for you.

Let’s hope all our dart’s and all of us stay safe.
 

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TELL HER NOT TO ACCEPT THE OTHER DRIVER'S INSURANCE COMPANY OFFER!!!!! At least not until she concults an attorney.

She does not have to accept that amount and can sue for actual damages incurred. She can sue both the insurance company as it was their client who hit her and she can sue the driver herself (and should, both because the drunk caused legitimate monitary damages and because drunk drivers are the scourge of the Earth. If getting arrested didn't teach drunky a lesson maybe taking all her money will at least prevent her from being able to buy a new car and hurt someone else)

If she accepts the insurance company's offer, she will have to sign documents that reliquishes all her rights to further dispute.

She should speak with an attorney licensed in Florida who specializes in this kind of claim before doing ANYTHING. Tell her just sit tight on the insurance company's offer for right now until she consults with an attorney.

Also, her own insurance should offer her protection for a no-fault accident as well. (It's a no-fault if it wasn't HER fault. Even if someone else was blatantly at fault.) This means her own rates won't go up.

She should also consult her own insurance company as they have expenstive experience with those sort of thing and can assist her in how to proceed with the other insurance company. In some circumstances they may even help, since they won't want to pay the claim for actions caused by another insurance company's negligent client.

Also, tell her to make sure attorney fees are negotiated up front. None of this "We'll talk about that after a settlement is reached" BS. Lawyers are only a half step above drunk drivers on the evolutionary chain....just below plankton. They can and will help you, but should not be blindly trusted. Keep and eye on the lawyer at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She had talked to an attorney who was going to charge 25% of the settlement but when they found out the driver had only min coverage the declined to take the case on a % since the driver does not have an money or assets and while they could get a settlement for 100,000 of thousands they would never get paid more that $10,000.

It sounds crazy to me.
 

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She had talked to an attorney who was going to charge 25% of the settlement but when they found out the driver had only min coverage the declined to take the case on a % since the driver does not have an money or assets and while they could get a settlement for 100,000 of thousands they would never get paid more that $10,000.

It sounds crazy to me.
25%, while seemingly high, is actually reasonable in terms of market pricing. So that lawyer may not have been a sleeze.

She should work with the prosecutor in that area though. (And if 'working with' doesn't help, then she should try beign up his ass until he does his job properly)

Make it clear from the beginning that she is going to be a great witness to help him prosecute a drink driver with multiple offenses in a 9 day span. The court may allow for restitution to be mandated as part of sentencing. Meaning the drunk would be compelled by the court to pay damages in excess of what the insurance covers. But she will have to push the prosecutor to ask for a thing like that. If the prosecutor is elected in that area, he's going to be more willing to help as this is an election year and he will not want to give ammunition to political opponents that he's soft on drunk drivers. And taking a weak please on multiple accounts of DUI by an underinsured driver would look pretty soft.

At the very least she can be a witness in court and make the driver suffer as much as possible.

Of course I'm making some assumptions because I've been to Florida 3 times in my life for a grand total like like 5 days. So I'm not an expert on Florida law.

Again though, have her work with her own insurance company. I'll bet anything they will be willing to help to at least some extent, even if it's to just give her advice on how to proceed. They will be on the hook for damages under the no fault accident provision of her policy and they will not want to pay it. So they are financially motivated to assist her in getting the othe rinsurance company to pay or in assisting her in filing suit against the drunk.

(I really hate drunk drivers, if you can't tell. If anyone on this board does drink and drive, please do the world a favor and crash into a tree or a lamp post or something so you only kill yourelf. And try not to hurt the lampposts too much in the process. Us sober tax payers don't want to have to pay to fix it or to scrape your brains off the post.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info, thank G-d I have never been in an accident and never a situation like this so i'm not much help for her. I will tell her to call her insurance company and see what help then can provide.
 

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Was the driver of the other car from a state that did not require car insurance or the requirements for insurance were lower?

I grew up in Panama City, and locals tended to hate driving anywhere during tourist season because a lot of the drivers coming down from Alabama did not have car insurance (during the late 80s and early 90s Alabama did not require car insurance, I don't know if this has changed).

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Thanks for the info, thank G-d I have never been in an accident and never a situation like this so i'm not much help for her. I will tell her to call her insurance company and see what help then can provide.
I mean they might not help her. I have no idea what company she's with and they could suck. But I know I've been in accidents that were 100% the other driver's fault (nothign as bad as what you are describing) and my insurance company was great about telling me how to proceed, what to document, who to talk to, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Was the driver of the other car from a state that did not require car insurance or the requirements for insurance were lower?

I grew up in Panama City, and locals tended to hate driving anywhere during tourist season because a lot of the drivers coming down from Alabama did not have car insurance (during the late 80s and early 90s Alabama did not require car insurance, I don't know if this has changed).

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the Drunk was from Florida but the state min is 10k damage and 10k injury. The lowest in the nation.
 

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the Drunk was from Florida but the state min is 10k damage and 10k injury. The lowest in the nation.
Yeah that's insane. Here in Maryland it's $100,000.

There are up sides and downsides to higher and lower minimums.

The downside of a higher minimum is that every accident, no matter how small, as the potential to be up toa $100,000 settlement from an insurance company. So lawyers are like cockroaches here advertising their ambulance chasing ways on TV all the time and suing everyone in a fender bender. In a state like Florida you get a lot less of those BS lawsuits over nothing because lawyers won't take cases they won't won't even pay out (regardless of judgements issued)

So that protects honest drivers from being taken advantage of for normal fender bender type accidents.

But the flip side is that when there is a serious accident you coudl be screwed by someone who didn't get covered. While her ein Maryland if I get hit by a drunk driver I know I'm going to be pretty well covered by their insurnace, or by mine if the driver doesn't have coverage.

So it's not like the Florida laws suck. They just protect different things. And unfortuantely without a revamp of the insurance laws, there isn't a way to protect people both from fraudulent lawsuits and from underinsured drunks. It's one or the other.
 

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Florida is a no-fault insurance state. If you are injured in an accident, your car insurance will pay your medical costs up to your policy’s limits, regardless of who caused the accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. If you are injured in an accident, your car insurance will pay your medical costs up to your policy’s limits, regardless of who caused the accident.
Im not sure if her policy has medical payments I will ask her. Thanks for the tip.

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