As a personal injury car accident lawyer in Miami, I have learned that insurance companies are always looking for some way to get out of making payments to the injured. A recent Florida case involves Sylvia Willis, who was seriously injured while walking on a paved pathway– when she was hit by someone driving a golf cart. Neither the driver nor the golf cart had available bodily injury insurance to pay Ms. Willis for her claim.
Fortunately, Ms. Willis had underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) insurance that she had purchased from Amica Mutual Insurance Company. Amica however, refused to pay her any benefits; because they claimed that the golf cart was not an “uninsured motor vehicle” and fell under a policy exclusion.
Ms. Willis took Amica to court, and argued that AMICA’S purported UM exclusion was inconsistent with the intent of Florida’s UM law that provides that UM coverage is supposed to be reciprocal or equal to liability coverage. Willis argued that because her policy provides liability coverage for damages she might cause another person while operating a golf cart, then her UM provision must include coverage for her own bodily injuries she sustains when she was hit by an uninsured motorist operating a golf cart.
The court agreed with Ms. Willis– and entered final summary judgment her favor. Specifically, the Court ruled that Amica’s exclusion was invalid and “against the public policy,” which requires that UM coverage always be reciprocal to bodily injury liability coverage. We applaud this decision, and recognize it as one of the few times that an individual was successful in forcing an insurance company to make payments, after the company has tried to escape its responsibility for making payments.
Our Miami car accident lawyers believe that UM coverage is the most important and valuable insurance one can purchase to protect themselves and their families in the event of a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian traffic accident. Generally speaking, UM will pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering for injuries sustained by both the insured and any family member.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida it is very important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws and since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families- and hold auto insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others accountable for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered by our clients.
Contact us today and speak with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney toll free 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Call us today, we are ready to help.
AMICA MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant, v. SYLVIA WILLIS, Appellee. 2nd District. Case No. 2D16-2319. Opinion filed January 17, 2018. Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Claudia R. Isom, Judge.