Earlier this month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida personal injury case involving a pedestrian who was struck by a golf cart and sustained serious injuries. The case illustrates the difficulties that are common when dealing with an insurance company in the wake of a serious accident.
Unfortunately, the operator of the golf cart responsible for causing the accident did not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the victim for her injuries. Thus, the victim was forced to file a claim with her own insurance company, under the underinsured motorist provision. The case required the court to determine if the accident victim’s policy covered the accident.
The Plaintiff’s Insurance Policy
The plaintiff’s insurance policy provided for both liability protection as well as underinsured motorist protection. The language describing the policy’s liability protection included coverage for all accidents involving cars and trailers. However, the policy contained an exclusion for vehicles that were not generally used for public roads. That being said, the exclusion specifically excepted accidents involving non-owned golf carts from the exclusion.
The policy language describing the underinsured motorist protection was similar to that of the liability language in that it covered accidents involving cars and trailers, and it excluded accidents involving off-road vehicles. However, the exclusionary language of the underinsured motorist protection did not remove accidents involving non-owned golf carts from the exclusion. Thus, the insurance company denied the plaintiff’s claim, arguing that the accident fit within the off-road vehicle exclusion.
The parties could not agree on coverage and asked a court to interpret the policy. The court determined that the underinsured motorist policy language excepting accidents involving non-owned golf carts from coverage was invalid. The court explained that under Florida law, all insurance providers must offer underinsured motorist protection that is reciprocal to liability coverage. Thus, the insurance company, by law, was not permitted to include broader exclusionary language in the underinsured motorist coverage than was contained in the liability coverage.
The court determined that, since the liability policy covered accidents involving non-owned golf carts, so too should the underinsured motorist policy. As a result, the court required that the insurance company approve the plaintiff’s claim. In the end, the plaintiff was awarded $50,000 for her injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a South Florida Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of South Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, dealing with an insurance company after an accident can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Not just that, but an accident victim who is unfamiliar with the process may be mistreated by a savvy insurance company, potentially leaving tens of thousands of dollars in compensation on the table. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we represent accident victims in a wide range of Florida personal injury cases, including Florida golf cart accidents. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case, call 561-708-5868 today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Florida Appeals Court Reinstates Jury’s Verdict Despite Defendant’s Lack of Testimony, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, January 17, 2018.
Florida Court Discusses the Difference Between a Traditional Negligence Case and a Medical Malpractice Case, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, December 13, 2017.