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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / West Palm Beach Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer

West Palm Beach Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer

Every Florida driver is required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. Unfortunately, not every driver follows this rule. As a result, many people are seriously injured in car accidents each year by drivers who were not just negligent but also uninsured.

And even when drivers do carry insurance it is often for the minimum amounts specified by law. This means that many drivers lack sufficient insurance if they cause an accident that seriously injures someone else. Fortunately, the accident victims may still be able to recover their damages through their own insurance coverage. A qualified West Palm Beach uninsured motorist accident lawyer can provide valuable guidance and expertise in this area. Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is a team of Florida personal injury lawyers who represent car accident victims in obtaining full and fair compensation for their losses.

How Can Your Own Insurance Protect You in the Event the Other Driver Has None?

The first thing to keep in mind about any Florida auto accident is that you already have certain “no fault” benefits under your own insurance policy. Florida requires all insurance policies to include a minimal amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. You are entitled to PIP benefits regardless of who was at-fault for your accident or whether or not a negligent driver was insured.

PIP does not, however, always provide full compensation for your accident-related losses. The standard PIP policy only covers 80 percent of your “reasonable medical costs” up to $10,000. You can also receive up to 60 percent of any lost wages due to time missed from work from an accident, again subject to the $10,000 limit. PIP does not cover any non-economic losses such as your pain and suffering.

In cases where you suffer a serious injury in a car accident, you can sue the other driver and seek coverage under their auto insurance liability policy. But what if the other driver lacks any insurance or their policy limit is too low to cover all of your damages? In that scenario you may be able to seek additional benefits from your own insurer if you purchased separate uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.

The basic idea behind UM coverage is simple: Your insurance carrier “steps into the shoes” of the uninsured or underinsured driver and pays what they cannot. You may still need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver to trigger your insurance company’s obligation to pay. And you should not assume that your insurer will pay without a fight. Remember, the insurance company is effectively placed in an adversarial position against your interests. It is the insurer’s interest to minimize its own liability–not maximize your payout.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Today

Uninsured motorist claims are far more common than people realize. Indeed, with most drivers carrying only the minimum amount of state-mandated insurance, it is more likely than not that a serious accident will trigger the need for UM coverage. If you need to speak with a skilled West Palm Beach uninsured motorist accident lawyer, contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather today to schedule a case evaluation.