West Palm Beach Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Accidents

Injuries that result from car accidents can be quite significant, with numerous trips to the doctor, rehabilitation, and other consequences that quickly escalate costs for a victim. When these collisions involve an uninsured or underinsured motorist, victims may feel helpless and without options to pay for their increasing expenses. The West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston help crash victims pursue proper compensation from a responsible insurance company or another party after an uninsured or underinsured motoristaccident. Although certain insurance requirements are imposed on South Florida drivers, not all motorists obey the law, or some may be from out of state, where different rules apply.

As a result, victims may need to rely on their own insurance companies or other sources in order to help pay for the damages associated with their injuries. Our firm assists clients in pursuing proper legal action in order to make sure that accident victims are financially stable following a collision.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents

West Palm Beach is a popular destination for tourists. Drivers in rental cars, as well as visitors from states without the same insurance requirements, may not have adequate coverage in the event of a collision. Additionally, many West Palm Beach residents do not purchase the appropriate coverage necessary to deal with the financial impact of a serious car accident.

Under Florida law, all motorists are required to purchase a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in order to protect victims injured in an accident. This coverage applies to passengers, drivers, and any other parties involved in a crash, such as a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Drivers must obtain $10,000 in PIP coverage for medical or disability costs, as well as $5,000 for collisions involving a fatality. West Palm Beach motorists are also required to obtain property damage coverage of $10,000.

Generally, there is no state requirement regarding serious bodily injury coverage, which includes any injury leading to permanent disfigurement, temporary or permanent impairment, or loss of a body part, as well as injuries carrying a substantial risk of death. One exception is that drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence or other specified statutory offenses, or who have been involved in previous accidents, need to carry insurance policies containing $100,000 in bodily injury coverage. Bodily injury coverage applies to victims when the insured party is found liable for causing a collision. Since bodily injury coverage is not typically required, when a crash is especially severe, victims are often left without enough insurance coverage to deal with their injuries. Since this is a no-fault state, Florida drivers can pursue benefits or compensation from either their own or another driver’s insurance company, regardless of which party was at fault for an accident.

Liability for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Accidents

People who have been hurt in accidents involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist can pursue legal action against the party responsible for causing their injuries. Victims may receive compensation from negligent defendants through personal injury claims. Negligence exists when a driver breaches their duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act in the circumstances, causing injuries and resulting in damages.

After showing that another party acted negligently, a victim who is covered by an uninsured motorist insurance policy has the option of receiving benefits from their own insurer. These policies are not required in Florida, but they allow policyholders to collect the maximum policy amounts in accidents involving an underinsured or uninsured motorist. Otherwise, most insurance companies only cover 80 percent of a policyholder’s medical costs and lost income damages, amounting to their PIP coverage limit.