In West Palm Beach, drivers have the option to secure insurance from many different providers including Mercury Insurance, Florida Farm Bureau Insurance, Geico, Travelers, State Farm, Progressive, and more. Florida drivers are required to buy property damage liability insurance of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident. Drivers are also expected to have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Many motorists also opt to buy additional coverage above-and-beyond minimums, such as liability coverage in case of injuring someone or collision coverage in case your own vehicle is damaged.
Bodily Injury Coverage is not required to drive a car in Florida. However, if you cause an accident and do not have Bodily Injury Coverage in the minimum amount of $10,000.00 per person and $20,000.00 per accident, the State of Florida can revoke your driving privileges until you pay any judgment against you for bodily injury even if that jusgment exceeds $10,000.00 per person and $20,000.00 per accident. Consequently, Gonzalez & Cartwright strongly recommends that clients carry this insurance.
Additionally, clients should also purchase what's known as "Uninsured Motorist" Coverage because of the large numbers of drivers in Florida who illegally operate without insurance
Because drivers need to have insurance, you may receive at least some compensation from an insurer after an accident, especially if you were injured. Unfortunately, insurance companies routinely fail to provide the necessary level of compensation after auto accidents.
When your accident attorney negotiates with an insurance company after an accident, there are a few key things they need to know in order to maximize your chances of getting compensation:
- Know which insurer will cover your losses. If you got hurt, you should generally recover compensation through your own PIP coverage. This means your attorney will be dealing with your own insurer. If another driver caused the crash, you could make a property damage claim to get that driver's insurer to pay for your property damage. In some cases, if the other driver has liability coverage for injuries and your injuries were serious, your lawyer could make a personal injury claim and the other driver's insurer would have to pay if you prove your claim.
- Know how to respond if an insurer fails to pay as promised. If your attorney is dealing with another driver's insurer and you cannot reach an acceptable settlement, your attorney can file a personal injury claim against the other driver in an attempt to receive injury compensation. If you are dealing with your own insurer and your insurance company won't pay what you deserve, your attorney will need to initiate a bad faith lawsuit against the insurer. This is a different process, with different things to prove, as compared with a personal injury claim.
- Send a demand letter to the insurer. Whether your lawyer is trying to negotiate with your own insurer or another driver's insurer, they will need to know what your case is worth. Your attorney should send a demand letter to the insurer letting them know what you would be willing to accept to resolve your claims. While you may not get the full amount you demand, at least negotiations can begin on your terms.
An experienced car accident attorney can provide assistance with all aspects of negotiating with an insurer, from determining which insurer should pay to dealing with the insurer on your behalf.