If You Have Been Seriously Injured in a Car Accident in West Palm Beach, Our Lawyers Can Help You Recover Your Losses
There are lots of reasons to live in West Palm Beach. From easy access to some of Florida’s best beaches to the broad range of job opportunities, West Palm Beach offers something for everyone regardless of their individual circumstances.
Unfortunately, West Palm Beach’s popularity also means that the area has a lot of traffic, and this means that auto accidents happen with regularity. From I-95 to the busy streets of downtown, and from thoroughfares such as Belvedere Road and Haverhill Road to the roads around the area’s world-famous golf courses, car accidents frequently occur throughout the West Palm Beach area.
West Palm Beach Car Accident Data
Out of all of Florida’s counties, Palm Beach County has one of the highest car accident rates statewide. According to the most-recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there are more than 70 accidents in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas every single day. The FLHSMV’s data also indicate that:
- On average, there are more than 27,000 accidents per year in Palm Beach County.
- Each year, more than 175 people die in car accidents in Palm Beach County.
- More than half of all accidents in Palm Beach County result in non-life-threatening injuries.
- Drugs and alcohol play a role in more than 500 accidents per year in Palm Beach County.
- In addition to tens of thousands of car accidents, there are also thousands of motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Palm Beach County each year.
- Each year, there are more than 3,000 collisions involving commercial vehicles in Palm Beach County, resulting in hundreds of serious and fatal injuries.
- Teen drivers and those under the age of 24 are to blame for approximately one quarter of all serious and fatal auto accidents in Palm Beach County.
While these statistics cover all of Palm Beach County, the majority of the accidents in the county occur within the city limits of West Palm Beach. However, regardless of where an accident occurs, the victims’ legal rights are the same, and drivers can be held legally accountable when they make mistakes that lead to significant, permanent or fatal injuries.
What Happens After a Car Accident in West Palm Beach?
If you have been involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach, there are some important steps you will need to take in order to protect your legal rights. Unfortunately, simply filing an insurance claim and waiting to receive payment is not enough. While the insurance companies have an obligation to handle all car accident claims in good faith, (i) they do not always do so; and, (ii) handling your claim in good faith does not mean helping you prove your right to compensation or the amount you are entitled to recover.
As a result, when dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, it is up to you to make sure you are fairly compensated. It is up to you to obtain the medical treatment you need, and it is up to you to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. Due to the complexities involved in filing an auto insurance claim in Florida (and the fact that you could be entitled to additional compensation outside of insurance), it is extremely important that you hire an experienced attorney to assert your legal rights on your behalf.
How Does Auto Insurance Work in a West Palm Beach Car Accident?
One of the first issues that many car accident victims in West Palm Beach face is the issue of seeking financial compensation beyond the limit of their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Due to Florida’s “no fault” insurance law, accident victims are limited to seeking PIP coverage unless they can prove that they have suffered a significant or permanent injury.
If you file an insurance claim on your own, you can expect the insurance companies to try to limit your recovery to PIP. In order to obtain liability-based coverage under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy (or under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy), you need to be able to prove two things. First, you must be able to prove that your injuries qualify you for liability-based compensation; and, second, you must be able to prove that the other driver was legally at fault in the collision.
Regardless of the type of insurance coverage that is available to you, securing just compensation requires a clear understanding of Florida law and the ability to deal with the insurance companies effectively. At Searcy Denney, our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers can use their experience to negotiate a fair settlement; and, if a fair settlement is not on the table, our lawyers will take your case to trial.
How Much Compensation Can You Recover?
Assuming the other driver was at fault in your accident, the amount of compensation you can recover is dependent upon the extent of your injuries. This will determine not only if you have a claim outside of PIP, but also how much PIP and liability-based compensation you are entitled to receive. Importantly, while PIP only covers medical expenses and lost wages, liability insurance covers all accident-related losses—including pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is also important to keep in mind that various third parties could potentially be liable for your injuries as well. Road defects, vehicle defects, negligent entrustment and various other issues can all potentially be to blame for serious and fatal car accidents. With these types of claims, the compensation that is available can often far exceed drivers’ auto insurance coverage, so pursuing these claims (if you have them) can be essential to fully recovering your accident-related losses.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer for Free
If you would like help recovering your losses after a serious car accident in West Palm Beach, we encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. To discuss your accident in confidence as soon as possible, call 800-780-8607 or request an appointment online now.