When you’re in a car crash, you’re likely going to rely on insurance to cover your losses. However, there are many things you need to consider when dealing with car insurance. Read below to learn more.
If you have questions about your claim, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. Our knowledgeable team can explain car insurance in Fort Lauderdale accident cases and help you get started on dealing with your insurance provider.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
First, call 911 if anyone incurred injuries as the result of an accident.
Exchange contact, driver’s license, and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. Get witness statements, if possible. Give a report to the police explaining what happened.
Be truthful in your statement to police, but don’t admit fault after a crash. Even if you feel you may have been partially responsible, let the investigation take its course and wait for all the facts to come in. Accidents happen quickly, and your memory of what happened may not be accurate.
Also, be sure to see a doctor after the accident. Even if you don’t feel you were injured, sometimes problems requiring medical treatment show up later. If you forgo seeing a doctor and an injury is present, it might be harder to get compensation for your medical treatment later on.
Receiving Medical Care
You need to get medical care within two weeks of the accident. We recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible. You’ll want to follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully. Document all of your medical care and keep copies of all of your medical records and bills.
Notifying Your Insurer
Most insurers require that you notify them of a crash or other event within a reasonable amount of time. We recommend you tell your insurance company as soon as you’re able to. You might be able to send notice of an accident through an app, a website, email, or over the phone.
The truth of the matter is your insurance company is not on your side once a claim has been filed. Whether dealing with a PIP claim or filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, an experienced law firm is best able to ensure your rights are protected. Insurance companies are worried about their bottom line. It’s incumbent upon you to look out for the financial well-being of you and your family.
Getting Your Vehicle Repaired or Replaced
When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, you’ll want to get it fixed. This usually means going on a third-party property damage claim. An insurer might offer a list of shops they work with. You have the right to take your car to any business you trust. The mechanic will thoroughly review the damage to the vehicle and provide an estimate of repairs. The insurance company will determine whether the vehicle should be repaired or is a total loss.
For Minor Injuries: Negotiating an Insurance Settlement
If your injuries aren’t serious, then you can work with your insurer to receive compensation for 80% of your total medical expenses and lost income. You’ll also work with your insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurer to have your vehicle repaired or replaced. For minor accidents, it’s possible to do this without an attorney. But if you’re worried you aren’t receiving all the compensation you should, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer.
For Serious Injuries
For serious or catastrophic injuries from a car crash, we highly recommend you get a lawyer. You won’t be able to recover all the compensation you need through PIP and PDL insurance. Instead, you’re going to have to pursue a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against the other driver. That driver might not carry liability insurance to cover your injuries. The lack of insurance makes it even more important that you have an attorney who can help you recover from the liable party directly.
Performing an Independent Investigation
Once you file your insurance claim, the insurance companies involved will investigate.
Your attorney will thoroughly and independently investigate the crash. Don’t rely on the insurance company’s investigation and findings. You should discover the truth for yourself. For complex accidents, we might hire an accident reconstructionist. This person can take the data we have about the crash and use mathematics to uncover who caused the crash or specific facts, like how fast someone was moving at the time of the collision.
Identifying the Liable Party (or Parties)
Car accident liability can be complicated. The person behind the wheel of the other vehicle might not be the party responsible for your injuries. Or they might not be the only liable party. We’ll investigate whether the at-fault driver was working at the time, such as an Uber or Lyft accident, or was in a borrowed or rented vehicle. We look for any potentially liable party, which might give us access to additional insurance policies.
We work closely with you to calculate the value of your economic damages, beyond what you received from PIP insurance, and your non-economic damages. You deserve compensation for your physical pain and suffering, mental distress, and other emotional injuries.
Sending a Demand Letter
When the law entitles you to more compensation than your insurance can provide, we start by sending the liable party or parties a demand letter. In this letter, we assert that they are responsible for the crash and your injuries due to negligence. We state your physical and emotional injuries. Then we demand a certain amount of compensation. We’ll give the other parties a certain period to respond before we move forward with a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
Our lawyers will carefully write the complaint and file it in court. We’ll make sure the other party—the defendant—is properly served the complaint and summons to court. Once we file the complaint, you’re officially a plaintiff. The next step is to go through the discovery process.
Car Accident Laws in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
State laws are helpful both in establishing what you should do after an accident and determining who is responsible for an accident. Florida is unique when it comes to car accidents. Most states use an at-fault insurance system. But Florida is a no-fault state. First party PIP (personal injury protection) no-fault benefits must be exhausted, or the other carrier will set off against the compensation package for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills that portion of first-party PIP that has not been utilized.
Florida State Auto Insurance Laws
Florida is one of only 12 states that follow no-fault insurance rules for car insurance claims. What this means is that if you are in a crash, your own insurance company will pay your insurance claim for injuries, even if the other driver was responsible.
Some important state auto insurance laws include:
Drivers must carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance
The third party (at fault driver) is under Florida no-fault law responsible for all of an accident victim’s pain and suffering and economic damages with the exception of the first party’s (plaintiff, or our potential client’s) PIP coverage, which pays all medical bills at 80% up to the coverage minimum of $10,000 minus any deductible that the first party has elected. The third-party is responsible for the 20%, not the elected deductible, and all remaining medical bills that are incurred and sustained as a result of the negligence of the third party driver causing the accident.
Drivers must carry at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance
PDL pays for the other party’s property damage if you or someone driving your car caused the wreck.
Compensation for non-emergency injuries is limited to $2,500
If you suffer emergency injuries in a wreck, you’re entitled to the full policy limit. Emergency injuries cause serious jeopardy to your health, serious impairment of a bodily function, or serious dysfunction of any part or organ of the body. But if you sustain non-emergency injuries, you’re only entitled to compensation up to $2,500 under your PIP insurance.
Victims must receive medical care within 14 days
If you were involved in a crash, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You might not go to the emergency room right away. You might think you’re fine, at first. But if you don’t get medical treatment within 14 days, PIP benefits may not apply and the person who caused the accident may not be responsible for the first $10,000 in medical bills.
Victims can file a third-party claim or lawsuit for serious injuries only
If you sustained minor or moderate injuries in a car crash, and you’re expected to fully recover and get back to work soon, then you can’t file a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You can only get compensation through your PIP insurance. But if you were seriously or catastrophically hurt in a crash, talk with a lawyer about pursuing compensation from the negligent driver.
You can only seek damages beyond your insurance company claim if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have been permanently disabled, physically scarred, disfigured, or otherwise severely injured, you can sue outside of the no-fault system. As far as damage to your car goes, you can make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Liability in Ft. Lauderdale Car Accidents
When you are involved in a car accident, a lot comes down to determining fault and liability. Although the state of Florida has no-fault insurance statutes that require each party to cover some of their own medical expenses after an accident, you can still seek damages from the at-fault party.
Vehicle wreck claims, like most personal injury cases, hinge on a plaintiff’s ability to prove liability. Liability determines who is at fault for an incident, and as a result, the injuries caused by an accident. When a car collision injures someone, it’s important to know who is responsible for the wreck itself. Victims who are intent on getting compensation for their injuries can give themselves the best odds possible by working with an experienced car collision lawyer who knows exactly what it takes to prove liability and use it to secure a fair settlement or court award.
Have you been injured in a car accident and you’re not sure what to do next? Let us help. Contact the team at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. now to schedule a consultation.
Does Liability Matter Under No-Fault Insurance Laws?
Many people misunderstand the state’s no-fault insurance laws, believing that this system completely eliminates the need for car accident litigation. However, liability is still a crucial element of car accident cases in Fort Lauderdale. No-fault laws only require that each party utilize their own insurance company to cover some of their damages. This doesn’t mean that victims can only seek payment from their insurance providers.
Many people only carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is the minimum amount required under Florida law. A moderate or serious injury can easily cost more than $10,000, particularly if you need emergency transportation, ongoing care, or surgery. When this happens and your PIP coverage runs out, you are on the hook for any additional costs. If another party is responsible for the crash, however, you can sue them for your losses.
Because of this, liability is an extremely important concept, even in states with no-fault insurance requirements.
Liability Pertaining to the Parties in an Accident
When you’ve been injured in a car accident and suffered property damage, your hope is to recover fully and be compensated for the damages that were the result of someone else’s bad choices. But have you ever considered just who that might be? You may be surprised to learn that there may be more parties in your car accident claim than just the other driver.
Understanding who may be liable for your physical injuries and property damages is why you need experienced Florida personal injury attorney David I. Fuchs. He knows all the various parties that could be a resource to pay the compensation you deserve, and he will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine which ones to include in your case.
Here’s a list of the potential parties that we could seek recovery from on your behalf. The possibility of their involvement is fact specific as to the circumstances of your accident.
The Other Driver
The party that is the most obvious for a possible claim is the other driver, of course. They are required to have insurance that can cover medical costs that exceed your responsibility through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, property damages, and more.
Owner Of The Car
Under Florida law, if you loan your car to someone who then causes an accident, you can be held liable for the damages. For private individuals (not commercial owners) there are limitations on the liability under the statutes and setoffs for damages paid by other parties, but the owner of the car is another path to recovery.
Employer Of The Other Driver
In a doctrine called respondeat superior (“let the master answer”), the employer of the other driver could be named in a claim. The law allows for the employer to be “vicariously” liable for the negligence of its employee if the accident occurred when the employee was within the course and scope of his duties. The liability attaches even if the employee was driving a personal vehicle. Some exceptions exist, so it is important that your personal injury attorney gather records and details to determine if an employer might be a party to your claim.
Rental Car And Ride-Hailing Companies
Typically, rental car companies are not liable for the accidents of those who rent cars from them. But some exceptions exist under Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law.
Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft could be a party to your claim as well. A driver for one of these companies might be negligent and cause your accident, or you may have been harmed in a crash while riding in a ride-hailing vehicle. Drivers that work for these companies must have high limits on their own insurance and the companies also carry insurance making them a lucrative source to compensate you. A Fort Lauderdale attorney like David Fuchs can help you pursue this compensation through a rideshare insurance company.
Other Less Common Parties
The list doesn’t end with those cited above. There are several other possibilities for parties to your claim. These include:
- Volunteer organizations – If the driver was participating in a volunteer activity the organization may have an insurance policy to cover accidents.
- Workers’ Compensation – If you’re hurt in a car wreck in the course and scope of your employment, a workers’ comp claim may be appropriate. Always report any accident you have while working to your employer so that your workers’ comp rights are preserved.
- Manufactures and Repair Shops – Your personal injury attorney will investigate all the causes of your accident, including whether defective equipment, like brakes or tires, or faulty repair work contributed.
- Road conditions – Potential parties can also be those responsible for road design and maintenance such as local, state, and federal governments. In addition, private commercial property owners, such as those managing large housing complexes, could find themselves facing a claim if they fail to properly maintain roads and signage.
Liability Pertaining to Different Types of Crashes
One easy way to figure out who is likely liable for a Fort Lauderdale accident is to figure out which type of crash it is. While there are no clear-cut rules that work 100% of the time, certain trends definitely make it easier to assess liability.
Rear end accidents are among the easiest to investigate, simply because of the fact that the driver striking the car in front of them should have kept enough distance to stop safely. There are exceptions, especially if the car in front drives erratically, stops suddenly for no reason, or otherwise tries to confuse you. In the vast majority of rear-end crashes, the driver behind the front car is liable.
T-bone accidents are a little more difficult to examine. Everything comes down to the type of intersection where the accident occurred. For example, at an intersection governed by stoplights, the party who runs the red light and strikes the other car is liable for the accident. Whoever ignores road signage or stoplights generally assumes liability for the crash, which means that either driver can be the victim.
Accidents Caused by a Lane Change
Lane change accidents are almost always pinned on the driver changing lanes. This is because the vehicle already in the other lane is assumed to have the right to continue in their current lane, and the person merging must wait until there is a safe opening. Again, there are exceptions. If the other driver speeds up or slows down to try to stop the other person’s lane change, they could be liable. The same is true if they were engaging in other unsafe behavior. However, liability is generally attributed to the person who is switching lanes.
The Car Accident Insurance Claims Process
There are a few steps associated with the process of filing a car wreck claim and negotiating with insurance companies, including:
The claims process starts when you file a claim with your insurance corporation. You should call a car accident lawyer, and a claim should be filed by your attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The number of days in which you must do so can be found in your policy.
Remember, even when the accident is the fault of someone else’s negligence, the process always starts with notice of the crash to your insurer. The best way to notify your insurer is to call an attorney and have them notify your insurance company. Your attorney will also provide notice to the at-fault driver’s insurance organization.
Once a claim is made, the insurer is likely to ask for documentation related to your damages. These documents could include medical records and bills. While you want to provide records related to the accident, don’t sign a general waiver for your entire medical file.
Insurance companies are looking to limit how much you receive for your injuries. One way they do this is through medical records. Any attempt by your insurer to do this should be handled by a skilled vehicle accident attorney.
Other documents likely requested will include:
- Accident/Police Report
- Witness Statements
- Pictures/Video of Injuries
- Pictures/Video of Property Damage
- Pictures/Video of the Accident Scene
- Estimates of Vehicle Damage
- Medical Bills
- Receipts for expense related to medical care (meals, lodging, mileage)
BUT NEVER GIVE, even if requested, your recorded or written statement of the accident. You could inadvertently harm your claim for the compensation you deserve.
While the insurance company is investigating your claim, you want to be very careful. Claims adjusters are not your friends no matter how nice and caring they may come across. Their goal is to save the insurance company money. Don’t let them bully you into making a statement against your interests or agree to a “quick” settlement.
Beware of paperwork you are requested to sign. Read if very carefully. Never accept any check from an insurer that says “final payment” unless you’ve received legal advice, or you are certain of your actions. Same goes with waivers and releases. These documents are legally binding and can undermine your legitimate claims. Never sign without advice of your personal injury counsel.
A police report goes a long way in proving one person’s role in a crash. Police often issue citations after investigating the scene of a crash. These citations may indicate who erred and caused a crash.
Photo and Video Documentation
After a crash, get any visual evidence you can. Photos from multiple angles and distances are essential. If possible, try to get video evidence of the crash and back it up immediately.
Crash witnesses often stop to offer their help and their services as a witness. Make sure you take note of their contact information and pass it along to your attorney.
What does it take to prove liability after a Fort Lauderdale car wreck? Your legal representation will help you determine which types of evidence are most effective for your accident and case, but in general, there are several types of evidence that effectively demonstrate liability. The standard of proof varies, depending on whether you are negotiating a settlement with a car insurance company or taking a case to court.
Medical Reports and Bills
Medical expenses are a major part of personal injury cases, so any documents you have demonstrating the extent of your injuries and the expenses associated with them are very helpful. Make copies of every form, report, and bill you get from medical professionals and facilities during this time.
In a perfect world, the insurance companies would offer a fair and reasonable amount to compensate you for your damages, physical and property, you agree, accept a check, and then you sign a release of further claims.
But in the real world, rarely will you receive the amount you deserve. At that point, the process heads to negotiation of a settlement. If that is unsuccessful, the matter may have to go to court for resolution. A seasoned Fort Lauderdale lawyer could determine the best path forward and avoid complications with insurance after an accident.
Dealing with the Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Ft. Lauderdale
When you experience a car wreck, the physical and emotional impact can be severe. You may have serious injuries and emotional trauma. Also, your car needs repair or replacement and that means leaving you without necessary transportation. While dealing with all of that, you’re now facing the complicated process of filing a car accident claim.
David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. understands what you are going through after a car accident. Because Attorney Fuchs has more than three decades protecting the rights of accident victims, he will walk you through the insurance claims process, the potential outcomes, and possible compensation for your injuries. He’ll handle the insurance companies, while you focus on healing.
The Role of Insurance After a Car Accident
After you’re hurt in a car accident in Florida, you can reach out to both your own insurance company and that of the responsible party for coverage. The insurance company will examine the validity of your claim and come up with what they consider to be a fair settlement offer. The settlement should pay for the medical expenses related to your accident and vehicle damage.
You have the freedom to push back during the claim process. If you already have $5,000 of medical bills and they say they’re capping damages at $5,000, that’s reason to raise your concerns and fight for more.
However, this is exactly where most people stumble. People believe that their insurance provider is on their side and that whatever they suggest is in the individual’s best interests. They either don’t know how to ask for more or don’t know that they can, and as a result, they are unable to take care of their financial obligations after a crash. That’s why it’s recommended that accident victims work with a dedicated Fort Lauderdale attorney to protect their rights and shield themselves from the manipulative tactics of insurance companies.
When Should I Notify My Insurance Company?
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible following your collision. Report what happened, but again – don’t admit fault. The insurance company will start their independent investigation into your accident.
What Happens Once I Accept An Insurance Company Settlement?
So before accepting an offer, be sure that it fairly compensates you for your medical bills, possible future medical expenses, and other damages related to your injuries. If you don’t feel the settlement is fair, you have the right to turn it down and try and negotiate a better amount.
Most people aren’t used to negotiating with insurance companies, which is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Should I Sign A Waiver Allowing The Insurance Adjuster To View My Medical Records?
Speak to legal representation before you sign anything from your insurance company. They have a valid reason to assess the severity of your injuries, but giving full access to medical records could give them free rein to limit their payout. Your attorney can help figure out what the best move is for your specific circumstances.
What Can Work Against Me In Insurance Negotiations?
To make it easier on you, just assume that anything you say or do could be used against you. If you post on Facebook after an accident that you’re out of the hospital and feeling fine, that could harm your case. If you post a picture of yourself attending a concert while claiming that your injuries have left you bedridden, that could harm your case.
Be very careful about how public you are about your accident and who you talk to about it.
I Didn’t Cause The Accident, Why Do I Have To Go Through My Insurance Company?
Under Florida state law, parties in a car accident must use their own PIP coverage for 80% of their medical bills up to the minimum $10,000 coverage. The person who caused the accident will still be responsible for the other 20% and anything in excess of your PIP limit.
The Insurance Adjuster Is Friendly And Helpful, Can’t I Just Tell Them What Happened And Avoid The Need For A Lawyer?
Insurance adjusters are very, very good at getting accident victims to pour their hearts out and tell their life stories. Then they turn around and use that information to offer embarrassingly low payouts. Consult an attorney before you discuss your accident with an insurance adjuster.
When the Settlement Offer Isn’t Fair
At the conclusion of the investigation, you will be presented an amount as compensation for your personal injuries and property damage in return for a full release of your claim. In other words, you won’t file a lawsuit in exchange for the money offered. Sounds uncomplicated, right?
Unfortunately, the amount offered most likely won’t be fair and reasonable and you won’t want to accept. At this point you have a few choices: 1) accept the lowball offer because you may be tired of fighting with the insurance company or you feel financial pressure to do so; 2) refuse the offer and enter settlement negotiations.
The first option—accepting a low offer—might be tempting if you are handling your claim on your own. Who has the time and energy to go head-to-head with a powerful insurance company? But you don’t have to give up your rightful claim. Consult an auto accident attorney who can help evaluate your damages to determine the compensation you’re owed.
If you’re already working with a personal injury attorney, the second choice—refuse the offer and negotiate—is an easy pick. You can continue to focus on your recovery while an experienced advocate fights for you. Having an attorney who knows the law, understands the value of your claim, and has weighed the strength of your case, increases your negotiating power.
Because the first settlement offer inevitably is low, you’ll want to have the strongest case possible for negotiation purposes. Working with a Florida personal injury attorney from the beginning will provide the best result. Your attorney will:
- Communicate with the insurance company
- Gather documents needed for evidence of fault and damages
- Consult with you and help draft your statement and providing statements
Having your Fort Lauderdale attorney handle these matters mitigates the risk that you could inadvertently harm your chances of receiving the amount of compensation you are owed when settling your car accident claim.
What Factors are Considered in Settlement Negotiations?
Each accident is unique in facts and circumstances, so no formula exists to determine car accident settlement amounts. But some of the factors that will be considered include:
- How badly you were hurt
- Medical costs and expenses (including those incurred to travel for treatment)
- Loss of past and future wages
- Any fault on your part. Florida follows the “pure comparative negligence” doctrine where damages are barred or reduced according to your degree of fault (Sec. 768.81(2))
- The insurance coverages of both parties
- The strength of evidence and documentation
- How the case is argued
A word about comparative negligence. By law, if you are found to have some liability (fault) for the accident, your recovery can be reduced by the percentage of fault that is proven to be yours. For example, if the evidence shows you were 20% at fault, the compensation you seek will be reduced by that amount. The pure comparative negligence factor is another good reason you need professional guidance by David I. Fuchs, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who has handled car wreck settlements for more than 30 years.
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your Insurance Issues
A personal injury attorney should be one of your first calls after a vehicle accident. They can help you get the insurance claim process started, ensure that you have the proper paperwork and documentation, and investigate the accident. They can also assist with bringing claims against the other party and seeking the compensation you deserve. This process moves quickly, and it’s difficult to give it your full attention when you are healing from a car accident. Your attorney can take care of these time-consuming tasks while you attend medical appointments, do physical therapy, and get back to normal.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Ft. Lauderdale
When you’re pursuing compensation after a serious accident, you should be prepared for litigation.
Understanding when filing suit is an option can be tricky because Florida is a no-fault state where you can only pursue personal injury claims if the accident was serious. Personal injury and property damage cases resulting from car crashes must be filed within the four-year statute of limitations. Those trying to handle the settlement of their own claims might not be aware of this deadline.
No matter what the circumstances of your car crash may be, you deserve high-quality legal representation from an attorney with your best interests in mind. That is what we offer at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A.. To take the first step toward justice and fight for the compensation you deserve, reach out to us online.
When you work with David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., you can focus on your healing and returning to your life after a car accident. From notice of the accident, evidence gathering, and settlement negotiation to filing suit, if necessary, we will pursue the compensation you are due. Call us today to learn more about car accident settlements in Fort Lauderdale.
Usually, after we complete discovery, we begin the settlement process. We might use mediation to go back and forth with the defendant and reach a fair amount. We can’t guarantee a settlement, but most claims are resolved without going to trial.
Talk with a lawyer about the potential parties in a car accident claim. It might not be as simple as you and another driver. An employer, vehicle owner, rental company, rideshare company, manufacturer, or government agency could be involved depending on the cause of the crash.
You have to figure out where you should file the lawsuit. You can’t file just anywhere. You have to determine which court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of your case and which has jurisdiction over you and the defendants. A court without jurisdiction can’t hear your case. Filing in the wrong place means your case will be dismissed, and you’ll have to start again.
Statute of Limitations
Every state places a deadline on how long you have to file a lawsuit. It’s important to talk with a lawyer soon after your crash to calculate this deadline and make sure you file in time. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit.
Discovery is the longest phase of a lawsuit, and it can take months or over a year. During discovery, we use several legal tools to gather information from the defendants. These tools include depositions (out-of-court interviews), requests for admissions (true/false statements), interrogatories (questions), and demands to produce documents or objects.
A common issue that comes up during a car accident claim is two or more people sharing fault. You could be partly to blame for the crash. Florida follows a pure comparative fault rule. When two or more parties are responsible, the jury assigns each party a percentage of fault. Your compensation is reduced by your percentage of responsibility. For example, if you are 75% at fault, your compensation is reduced by 75%. You only get a quarter of how much your claim is worth.
Ideally, your insurance company will cover the full cost of your medical bills and property damage. If your injuries weren’t significant or permanent, your case can end here. However, if you encounter any complexities or resistance, you likely need an attorney.
We usually get to a point where we can negotiate a settlement when we finish discovery. At this point, both sides have all the information they need. We know the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and we know how to establish the other parties’ liability. We have everything we need to demand fair compensation for your injuries.
According to Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the other driver outside the insurance system if you meet the “serious injury” threshold. Basically, this means your injuries must be permanently disabling, scarring, or disfiguring to file a claim.
Filing an injury claim can often garner higher settlement amounts than a simple insurance claim. Bringing a claim with help from an attorney shows an insurance company that you mean business. Help during settlement negotiations can make sure the offer from the insurer is on a par with what your injuries and losses deserved. An attorney can also help you understand when you can and should file a claim against the driver rather than going through your insurance company. You’ll also have the ability to go to trial, if necessary, for full compensation.
After a car accident, there is so much to handle. You may be suffering from serious injuries, lack of transportation, and time off work. You’ve notified the insurance carriers of those involved, but what’s next?
Typically, after notice of an accident, the insurer will assign personnel called “claims adjusters” to investigate your claim. They will use documents and statements collected by the parties involved and determine how much the claim is worth.
Because Florida law surrounding liability for car accidents is complicated, a skilled vehicle collision attorney should be consulted whenever you’ve been hurt in a crash. Insurance companies, even your own, are looking to settle claims for the least amount possible. Representation by David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. will work to ensure your rights are protected when considering car accident settlements in Fort Lauderdale.
Not all claims are settled before trial. When we can’t settle, we move forward with trial preparation. We spend weeks making sure everything is in order, including all the evidence we’ll use in the trial. We finalize who will be our witnesses, and we prepare each witness to testify and be cross-examined by defense counsel. We also carefully prepare for voir dire, the jury selection process.
The Jury’s Verdict
At trial, each side has the opportunity to present their evidence and make a persuasive argument to the jury. At the end, the judge gives the jury of six or 12 people instructions. The judge tells them the issues they are supposed to decide and the standards for how. The jurors have to be unanimous in their decision. If they decide in your favor, the jury also decides your compensation.
If the jury decides in the defendant’s favor, then talk with a lawyer about filing an appeal. You have a brief time to tell the court you want to appeal. You should have an attorney review the trial record for grounds to appeal as soon as possible.
Our Ft. Lauderdale Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
When you have been hurt in a car accident, you need someone whose only goal is to help and support you. That’s where we come in. Our goal is to represent your best interests and help you get through this time as smoothly and quickly as possible. Take the first step now and contact us online. Our team can help you understand everything you need to know about car insurance in Fort Lauderdale accident cases.
Attorney David Fuchs has over three decades of experience helping people just like you navigate the insurance claim process and litigation. He stands up to major insurance companies that want to limit your recovery. He isn’t afraid to take your case to court and convince a jury of your right to compensation. Give him a call today to learn more about the Fort Lauderdale car accident laws & lawsuit process.
It never hurts to hear an attorney’s thoughts on your case. A lawyer might advise you to work with your insurer to recover compensation for moderate injuries. You might learn you don’t have a strong basis for a lawsuit. But a lawyer might also see that you suffered serious injuries and need more than PIP insurance can give you. In that case, it’s important to work with your lawyer to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
You can schedule a free, no-risk consultation by calling our law firm or using the form in the sidebar.