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Shortly after you’re involved in a car accident, you may be surprised by just how much your phone rings. There’s a good reason for that—car insurance companies that represent liable drivers are in a hurry to settle cases, check them off the list, and keep moving.
However, working with car insurance companies to get what you’re owed after a crash can be difficult. This is true whether you’re negotiating with your own insurance provider or the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance providers are in the business of making money, and every single claim they pay out means less money in their pockets. You could experience pushback on even the simplest matters, despite the fact that you pay your premium every month specifically to protect yourself from these types of issues.
When you’re facing the struggles that come with a car accident, you don’t need to add insurance company disputes to your to-do list. Reach out to David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. online or call (954) 568-3636 to discuss your legal needs.
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 personal injury attorney to protect their rights.
Several laws address requirements in Florida. Each driver is responsible for a portion of their own medical bills, but they can seek compensation for excess medical bills and property damage through the liable party’s insurance provider.
Under state law, each driver must have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage, as well as $10,000 of property damage liability coverage.
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.
When we meet clients about car accidents and the insurance claims process, the same questions come up often. Get quick answers to your questions here.
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.
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.
Call 911 if there 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.
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible following your accident. Take a look at your policy, which should tell you exactly how long you have to file a claim. Report what happened, but again – don’t admit fault. The insurance company will begin an investigation and the processing of your claim.
You are not obligated to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. If the other driver’s insurer contacts you, refer them to your Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney, or to your own insurance company.
Anything you might say to the other driver’s insurance company may not be to your benefit later if you decide to bring a suit, or if one is brought against you.
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.
Speak to an attorney 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.
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.
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.
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 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 or call our team at (954) 568-3636.