Any time you’re in a moving vehicle, you risk being in an auto collision. Even the most careful Florida drivers can sustain injuries from a crash due to someone else’s negligence. Should an accident occur, you’d likely go through an auto insurance company to receive compensation for personal injuries and property damage.
Unfortunately, dealing with insurance agencies after an accident doesn’t always yield favorable results for the claimant. Car accident lawyers will help you recover damages, but not following the proper steps after an incident can worsen your situation.
Protect Your Interests From Insurance Companies
Florida has no-fault auto insurance laws. The regulations require anyone in a car accident to file a claim with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who is responsible for the collision.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are for-profit and want to make more money than they pay out for claims. As a result, the adjuster will look for reasons to deny or pay less for any claim such as:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle damages
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Your car accident lawyers see these issues all the time with insurance agencies. We can help you navigate the claims process and pursue sufficient compensation on your behalf.
The Do’s of Filing Auto Insurance Claims
Stay Put and Call for Help
Remain as calm as possible and summon medical help for yourself and anyone else involved in the collision. Even if you don’t feel pain immediately after the accident, you could have injuries that you’ll notice once the adrenaline in your body wears off.
You may feel fine enough to drive away to a local hospital, but you should stay put instead. Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage is a misdemeanor in Florida. Further, if you leave and the accident caused an injury or fatality, police could charge you with a felony.
Report the Accident
Florida law requires all drivers to report car accidents to the police that involve:
- Property damage exceeding $500
- Drunk or impaired drivers
Give the responding officers as much detail about the incident as you can. Also, inquire how to receive a copy of the accident report because you’ll need to submit it to the insurance company.
Request the Other Party’s Information
Every driver must have auto insurance, with a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability. Be sure to get the other driver’s name, insurance information, license plate number, phone number, and driver’s license number to pass onto your insurance company.
Document the Accident
If you are physically able, document the accident by taking pictures of your vehicle, your injuries, and the scene. Sometimes other drivers or passersby witness accidents, and their statements can benefit your case. Try to get their names and contact information.
The Don’ts of Filing Auto Insurance Claims
Don’t Ignore Florida’s Car Accident Statute of Limitations
You should file a claim with your insurance company immediately following the incident, and you have up to four years to file a car accident lawsuit, based on Florida’s statute of limitations. However, it’s best to contact a car accident lawyer right away.
Don’t Admit Fault
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you don’t want to admit fault for anything about the accident. Insurance agencies can use something as simple as apologizing to the other driver as an admission of guilt. Also, don’t say or write anything online that the companies can use against you.
Don’t Sign Insurance Documents
Before accepting a settlement or signing any document from your insurance company, consult with a car accident attorney. Sometimes, agencies will convince claimants to accept small payments or sign paperwork that reduces their ability to pursue damages via a lawsuit.
Reach Out to Oldham & Delcamp LLC When You Need Skilled Car Accident Lawyers
As a resident of Pinellas Park, FL., you may search for the “best car accident lawyer near me” when you’re ready to file an auto collision claim. The legal team at Oldham & Delcamp, LLC, provides top legal representation for personal injuries and vehicle accidents.
Our law firm consists of attorneys who have ample experience as former insurance company lawyers. Our car accident lawyers offer efficient legal services, personalized attention, and effective representation. As experienced litigators, we understand the power of negotiation, but we also have skills in courtroom representation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other applicable licensing jurisdiction.