Florida Car Accident Claim & Settlement Process
After an accident victim has tended to their immediate medical needs, the next step is often to begin the settlement process with their insurance company by making a claim.
During this stage of the process, the claims adjuster may ask the accident victim to sign a waver to access your medical records. As with many things in life, it’s best to speak with a lawyer before signing such a serious document. Medical information can be used to reduce the amount of money you receive in your claim. The attorneys at Brooks Law Group are happy to provide free consultations for this very reason.
Part of the claims adjuster’s job is also to investigate the validity of your car accident claim — which can mean they review information made public on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. During this time, it’s best to ensure your privacy settings on social media only show your posts to people you know and trust to avoid misunderstandings and issues with your claim.
The Accident Wasn’t My Fault! Do I Still Need an Attorney?
Yes, even those who very clearly did not cause an accident should get help from an attorney. Who’s at fault in an accident is often a heated matter — and it can be made more heated by the fact that car insurance in Florida is no fault. The key concept in no-fault insurance is that when people get into an accident, regardless whose fault it is, each person turns to their own insurance company to file a claim to pay for medical costs and other losses.
Because of this, at the end of the day a Florida car accident attorney can help a driver navigate the insurance claim process better than that driver can on their own. Regardless of who caused the accident, the process is the same, and the insurance companies have plenty of attorneys on their side to keep their business profitable.
Florida being a no-fault insurance state can be a confusing topic for many people. The fact is: In Florida, if it is proven that someone caused an accident there are still ways that person can be held accountable by the court of law for the consequences of that accident.
Types of Auto Accident Compensation
Auto insurance is meant to cover the cost of damages when you’re in an accident. It essentially acts as a contract where a driver agrees to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay for certain things covered in the policy in the event the driver gets in an accident.
Accident Compensation May Include:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Uninsured Auto Accidents in Florida
Florida law requires drivers have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection, also more casually referred to as PIP as well as a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability known as PDL. For some people, the state of Florida can even require them to carry additional coverage if that person has been involved in a crash or convicted of particular offenses, often this type of additional coverage is bodily liability insurance.
Because of the laws around car insurance in Florida, when someone is involved in a car accident with someone who is uninsured or even underinsured, the insured person can have quite a difficult time getting the money they need to fix their vehicle or treat their injuries. When it’s an uninsured driver, often the time someone has to file a claim is much shorter. Then, if it’s an underinsured driver, it can be even more difficult because it may take longer to realize that the person’s coverage isn’t enough to cover what happened.
Is a Car Accident Attorney a Personal Injury Attorney?
Yes, attorneys who represent car accident victims are considered personal injury attorneys. Personal injury attorneys legally represent people who have been harmed as a result of the wrongdoing or negligence of a person, business, government agency or other entity. Personal injury attorneys often also act as wrongful death attorneys in situations in which the injuries result in the loss of a loved one.
What to Look for in an Auto Accident Attorney
- Experience: The more cases like yours an attorney has under his or her belt, the better results they will be able to get for you.
- Case Results: Recent settlements and verdicts can show you the type of experience an attorney has and how experienced they are at getting favorable outcomes.
- Location: A good attorney is an attorney who is familiar with your community and able to be close by to help at any point in the case.
- Credentials: Several awards and certifications are awarded in the legal community to show who stands above the rest.
- Comfort: At the end of the day, your attorney should be someone you’re comfortable talking to. Look for an attorney who is accommodating and compassionate to your needs throughout the experience.
Choosing Brooks as your auto accident attorney means you don’t pay us unless we win. We get paid from the settlement awarded from your case, which means you never have to pay fees up front when you’re already strapped for cash.
We understand that if you’ve suffered a moderate to serious car accident you’re spending extra money and extra time on your health. Several types of attorneys bill by the hour, meaning if you talk to a lawyer for an hour you get a bill for that hour. Plus, if they have to do research before or after talking to you, you may also get a bill for the hours they spent conducting research. But typically, high-quality personal injury attorneys with strong backgrounds in car accident cases will only charge you if they win, a payment model that’s called contingency fees because it is contingent on winning.