Whether you’re parked, driving, or waiting at a stoplight, car accidents can happen anytime and for multiple reasons, too. In Florida, there are certain regulations on car accidents that can hinder someone from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t avenues to take to help with compensation.
If you were hit by a driver that did not brake in time, whether it was in a parking lot or out on the open road, here is what you do as far as the claims process.
Filing A Car Claim in Florida
Florida is a “no-fault state,” which means all parties involved in a car accident are responsible for filing a claim with their own insurance companies. This is to limit the number of lawsuits filed for car accident cases, so all residents are required to have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection to drive.
This is not the same as collision coverage. Your personal injury protection helps you seek compensation with your insurance company to help cover medical bills and lost wages for time off work. However, for assistance with car damage, you will have to add collision coverage yourself.
There are also exceptions to filing a lawsuit against the other party if your case meets certain expectations. These are typically in extreme cases.
Once you are in a car accident of any kind, even if someone did not brake in time, you have to file a claim with your insurance company first. Your insurance company will offer you a settlement based upon your case and their findings.
How Filing a Claim with An Insurance Company Works
When you file a claim with your insurance company, your claim will go through a process before it’s approved or denied. Your claim is to try and prove a loss and receive monetary assistance as a policyholder with the company.
The sad truth is that most insurance companies do not really help you as they advertise. They try to find every avenue possible to reduce the amount you receive in your settlement so that they save money.
Because of this, your insurance will thoroughly investigate your claim and all evidence that’s presented by the adjuster. There is no timeline as to how long the claim reviewing process will take. The more complex your case is, the longer it will take.
If your claim is approved, your insurance company will make you a settlement offer. While it’s a requirement for West Palm Beach, Florida residents to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection, that does not mean you will get the full $10,000 when you file a claim.
Your insurance company will likely offer you a much lower amount or deny your claim altogether.
Don’t File a Claim Without First Speaking to An Attorney
Many people think of lawyers as their partner when they need to sue someone, but that’s not the case. It’s best to hire an attorney before you file a claim with your insurance company.
Not only will your attorney help you reach a higher settlement, but it’s possible for you to accidentally say something while interviewing with your adjuster and give them leverage to lower the amount by misconstruing your words.
The attorney you hire can sit down with you before you file your claim to review your evidence and tell you the appropriate way to go about filing your claim. They can also be a helpful hand if your insurance company comes back with a low settlement.
Lawyers have the negotiation skills you need to reject the first settlement if it’s inadequate and help you seek a higher amount next. If your claim comes back denied or if the company treats you unfairly, your lawyer can use their legal tactics in your favor.
What To Do When Insurance Isn’t Enough
There are some car accident cases that a high insurance settlement still doesn’t cover the damages that have been done. If your case meets certain standards, you can file a claim against the other party to seek extra compensation.
Car accidents in Florida can lead to lawsuits if you meet one of the following:
- Medical bills exceeding a certain limit
- Suffering from severe injury
The severe injury must be one of the following:
- Permanent scarring
- Ongoing medical intervention
- Wrongful death
If you meet the standards to file a third-party claim, you will benefit from the help and expertise of a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other person. You can still file a claim with your insurance and seek justice against the other party if your case allows it.
What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is how you sue another individual for any wrongdoing and harm they have caused you that’s resulted in injuries. Once you decide to file a lawsuit, your lawyer or their paralegal will draft up the document to serve the defendant and then the case building begins.
Personal injury cases do not have to go to trial if you and the defendant reach a settlement agreement. Just like your insurance company, the other party will also have a chance to pay a settlement that you agree with, and then everything will be settled.
Your case will only make it to court if there is no settlement reached. Once the case goes to court, the jury will decide how much the plaintiff should be awarded. To have an idea of how much you will walk away with in your case, ask your lawyer. They have the best insight with the evidence provided of what the possible outcomes could be.
Personal injury cases can become complex if the process leading up to court goes south with the defendant. There is no timeline for how long or fast these cases will go.
The good news is that you will not have much to do once the case goes to trial. Having an attorney means having a partner who will take over the work and speak for you in the courtroom. It’s your lawyer’s job to present all evidence and make the strongest claim for you in front of the jury once you make it to that point.
If you can file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s in your best interest for extra compensation.
Find A Lawyer to Represent You
The key part to having a successful case and seeking extra compensation is to have a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer to represent you. The great place to start is with Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers is a firm that has been handling car accident and personal injury cases for the last 40 years. We help the residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, and surrounding areas fight for the justice they deserve in their car accident cases (by appointment only).
Car accidents are everyday occurrences, but that doesn’t mean you should go about wondering how to make it right. The first step is finding the right attorney.
You can do that with us by calling our firm at (561) 800-8000 or filling out our form on our website. We will then set up a free consultation to discuss your case in further detail.