Car accidents are very common. In fact, thousands of accidents happen every day, and if you have ever been a part of one yourself, you may be familiar with the process. On the other hand, those who have never been in an accident before may not know about the process of filing a claim with their insurance and understanding how the company will investigate.
Here is everything you need to know about how insurance companies investigate a car that was in an accident and how an experienced Stuart Car Accident Lawyer can help.
What Is Florida’s Car Insurance Requirement?
Florida has different rules for car accidents than most states. Florida is one of the 18 states that operate with a “no-fault” law, which means people involved in car accidents share the responsibility with the other party. That being said, it’s every person’s obligation to turn to their own insurance company for help.
Since there is the no-fault rule, every resident must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and at least $10,000 in property damage liability. The property damage liability helps if you damage someone else’s car or property in the accident.
The personal injury protection (PIP) is vastly different from collision coverage. The PIP is responsible for covering any medical bills or lost wages. It does not cover damages to your car, so you will have to add collision coverage if you would still like assistance in that area.
It’s important to note that while a person is required to carry a minimum of $10,000, that does not mean you will get the whole $10,000 if you were involved in an accident. When you file your claim, your insurance company will investigate your car damage and consider your medical records to decide how much you should be awarded.
How Car Accidents Are Handled in Florida
Florida’s no-fault rule is in place to try and reduce the number of lawsuits that are filed on other drivers, so if you’re involved in a car accident, you are to turn to your own insurance company first. There are certain guidelines in place that allow residents to step out of the no-fault system and file a third-party claim if they meet the following requirements:
- The driver has medical bills that exceed a certain limit
- You have sustained a serious injury
The “serious injury” has to be one of the following:
- Life-altering impact on quality of life
- On-going medical treatment
If your case does not allow you to step out of the no-fault system, then your case will be passed through your insurance company who investigates your claim and settles upon a compensation reward. If you disagree or are uncertain with the amount that your insurance company determined, you can hire an experienced Stuart Car Accident Lawyer to help you combat unfairness.
The Process of Insurance Investigation
Insurance investigations are more intrusive than you may think because your insurance company, unfortunately, is looking for every possible way to not pay you money. Because of this, they look at all pieces of information to find any objection that they can.
When you file a claim with your insurance company, the investigation process is lengthy and can take a few days or weeks until you hear back, depending on the severity. The process is completed by an insurance adjuster who will look at the following things:
Interview With You
Your adjuster will need to collect a statement from you about what happened and what your recollection of the accident is. Be careful; this part might be beneficial to have a legal expert answer for you to keep your story consistent and to not be tricked by your insurance adjuster.
The Car Damage & Scene
At some point, your adjuster will need to look at your and visit the scene of the accident to get a better understanding of how severe the accident was.
Cell Phone Records & Social Media
You will undergo a background check during the investigation process, and your cell phone records and social media presence will also be evaluated. If your cell phone records show that you were on the phone at the time of the wreck, this could impact how much you get back in your settlement. Your background check will also show if you have filed claims in the past, which could also reduce your financial compensation.
The insurance adjuster will also obtain your medical records to review your injuries from the wreck. The severity of your injuries can also play a part in your settlement. If the insurance company does not see any impactful treatment, then they may use this against you. You know how much you’ve suffered as a result of a car accident, and you deserve to be rightfully compensated for your suffering. If you believe your insurance company is not taking your medical records into account, call us immediately.
How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
You should consider hiring a Stuart Car Accident Lawyer before you begin to speak to your insurance company since this can prevent them from giving you less than you deserve.
The bottom line is that your insurance company is not out for your best intentions. They are a business, and they are looking for every possible way to save their company money. An experienced Stuart, Florida lawyer knows this and does have your best intentions at heart.
The lawyer you hire will be responsible for collecting all information and evidence in your claim and evaluating it for the best possible chance of seeking extra compensation. They will be the ones to communicate with your lawyer and negotiate a higher settlement if the first one comes back too low. Your lawyer can also advise you on the best steps to take when it comes to reviewing your offers and if you should argue for a higher settlement or accept an offer.
Your lawyer is always on your side. Unlike insurance companies, your hired attorney fights for your rights and wants you to have the best outcome possible.
Speak To a Legal Professional Today
If you are having trouble navigating the aftermath of your car accident, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Stuart, Florida, can greatly help your case. Attorneys bring a lot to the plate in terms of becoming your advocate and possessing a lot of beneficial knowledge.
The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have four decades’ worth of experience fighting car accident battles for residents in Stuart, Florida (by appointment only). Our 40 years in the practice have taught us what to expect from insurance companies and how they operate in their investigation process.
The unfortunate truth is that insurance companies, unlike us, are looking for ways to settle and give you less than you deserve. We, on the other hand, make sure to help guide you throughout the whole legal process so that you have the best chances of a fair outcome.
Our attorneys are on standby and ready to help you seek the compensation you may rightfully deserve from your accident. When you’re ready, give us a call at (561) 800-8000, or visit us online to fill out our free case evaluation form.
We look forward to hearing from you and fighting for you.