To make an auto insurance claim, at the minimum, you need the facts of the Fort Lauderdale car accident, such as its location, the time of day it occurred, and information about the other cars, drivers, and their passengers, if any. You may also need a police report if there were injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage – or if the other parties dispute the facts of the loss.
Our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can answer your questions and help you file a valid insurance claim. Call us now at 1-800-747-3733 to arrange for a free legal consultation.
Could you tell me what I need to do to File a claim?
Filing a car accident claim in Florida involves several steps. First, you may need to report the collision to the authorities. Florida Statutes § 316.066 requires this step when serious injuries and damages occur. If law enforcement arrives at the scene, an officer will complete this process for you. If not, you’ll need to file a report yourself.
Next, you’ll need to obtain basic information about your accident, such as:
- The other driver’s name, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number
- A police report of your accident
- Photos of the damaged vehicles
- Your medical records and expenses if you sustained injuries from the accident
- Documents showing ambulance transport costs if you went to the hospital after the car accident
- Phone numbers of eyewitnesses willing to testify on your behalf
Also, you’ll want to review your auto insurance policy to determine the type of coverage that may apply to your case. In Florida, you generally seek compensation from your auto insurance policy before filing a claim against another party.
Our car accident attorneys can take a look at this coverage with you to make sure you fully understand the terms and your responsibilities. We can also talk with you during your free case evaluation about other information you will need for your claim and if you might need to seek additional compensation.
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Company
If you have less than $10,000 in costs associated with your injuries, your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits will cover your expenses. PIP pays a maximum of $10,000, which includes 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost wages. This coverage is available on a no-fault basis.
However, you must seek treatment for your injuries within 14 days after the accident toits get these benef. This requirement is outlined by law in Florida Statutes § 627.736(1)(a).
The same statute states that if the doctor finds you did not have an emergency medical condition, your auto insurer will only pay up to $2,500 in benefits. This is just one reason why you may look for other financial recovery options after a severe collision.
Who Pays for Damages to My Vehicle?
Your collision coverage pays for repairing or replacing your vehicle if you have this optional coverage in your auto insurance policy. Florida does not require vehicle owners to purchase collision coverage. Instead, the state only requires vehicle owners to have minimum insurance of:
- $10,000 for bodily injury to themselves
- $10,000 property damage liability (PDL)
Though having collision coverage comes in handy when an accident happens, it is not your only option for receiving compensation for vehicle damage. If another party is responsible for the accident, you could file a claim against their PDL policy.
What If My Damages Go Beyond the State Minimum Insurance Requirements?
You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover additional compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you need to know that your injuries must meet the criteria set by Florida law. You may only file a lawsuit if you can prove that you or your loved one sustained one of the following injuries from the car accident:
- Permanent bodily injury
- Physical scarring
- Physical disfigurement
This part of the process can get complicated. For instance, the other driver may not take responsibility for causing your severe injuries, or the driver’s insurance company may contend you do not have adequate proof to show that the accident caused these injuries. So, you have a lot at stake if you cannot successfully prove your case – a car accident lawyer from our firm can provide valuable legal support.
How do I Prove My Injury Claim?
When you hire us, our legal team helps you collect vital evidence to build a valid insurance claim. For instance, we may gather documentation that includes the following:
- Statements from you and your family members on how the accident impacted your life
- A statement from your physician on your prognosis and need for future medical care
- Proof through traffic camera video that shows another party caused the accident
You must also prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident that left you with physical injuries and vehicle damage. As required by Florida’s negligence statute, we can help you prove that:
- The driver had a duty to drive carefully.
- The driver breached that duty.
- The driver’s breach of duty caused an accident.
- The driver’s negligent actions caused you to suffer damages.
What Should I Not Tell the Car Insurance Company?
Whether speaking with a representative from your or another party’s insurer, you never want to speculate about what happened leading up to the collision. Many times, statements you make can be used against you to undervalue or invalidate your claim.
Instead, it’s best to stick to providing the most basic information and allowing the insurer to investigate the collision for additional answers. Alternatively, you can allow our car accident attorneys to speak with insurance representatives on your behalf. We’ll protect your case and always advocate for your best interests.
Is It Worth It to File a Car Insurance Claim?
Car accident damages can be severe, leaving you with:
- Growing medical bills
- Significant time away from work, which may be unpaid
- Costly vehicle repairs
- Other expenses and losses
If your injuries are serious enough, you may even experience lasting effects that interfere with your financial and personal future. Filing a car insurance claim can help mitigate some of these damages so that you can get back to your life as much as possible.
Moreover, there is no financial downside to hiring our firm, as we operate on contingency. We charge no fees unless we recover compensation for you, and this comes from your settlement or court award rather than your wallet.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation Now!
If you need to know more about filing an insurance claim after a car accident, our lawyers are here to help. We represent collision victims and their families throughout Florida, guiding them through the claims process and fighting for them in court when necessary. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Naples, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to make an appointment for a free legal evaluation. We pursue every avenue until you get the best possible outcome for your claim.
We Can Help.