It may be necessary to pay the deductible for your car accident in Florida, at least upfront. If you were involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault, you might expect the other driver to have to pay for everything. While your no-fault insurance policy will cover some of your medical care costs and lost wages, the at-fault driver should expect to bear the brunt of the expenses for your vehicle damages and other costs if severe injuries occurred.
However, you should still expect to pay for your deductible, even if another driver was at fault. Doing so allows you to get back to your life quicker, as investigating an accident can take weeks, if not months. You may be able to request repayment later once your insurance company determines that the other driver was at fault.
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What is a Deductible, and How Does It Work?
The deductible is the set amount of money you pay out of pocket before your car insurance policy pays for the damage to your car above that amount. For example, if you file a claim for $800 worth of car repairs after an accident and your deductible is $500, you will pay $500, and your insurance will pay the additional $300.
Deductibles can range anywhere from $250 to $1,000 based on your level of coverage and the size of your premium payments. A lower deductible equates to more coverage under your auto insurance. Therefore, lower deductibles come with higher premiums, and higher deductibles are associated with lower insurance premiums. Some insurance companies even offer the option of a $0 deductible with high premium payments.
Why would I Pay a Deductible if I didn’t Cause the Accident?
After a car crash, you probably want to get your car fixed as soon as possible so you can get back on the road. You probably rely on your car to get to work every day. The fastest way to get your car repaired is to take it to a mechanic for an estimate, file a claim with your insurance company, and pay the deductible.
Both insurance companies involved will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. This investigation could take time. That’s why you should pay your deductible even if you didn’t cause the accident—so you don’t have to put your life on hold while the insurers sort out fault and liability.
Your insurance company may be able to subrogate from the other driver’s insurance company. That approach to processing claims means they will ask the at-fault driver’s insurer to repay them for your expenses. In that case, you could recover what you paid for your deductible. Hiring an attorney from our firm can also help move this process along and give you an advocate for your financial recovery without interfering with your life.
How do Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws Affect Me?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that every driver in Florida is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Each driver submits a claim to their own insurance company. This insurance can pay for your medical expenses and lost wages if you’re injured in a car crash.
If you were not hurt in the car accident and only need to repair your car, Florida’s no-fault insurance laws will not affect you. This insurance is for injuries and does not cover property damage.
Recovering Damages Beyond Your No-Fault Policy
Suppose your damages related to treatment and income exceed your coverage and meet the state’s serious injury threshold under Florida Statutes §627.737. In that case, you could recover these costs along with your deductible. The following types of damages may also be recoverable in this case:
- Pain and suffering
- The inconvenience your injuries cause you
- Mental anguish
One of our attorneys can help you determine when damages like these may be available to you.
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We Can Help You Understand Your Insurance Policy
Insurance laws in Florida can make seeking compensation confusing when another driver is at fault. The state requires drivers to carry multiple types of insurance, some of which are no-fault policies while others cover liability. It can be difficult to understand what you may qualify to recover through a claim versus what you may have to pay yourself.
Our attorneys are familiar with the ins and outs of insurance claims and help our clients understand their eligibility for compensation. As your legal team, we will:
- Review the details of your accident and injuries to determine your recovery options
- Read through your insurance policy and explain how your deductible and coverage will impact your financial recovery
- Represent you in all case-related communications
- Work with your insurance company to file your no-fault claim
- Identify the at-fault party and determine if you can claim additional compensation from them
- Advocate for you in settlement negotiations
- Take additional steps as necessary to recover your damages, such as filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party
We never charge upfront fees for any of these services because we know your finances are likely a concern right now. Unless you see compensation for your damages, you’ll see no fees from our firm.
Discuss Your Collision Case with Our Team for Free
Insurance policies are not known for being user-friendly. If you’re worried about implicating yourself when you talk to your insurance company, feel free to call us first.
Our team of car accident lawyers at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine offers free consultations to discuss your insurance policy and whether you can be reimbursed for your deductible.