A car accident lawyer may deal with insurance companies for you. You may choose to have a lawyer represent you if:
- You would like to settle your financial needs through insurance if possible
- You do not want to agree to an offer from an insurance company because it inadequately values your losses
- You want to ensure that you leave all possible options open to pursue compensation, whether through insurance or civil courts
- You are not comfortable, for any reason, in dealing directly with representatives for one or more insurance companies
Auto insurance can be an extremely profitable business. Broadly speaking, insurance companies may not be easy negotiators, and they may give you a tough time as they attempt to maintain their profits. Having a lawyer on your side may help protect your rights.
Filing A Car Accident Claim For PIP Benefits
If you have less than $10,000 in costs associated with your car accident injuries, the benefits from your PIP coverage mandated by Florida Statutes § 627.736 should cover your expenses. To get the benefits, you must seek treatment from a physician within 14 days of the accident. The doctor also must determine that you had an emergency medical condition. If the doctor does not, the insurance company will only pay up to $2,500 in benefits.
Assuming you do qualify for PIP benefits, you will be able to recover 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent of your lost wages, up to $10,000 in coverage. If you have more than $10,000 in total damages, you may want to file a claim to recover additional compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
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You May Pursue Compensation Through Non-Insurance Avenues
A lawyer may represent you in negotiations with insurance companies, but there is no guarantee that they will reach an agreement that you find satisfactory. Some of the possible problems that can arise during insurance settlement negotiations include:
- The insurance company alleges that you do not have sufficient documentation for your losses
- Even if you provide ample documentation, the insurance company offers you significantly less compensation than you need or are entitled to recover
- The individual responsible for your accident does not have coverage to account for your losses
- You and the insurance company do not see eye to eye on how you may or may not have contributed to your accident
If negotiations between your lawyer and one or more insurance companies fail, another option you may consider is a personal injury lawsuit. A law firm representative may explain the specifics for this type of lawsuit.
A Lawyer May Help You With A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Not only may your car accident lawyer deal with insurance companies on your behalf, they may also help you take the next steps in pursuing compensation, which might require you to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
Before you decide to bring such a lawsuit, your legal team may:
- Explain to you the compensation that they will seek as the goal of your lawsuit
- Detail the benefits and possible drawbacks that may come from bringing a lawsuit
- Explain why they believe you are a candidate to be a plaintiff in a personal injury suit
- Outline a payment agreement, which may not require you to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses to retain a lawyer’s services
A lawyer may then take all necessary steps to begin and complete your lawsuit. If insurance companies do not step up to the plate, consider that a lawsuit may be a viable option for pursuing the compensation you may be entitled to collect.
Damages You Can Recover From The Insurance Company
How much compensation you can request from the insurance company depends on:
- The type and seriousness of your injuries
- Your anticipated recovery
- The nature of the car accident
- How the aftermath of the accident has affected you physically, emotionally, and financially
After reviewing all these areas, we can accurately calculate the value of your damages, which can include:
- Medical expenses: For past and expected medical treatment
- Lost wages: For work you missed
- Diminished future earning capacity: For changing jobs or not returning to work at all
- Property damage: For your damaged or destroyed car
- Pain and suffering: For the physical and emotional pain you’re suffering from
- Wrongful death damages: For the expenses you incurred if your loved one passed away from the accident
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Recovering Compensation From The At-Fault Driver After A Car Accident
To qualify to pursue damages from the other driver’s insurance company, you must have one of the following injuries from the car accident:
- Permanent bodily injury
- Physical disfigurement
- Physical scarring
The death of a loved one automatically meets the criteria needed to pursue further compensation, and you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
To prove to the at-fault driver’s insurance company that the injuries you sustained were from that accident, you will need as much of the following as possible:
- Video footage from traffic cameras showing the other party caused the accident
- Statements from doctors about your prognosis and any ongoing medical care you will require
- Statements from family members and friends about how your life has been altered because of the accident
A lawyer can help you gather all this evidence and deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Laws That Could Impact Your Car Accident Claim
To pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, you must file your lawsuit within a certain number of years of the accident date.
Another law that could impact your claim is Florida Statutes § 768.81. This law allows the court to attribute the responsibility of an accident to more than one party.
Under this law, you have the right to pursue damages related to the accident, but you may be unable to recover full compensation for your losses if you contributed to the incident or damages.
After an accident, a police officer can write a citation to every party which they deem to be responsible. However, a lawyer can also negotiate with the other party’s insurance company and come to an agreement on who is liable and to what degree. If no agreement can be made, a case can also be taken to court where a jury would decide who is responsible in a case.
A Florida Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A car accident lawyer can deal with the insurance companies and take on the burden of establishing liability and pursuing damages. They also can:
Gather Evidence And Build A Strong Claim
One of the best ways to get the insurance company to take you seriously and to pay the full compensation you deserve is to show them compelling evidence, enough to convince them that if you were to file a lawsuit and take them on in court, they would lose.
The first thing we do after evaluating your claim is to gather every bit of evidence that exists showing the other party is liable for your injuries. For instance, if you were involved in a truck collision, we can seek evidence that might show the truck driver violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service rules. We assemble this evidence and build a compelling case, one that the insurance companies cannot refute.
Only after we have a strong case would we send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining the value of your case. The insurer would likely counter our offer, leading to a series of settlement negotiations. We are often able to reach a just settlement during this process. If the insurer refuses a fair agreement, we can take your case to trial.
Negotiate For Fair Compensation
Insurance companies hire skilled negotiators to try to minimize their payouts, so it can help to have a professional negotiator working on your behalf. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we have a long track record of getting insurance companies to pay our clients the full amount they deserve. We know what to say and what not to say, and how to present an evidence-backed case in a way that makes them listen.
When you try to deal with the insurance company on your own, they might use tactics to get you to say something they can use against you to reduce the value of your claim. Because we have spent years honing the craft of negotiating with insurance companies, we know how to avoid these mistakes.
Prevent Mistakes That Can Cost You Money
One of the most important ways in which we deal with the insurance company for you is we prevent any innocent mistakes from costing you money.
A common tactic of the insurance company is to elicit statements from accident victims that seem innocuous but can be twisted and taken out of context to reduce the victim’s claim. When you politely decline to speak with the insurance company reps and pass them to us instead, we can prevent these mistakes from happening.
Call the Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine Today
A lawyer will take on your legal fight for compensation, which could be invaluable if you are recovering from a serious injury, tending to a loved one who has been injured, or mourning the death of a loved one.
Call our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today to learn more about our responsive legal care. We only take our payment if you are awarded compensation. Otherwise, you will not be charged.
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