Understanding the Florida Car Accident Claims Process
If you have been in a Florida car accident, you may be anxious about the process. The process of filing a claim and dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be challenging, but by understanding what you are facing, you can often handle the situation more effectively. Of course, your case will begin with a Florida truck accident or car accident. Once you have been in an accident, your case begins and there are several things that you can do to protect yourself and your rights. For example, you may wish to start documenting any damage right at the accident scene. Once you have ensured that any injured parties have received help, you will want to exchange contact information with the other driver and with any witnesses.
Next, you will want to report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as you can. This allows you to file a claim to recover damages you have suffered in the accident, including any injuries requiring medical care. Once your claim is submitted, the insurance provider will have a claims adjuster contact you. This insurance professional will consider your deductibles, the limits of your insurance, and the coverage your provider offers to you. In simple accidents where there is little injury or damage, you may be asked to get an estimate for repairs and you may only need to fill out some documents to get your check for your damages.
If, however, there is a problem, there may be many more steps before you can receive your money. For example, if there is a liability issue or if you do not agree with the claim amount you are offered, further negotiation will usually have to take place. If there was a serious injury (requiring costly medical care) or serious damage, your insurance provider may become more proactive in looking at your claim.
If your Florida car accident was more serious, the insurance company will usually do some investigating before releasing any funds. An adjuster may examine medical reports, police reports, photos of the accident scene, and even contact witnesses and other persons involved in the accident. If you are a Florida spinal cord injury patient due to the accident or have sustained other significant injuries, the insurance company will usually contact your medical professionals to get details about your treatment and its costs. If you have substantial medical bills due to the accident, you may also need to fill out medical authorization documents so that your medical records can be released to the insurance company.
Once the insurance company has investigated the accident, they will send you an offer, which is also known as a settlement offer. This is the amount that the insurance company is willing to pay you, based on your accident and your insurance policy. In many cases, this initial offer is low and may not cover all your costs. This is because while insurance companies want to close the case, they also want to save money. If you have a good idea of your claim, you can also choose to send a demand letter to the insurance company before they send you a settlement offer. This letter outlines how much you want to receive to close the case, based on your injuries and any liability issues involved in the case.
If you cannot come to an agreement with your insurance company on a fair settlement offer, you will need to negotiate with your insurance adjuster. Often, it is useful to rely on an experienced Florida personal injury attorney for this. Attorneys understand insurance laws and have the leverage to negotiate effectively. In some cases, insurance adjusters are also more willing to offer a higher settlement offer once an attorney is involved. If your claim has been denied entirely, you will also want a Florida personal injury attorney to examine your insurance company’s claims and negotiate on your behalf.