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Dealing With the Car Insurance Company in Florida

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Here’s what you need to know after your accident

If your car accident was caused by a negligent driver, you deserve financial compensation. But that means dealing with insurance companies. All you want is fair compensation for the injuries you suffered. All they want is to pay you as little as possible to maximize their profits.

Dealing with insurance companies can be aggravating and frustrating. That’s why you need a Florida car accident lawyer in your corner.

Here are some things to know about dealing with insurance companies.

Tell your insurance company you have been in an accident. 

You are required to do this per the terms of your insurance policy. If you don’t notify them, you could be putting your ability to recover financial compensation at risk. Because Florida is a “no-fault” state, you would first file a claim for compensation with your own insurance company. But that doesn’t mean they will simply pay you what you deserve. Even your own insurance company will try to find ways to pay you less. 

When reporting your accident, give your insurance company the basic facts about what happened. But don’t provide any additional information or go into detail about your injuries. Then talk to a lawyer.

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Am I required to talk to the other drivers insurance company?

It’s not unusual for the other driver’s insurance company to contact you after a car accident. The adjuster on the phone may say they are simply following up on some things. You may be asked to answer some simple questions. You are not obligated to answer these questions. In fact, you are under no obligation to talk to them at all. The reason they are calling is to try to get you to say something that they can use to help minimize your claim. The best response to these requests is to politely decline. Then talk to your lawyer. 

Am I required to give access to my medical records?

An adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company may ask you to sign a release that allows them to access your medical records. One of the tactics insurance companies use to try to pay people less is to argue that any injuries were pre-existing and not eligible for compensation. The reason for their request to see your medical records may be to find information they can use against you to deny your claim. 

Don’t sign any release without talking to your own attorney first. 

Am I required to give a recorded statement?

Do not agree to give such a statement. You only get one chance to tell your story. Most of us slip up at times when speaking and accidentally say something wrong. Insurance companies know that. They count on it, which is why they ask people to give these statements. Any slip-up you make will be amplified and cited as a reason why they shouldn’t have to pay you financial compensation. If you are asked to give a statement, get legal advice first. 

Am I required to accept a settlement offer?

You may be contacted by an insurance company with a settlement offer. They may promise quick payment and even suggest that it is the best that they can do. Meanwhile, your medical expenses are adding up, you may not have a car and there is less money coming in if you can’t work. It can be tempting to accept the offer. But there are some things to think about before agreeing to any settlement.

First, insurance companies typically make lowball settlement offers, especially if it’s the first offer they are making soon after an accident. Their offer won’t come close to covering all the damages you suffered. They are hoping you don’t know how much your claim is worth and will simply take the quick deal and go away.

Second, you only get one shot at a settlement. Once you agree to accept the money they are offering, your claim is over. You can’t go back to them later and ask for more money, even if your injuries get worse over time.

Third, you can and should ask for more money. Insurance companies are always involved in settlement negotiations. They can do better than the initial offer they made to you. A lawyer can help you negotiate for more.

Can a car accident lawyer can deal with the insurance company on my behalf?

Insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests. You need an attorney who knows how they operate and fight for your rights. Your lawyer can build a strong case for compensation that insurance companies have to take seriously. Then your lawyer can push for a settlement that meets your needs. If a settlement can’t be reached, an attorney can fight for you in court.

A lawyer can deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. This means filing all the needed paperwork, making all the phone calls, and handling all the stress. Your lawyer will guide you through the process every step of the way and keep you informed of the progress of your case.

You don’t have to put up with insurance companies. Fight back with an experienced Florida car accident attorney. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

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