Common Questions About Insurance After an Accident
Car accident victims typically have many accident insurance questions after a crash. While most drivers in Florida know that the law requires them to carry certain types of auto insurance, many have no idea what it will cover if they should ever get into an accident.
Here, we answer several common questions about car insurance that we receive after an accident. To discuss the specific facts of your case with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer, contact Englander Peebles today. We can provide a free consultation at any one of our offices or at your home, the hospital, or any other location that is most convenient for you.
Should I file a PIP claim with my own insurance company?
Table of Contents
- 1 Should I file a PIP claim with my own insurance company?
- 2 Will the other driver’s insurance cover my losses?
- 3 What if the other driver has no auto insurance?
- 4 Will the accident cause my insurance rates to go up?
- 5 Should I talk with the other driver’s insurance company?
- 6 How can a car accident attorney help me?
- 7 Contact Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys Today
Florida is a no-fault state. After an accident, you will typically file personal injury protection (PIP) benefits claim with your own insurance company. PIP Covers up to 80 percent of your medical expenses up to $10000 0.00, regardless of who was at fault. However, to be eligible to file this type of claim, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days after the accident occurs. If you fail to do so, you will be barred from receiving any compensation.
Will the other driver’s insurance cover my losses?
Florida requires all drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance. Under the state’s no-fault auto insurance system, drivers are expected to seek compensation from their own insurance company instead of clogging up the court system. However, with such low limits, it’s not uncommon for accident victims to realize this coverage is not enough to cover their costs from the accident.
Florida law also allows accident victims to sue the at-fault party directly.
In contrast to a PIP claim, you can seek full recovery of your medical expenses and lost income in a claim against another driver. You may also be able to pursue non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
What if the other driver has no auto insurance?
If the other driver lacks bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance, you can still go through your own insurance if you have purchased the right kind.
In Florida, uninsured motorist coverage is available but not mandatory. So, many drivers don’t carry it. In order to ensure you have the most protection possible, it’s important to have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy.
If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company if the other driver’s insurance fails to cover all of your damages. This insurance will cover the difference between what the other driver’s insurance covers and your total damages (up to the limits of your policy).
Will the accident cause my insurance rates to go up?
This is a big concern for drivers under the no-fault system. Once you make a claim, the concern is that the insurance company will view you as a risk and hike your rates. The good news is that, under Florida law, your car insurance rate cannot increase after an accident unless you were “substantially at fault.”
Unfortunately, the statute does not define “substantially at fault.” Most insurance companies will use a comparison of fault to define it. If you were more at fault than the other party, then an insurance company may claim that you were substantially at fault and increase your monthly payments.
Should I talk with the other driver’s insurance company?
If the other driver’s insurance company is going to have to provide some coverage, then you can expect them to contact you shortly after the accident or after you file your claim. The insurer may use several tactics in an effort to reduce or deny your claim.
The first strategy that insurance companies typically employ is to try to use your own words against you – especially if you accept any kind of fault or blame for the accident. Even a seemingly harmless statement such as, “I’m sorry,” may give the insurer some material to use against you. For this reason, you should avoid giving any statement to an insurer until you talk with a lawyer first.
Another insurance company tactic is to get you to sign a medical release form. This form will allow the insurance company to comb through all of your past medical records, looking for pre-existing conditions in the same area of the body where your car accident injury occurred.
Finally, insurance companies will downplay the seriousness of the accident and make low settlement offers the insurer’s hope is that you will be satisfied to receive any offer at all and will accept it. However, until you know the full extent of your injuries and losses, you should wait to accept any settlement offer.
How can a car accident attorney help me?
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you have a much better chance of receiving a fair settlement when you work with an attorney instead of trying to go it alone. When you work with an attorney, the attorney will:
- Understand the law and procedural rules. So, your claim won’t be barred because you missed the statute of limitations or made another technical error.
- Investigate the scene of the accident, looking for evidence to back up your claim. The attorney may even use an accident reconstruction specialist to determine how the crash occurred.
- File a lawsuit on your behalf and challenge any defenses raised by the other side.
- Deal with the insurance company on your behalf and attempt to negotiate a full and fair settlement.
- Complete all the paperwork and legwork associated with the claim, which may be extensive, so you can focus on your recovery.
- Act as your advocate throughout the entire process, making sure your rights are upheld.
- Take your case to trial if that’s what it takes to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in a car accident, you will likely have many questions about your insurance, the other driver’s insurance and other aspects of your accident. At Englander Peebles, our car accident lawyers can answer those questions and pursue full and fair compensation for you. Don’t try to take on your case alone. Contact us today for your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.
At Englander Peebles, we understand the pressure people face when they are seriously hurt in an accident and are facing off against a large insurance company. As the bills mount, so does the stress. And the most frustrating part is that you can be victimized a second time if the insurance company refuses to pay in full, putting your financial future in jeopardy.