As one of the most desirable states to live in, Florida’s population increases every day. This means your chances to have an auto accident also increases every day. Understandable, being involved in an automobile collision is never something you put on your to-do list. But, when you find yourself in this situation, knowing how to file a claim after a car accident in Florida can make the difference between receiving the compensation you are entitled to and only receiving a portion, or nothing at all.
This blog will walk you through the basic steps of filing a claim after an accident in the state of Florida.
FLORIDA’S AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE PREREQUISITES
Florida’s No-Fault insurance requirements mean that every licensed driver in the state must have a minimum of $10,000 PIP, personal injury protection, and a minimum of $10,000 PDL, property damage liability, before registering a vehicle. But, there is no requirement for drivers to purchase BIL, bodily injury liability. This is very important if you are the victim in a car accident because there is the possibility that the responsible party does not have coverage for injuries that you or your passengers sustained.
FILING AN AUTO CLAIM IN FLORIDA WITHIN THE NO-FAULT SYSTEM
The following are the basic actions that you need to do after being involved in an auto accident in Florida:
- Get a police report at the accident scene, or file a report at your local police station. Your insurance company will want the police report number.
- Contact your insurance company and give them as much information about the accident as you have, to include: Date, time, and location of the collision; which policy vehicle was involved; the driver’s name; a description of the crash and damages; if anyone had personal injuries; the other driver’s insurance information; names and contact information of all persons in the vehicles and any witnesses; and if you have pictures of the accident scene.
- Remember that insurance adjusters will record their conversations, so stay with factual information and avoid personal opinions about the incident. When considering a lawsuit to recover significant damages or injuries, always talk with an accident attorney before speaking with insurance representatives, including the other driver’s insurance company.
- An insurance adjuster will inspect your vehicle damage, make an estimate of repair costs, and factor in deductibles or out of pocket expenses you may be liable to pay. You may be entitled to have the insurance company’s collision shop make the repairs, or the option to have a certified repair shop perform the work.
- The adjuster will calculate and authorize a final repair payment made out to either you or your chosen repair shop. The repair shop will contact the adjuster for additional approval if additional repairs are needed that the adjuster could not see at the time of the assessment. Before releasing a check, the adjuster will have you sign a form that acknowledges that the check received serves as payment in full for your claim. If you have an accident attorney, the lawyer will advise you on whether the payment is appropriate or not.
- If you are medically unable to talk with the insurance company or their representatives, your attorney can represent you in communications with their individuals.
FLORIDA’S COMPENSATION LIMITS
The state’s preset limits on the amount of PIP payable for injuries received by you, or anyone else riding in your vehicle, means that you may not be compensated for the full amount of your personal injuries. Damage to your vehicle is not included in no-fault insurance, so you will need to file an insurance claim against the responsible driver’s insurance or consider filing a claim after a car accident with an attorney experienced in automobile lawsuits.
FILING AN AUTO CLAIM IN FLORIDA OUTSIDE OF THE NO-FAULT SYSTEM
You have the right to pursue a claim against the driver who was found to be at fault for your vehicle accident. But, you can only do this, if any of the following three situations exist:
- Your injuries that resulted from the accident are determined to be permanent,
- Your injuries resulted in significant, or permanent, disfigurement, or scarring,
- Your injuries resulted in the significant, or permanent, loss of a major bodily function
The importance of filing a claim after an auto accident that left you facing any one of these three significant situations is that you may not be able to receive any compensation for your injuries by following a No-Fault or PIP claim.
By filing a liability claim with an experienced automobile accident attorney, you may be able to pursue a compensation lawsuit for the full scale of your injuries and damages. This could potentially include pain and suffering, or the loss of affection, if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one.
Another important consideration when consulting with an automobile accident attorney is the amount of vehicle damage. This type of damage is not a part of a routine no-fault claim. The normal process is to file a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault driver. When engaging an automobile accident lawyer to seek compensation for significant injuries or damages, you might want to include compensation for your vehicle damages as well.
TIME ALLOWANCE FOR FILING A CLAIM AFTER AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Some injuries do not surface immediately after a vehicle collision. There are any number of situations where medical complications are not resolved in a short period of time, or where medical complications do not arise until days, weeks, or months after a car accident. In Florida, there is a time limit on when you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. In accordance with Title 8 of the Florida Statutes, Chapter 95, Section 95.11, that time limit is four years from the date of the accident. If you wait beyond this time period, you will have lost your opportunity at receiving any judgement for your injuries or damages.
GETTING THE BEST LEGAL DEFENSE
The Bulluck Law Group has only been able to achieve its high level of case settlement successes by making their clients, like you, their number one priority. The attorneys understand that you are going through difficult times due to the negligence of another person. Their aim to provide you with the best advice and presentation available anywhere in Florida. They understand what needs to be done, at every step in the legal process, so that you can concentrate on taking care of yourself or your loved ones.
When engaging an automobile accident and personal injury lawyer from David M. Bulluck’s law group, you will be represented by a Florida legal team that has an amazing, documented reputation for getting successful compensation for their clients. The Bulluck Law Group offers you a number major advantages regarding lawsuit claims.
- A free case evaluation to determine the strength or weaknesses in your case, and what outcomes might may be expected.
- Compassionate understanding of the emotional and financial stress you are encountering.
- A promise that if your case results in no financial recovery, there will be no legal fees or costs.
- When accepted, your attorney will act on your behalf with all insurance companies. This can potentially eliminate the need for going to court.
- Your attorney will represent you before a judge or jury.
- If your attorney determines that your case cannot be fairly settled, he is equipped to represent you through a litigation process.
But, you must take the first step by calling the Bulluck Law Group today to schedule your free consultation. The longer you delay, the more you risk the chance of not filing your claim within the time limitations.
To learn more about car accidents, read our A Comprehensive Guide for Car Accident Victims.