How To Navigate Insurance Claims After a Vehicle Accident in Florida

An automobile accident can be a highly debilitating incident. But the source of pain doesn’t end there; victims must engage with the legal system to process insurance claims. Florida, in particular, records around 400,000 vehicle accidents annually. Hence, state residents must be equipped with information about the nuances of the claims process.

Although not all accidents that happen cause injuries or property damage, those that do need a remedy. After an accident, you should file a claim with the insurance company to receive compensation. Personal injury law in Florida can be quite complex. It is, therefore, crucial to understand the process of filing a claim after a vehicle accident in this state. You should seek legal help from a reputable Florida personal injury law firm to help you with the insurance claims process.

Things to Do After An Accident

What you do immediately after an accident is crucial to your insurance claim. Here are the main steps you should take when filing an insurance claim after a vehicle accident in Florida:

Stop Your Car and Call for Emergency Help

According to Florida law, you must remain at the accident scene if you are one of the parties involved. Pull over to a safe distance, then call for emergency help if anyone is severely injured.

Seek Medical Help

It is vital to get professional medical help even if you have no visible injuries. Internal injuries are hard to diagnose and can become severe if left untreated. A doctor will determine whether you have internal injuries, treat them properly, and provide a medical report. This report is vital during the claim process.

Report the Vehicle Accident

If you have called for emergency help, chances are that police are on their way to the accident scene. Reporting the accident to law enforcement is important, especially if you wish to file an insurance claim. A police report is one of the documents used as evidence in insurance claims.

Gather Information and Evidence at the Scene

It is challenging to deal with insurance agents. Gathering relevant information at the accident scene can help your insurance claim run smoothly. Note down the name and address of the other driver and their insurance information. Additionally, ask for a copy of the police and medical reports. You can also take pictures and videos of the accident scene with your phone.

Notify your Insurer

Most insurance providers require you to inform them within hours after the accident has occurred. A rule of thumb is to notify them as quickly as possible. You must provide your insurer with information on the accident and any documents or evidence to support your claims.

Insurance Claims in Florida

Florida is among the states that require drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Specifically, the PIP covers up to $10,000 for your medical expenses in the event of a vehicle accident, regardless of whether or not you were the at-fault driver. In addition to that, the law also requires you to purchase a Property Damage Liability (PDL) policy of at least $10,000.

Apart from medical expenses, a plaintiff can recover damages like repair costs, pain, suffering damages, and lost wages if they take time off work due to injuries. To receive compensation for damages, however, you need to document the damages you incurred and include them as part of your insurance claim.
After a vehicle accident in Florida, state laws require you to seek compensation from your insurer. This applies to both drivers involved in the accident, whether or not you are at fault. Nevertheless, just because you have to seek help from your insurance company doesn’t mean you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you suffer property damage in a vehicle accident, you can go after the at-fault party directly without going through your insurer first.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

As a Florida vehicle accident victim, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party (or parties). This means you don’t have to try to recover compensation for your injuries and damages from your insurance company first. This is especially common if your insurer denies you a settlement for damages that exceed your policy allowance.

Statute of Limitations

Personal injury law is different depending on the state. Florida law, in particular, imposes a four-year statute of limitations. As such, you must file insurance claims four years after the accident. You lose your right to claim compensation if the time expires before you can file a claim.

Final Thoughts

Vehicle accidents in Florida are unpredictable. However, to understand the rules surrounding Florida insurance claims about personal injury and get proper compensation, it is advisable to consult a lawyer in Florida. 

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Posted - 05/15/2023