How to Deal with Car Insurance After an Accident
When you are in a car accident are you putting your faith with the insurance company? The insurance company is betting against you each and every month. Their goal is to make money and that is the bottom line. No matter what their slogan is. The priority for them is to make a profit and keep the losses to a minimum. Remember, insurance companies are in the risk business and they don’t lose.
Florida is a no fault state as it relates to car liability insurance. The insurance most people carry is Personal Injury protection (PIP) for $10,000 is the minimum under Florida Statute § 627.736. This covers injuries that where caused by the accident no matter who is at fault, but does not cover any damage. In an accident where someone has been hurt you will be dealing with an insurance company.
Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when dealing with your insurance company:
The first estimate that the insurance company gives you. You should turn it down. They will try to have you accept the estimate from their adjuster which tends to be slightly lower. An example if this was a client was offered $30 to replace a radio. When questioned the insurance company said it was used and upon further questioning they admitted that the radio that the got the quote for did not work. Make sure that you stand up for your rights and if needed consult an attorney to seek assistance in defending your rights.
Don’t sign any releases or waivers of any kind until you obtain legal advice. A bad financial situation after a major loss may make it seem necessary for you to accept a premature, inadequate settlement from your insurer. But you may remember something that was lost in the accident after you have signed a release as to payment for your personal property inventory or other claims. For these reasons, it is advisable to consult an attorney before signing a release or waiver. Be sure to read the fine print on any payment from the insurance company.
It is not advisable to give any recorded or written statements to your insurer until you are sure you understand your coverage. Remember you are not required to allow the insurance company to record your telephone conversation. If you have doubts, do consult an attorney.
Understand the difference between replacement coverage and depreciated or actual cash value. If your policy provides replacement coverage, don’t settle a personal property loss for “actual cash value.” You may be required to replace the lost items before getting your full reimbursement if you have replacement cost coverage.
Be careful when accept any check that says “final payment” unless you are ready to do so. By accepting and cashing this check you are accepting that this is your final payment. You will not be entitled to further claims for this accident.
Be mindful of time limit set forth by your policy. May policies have a set time frame of when you are allowed to claim losses? Be sure you comply with this requirement unless you obtain a written waiver from your insurance company. Most insurance companies have policies that have you being limited to one calendar year from the date of the accident in which to bring a legal action if your claim has not been adjusted fairly. If your case is getting closet the time limits of policy you should consult an attorney. A failure to do so could result in the loss of your right to sue.
Take pictures, if possible, of damage to your vehicle, the accident scene, and your injuries. Make sure to do this at the scene right after the accident if you are able to do so. If you are unable to take pictures have a family member or a friend take them for you.
Take and keep detailed notes of all conversations with insurance company representatives, and get names, phone numbers, and job titles of people you speak with, including their supervisor’s name. The dated and time of these conversations should also be noted. The more accurate your recoded keeping the smother the prices will go for you.
Things to remember if the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds 80% of its cash value, it is declared a total loss. If the cost of repair is less than 80% of the cash value of the vehicle, you are entitled to the cost of repair, plus downtime. Downtime on a drivable vehicle is reasonable rental value for the time it reasonably takes to make repairs. Downtime on a non-drivable vehicle is reasonable rental value from the date of accident until repairs are completed. Also, you can only get downtime from your own insurance company if you purchased coverage for a rental vehicle. In downtime claims against your own insurance company, you are reimbursed, up to your policy limits, for the cost of a vehicle you have rented.
Your insurance company will not select a doctor for you. You have the right to go to any licensed doctor in your state. Does not delay in seeking medical assistance for any injury that you have sustained do to a car accident? The state law states that you have fourteen day to seek medical treatment after your accident. Injuries do not always shows at the first moments after the accident.
Don’t forget that you have a contract with your insurer. Your insurer has a legal obligation to provide the coverage it promised to you. Be insistent about enforcing that obligation.
In some cases, you might consider bringing in the counsel of an attorney who specializes in accident claims. They may be able to expedite the process. Frankly, the best way to handle an insurance company is to hire a qualified attorney.
Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez
Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Martin Hernandez PA are bilingual as well. Just call us at 813.755.9500 for your free consultation.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.
If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.
Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813.755.9500 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com
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