The Sunshine State is one of the few states in the US that follows a no-fault rule. If you are ever involved in a car accident in Florida, you are required to seek financial assistance from your insurance company instead of directly filing a lawsuit against the other driver for damages. You cannot file a lawsuit from the get-go, but you will need to speak to your insurance company about seeking compensation for the losses that you have suffered in the accident.
If you are new to Florida or fortunate enough never to have been involved in a car accident here, you might not be aware of the process that follows in the aftermath of a car crash here.
Informing your insurance company about the accident is one of the first things you should do after a Florida car accident. However, talking to your insurance company’s representatives is not the same as talking to your medical care provider after an accident.
When you talk to your doctor after the accident, you must give them all the necessary details you can remember so they get the most help possible in providing you with the utmost care. But you must be careful with what you say to your insurance company. Unlike your doctor, your insurance company might not always have your best interest at heart (no matter how much they might make it appear so).
We do not mean to say that you should not lie to your insurance adjuster when discussing the accident. However, it does not mean you have to tell them everything. You may have to reserve discussing a few details and practice caution with how you phrase specific details surrounding the accident.
Ideally, you should contact Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers and have them handle negotiations with your insurance adjuster. However, you should know what you should or shouldn’t say to your insurance adjuster beforehand. Today’s post will discuss how to navigate the situation after being involved in a Fort Lauderdale auto accident.
Florida has a comparative negligence rule, and every motorist is required to carry at least a certain amount in insurance coverage. Before you can qualify to file any third-party lawsuit, you have to file a claim with your insurance company after being involved in a car wreck in Fort Lauderdale.
All drivers in Florida must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and property damage liability. If another driver hits your car and you require help in paying the medical expenses due to the injuries you suffered, you will need to call your insurance adjuster and discuss your personal injury protection coverage with them.
Your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to investigate your accident after you inform them of the accident. The insurance adjuster will investigate your claim to determine how much the insurance company should be liable to pay in damages. They may examine several details surrounding your accident, including documentation of the accident, any police reports, your medical records, and witness statements.
Insurance adjusters typically take around a month to investigate auto insurance claims. Once the investigation is complete, the insurance company will offer you a settlement, which is likely going to be lower than your $10,000 coverage. You may need to consult with Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers if the settlement offer does not provide you with adequate coverage for the losses you incurred due to the accident.
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If you have never filed a claim with your insurance company before, you should know that there are a few things you should never say to your insurance company’s representatives. Insurance adjusters will actively look for mistakes on your end when discussing your accident with them so they have reasons to devalue the settlement offer or outright reject your claim.
Insurance adjusters are excellent negotiators who can make you believe that they have your best interest at heart. By making it appear that they are the ones who want to help you become financially whole again after such a traumatic incident, they seize any opportunity to minimize their liability.
A few of the things you should absolutely avoid saying to your insurance adjuster when discussing your accident include:
- “I feel” or, “I think” statements
- “I am sorry” or any statement that implies you were at fault
- Telling them that you are not hurt or feel fine if they ask about your injuries
- Any names or recorded statements
- Any unnecessary details surrounding the accident
While it is not always the case, some of these phrases can damage the validity of your claim without you realizing what you have done. If you ever say anything like you should have paid closer attention to the road or say sorry to the other driver, it automatically implies guilt. The insurance adjuster might not make a big deal of it there and then, but they will use that statement, twist it, and make it appear to be your admission of guilt.
Opinionated phrases can also be used against you. If you feel unsure about the answer to a certain question they ask, you should tell them you don’t know instead of guessing or giving an opinion because that can be twisted against you.
Additionally, you should never give names or recorded statements from witnesses who saw the accident to your insurance adjuster. The insurance company representative might try contacting these people to get additional information surrounding the accident to use against your claim without your knowledge. Similarly, you should avoid sharing any unnecessary details and stick to giving the most basic facts about the accident. You never know when you might share something you were not supposed to and weaken your claim.
Dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident is challenging. If you were injured, the recovery itself can be overwhelming. Filing a strong claim with your insurance company can ensure that you can at least become financially whole again after the accident. Making a strong claim to receive a settlement offer that adequately covers your damages may require additional help.
Experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can help you navigate Florida’s complex legal system and negotiate with your insurance adjuster for a better outcome in your Fort Lauderdale auto accident case. Consider contacting lawyers to get in touch with their auto accident lawyers for assistance in dealing with your insurance company and possibly filing a lawsuit to seek compensation.