If the accident was your fault then your insurance is your only option for payment. If you have no collision coverage and the accident was your fault, no one pays for your damages. If the other driver is responsible you can use their insurance. If you have collision coverage, you can use your own or choose to use the other person’s insurance.
Florida Statute section 626.9743 does not require insurance companies to guarantee repairs. They are also not responsible for delays in repairs being completed. But if the insurance company chooses the repair shop, they will usually approve any necessary repairs beyond those originally authorized.
Florida Statute section 319.30(3)(a)1 states that if the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates the cost of repairing car damage to be equal to 80% of the cost to purchase the vehicle, it shall be declared un-rebuildable. Yet, if an insurance company and the car’s owner agree to repair, instead of replace the car, and if the actual costs to repair are more than 100% of the price to replace the damaged car, the car’s owner must inform the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles immediately and request the new title state it is a “Total Loss Vehicle.”
There is no law in Florida that says you must report accidents to your insurance company. All automobile insurance policies require that you report an accident immediately. If the accident does not get reported in a timely fashion you violate the terms of your insurance policy and run the risk of voiding your insurance for that accident. So, yes, you have a contractual obligation to report a loss.
Under Florida law, insurance companies generally have to respond to a claim within fourteen (14) days. Thereafter, they have ninety (90) days within which to either pay or deny a claim.
The insurance company may cancel your policy, however, when it does so, any unearned premium must be returned to the insured within fifteen (15) days after the date the policy was cancelled.
Your cooperation with your insurance company is very important. Most insurers require their policyholders to report accidents soon after they occur. Be sure to limit your statement to basic facts and not as to fault. Prior to making any additional statements, hire an experienced attorney like PETION LAW, providing you with a free consultation.
It is fairly common for an insurance company to deny liability for an accident as disputing liability is the simplest way for an insurance company to avoid paying out a claim. When this occurs, it becomes your job to prove liability. There are a number of ways to do this and a skilled Florida car accident attorney like PETION LAW can help you understand your options and devise a plan of legal action.
The insurance company for the vehicle that caused the accident will try and contact you to take your statement. There is no legal obligation for you to provide such a statement. In fact, there is nothing for you to gain by giving a statement, without the benefit of having your attorney present. Promises made by insurance companies that they are there to help you, are usually insincere. Insurance companies have only one goal in taking your statement, to lock you into a story which benefits their insured.
Not always. For insurance purposes, most initial decisions on who should pay for the damages go to the person ticketed. This is simply done because the insurance company was not there to witness the accident and will initially rely on the officer or deputy’s decision. A ticket cannot be used as evidence in the courtroom to show fault to either party. Most cases involve a shared level of fault on both parties.
It’s wise to seek the help of an experienced Attorney soon after the incident. The sooner you hire an attorney, the quicker they’ll be able to begin gathering evidence, including witness testimony and relevant medical paperwork. An attorney can also help you with obtaining proper medical treatment, dealing with unpaid medical bills, and assessing whether your insurance company offered a fair settlement. If you believe your insurer is acting in bad faith or has denied your claim unjustly, it’s more important than ever to seek the assistance of a practiced attorney. PETION LAW has experienced attorneys, eager to work for you and protect your legal rights. Call now for a free consultation.
An under-insured/uninsured motorist claim is equivalent to a bodily injury claim, but it is brought against your own insurance company. This is done when the at-fault party does not carry any applicable insurance, or more commonly does not have enough to cover your injuries.
Fault, damage and available coverage factor into the worth of your bodily claim. Even if you have suffered major injuries, a bodily injury claim has a value of zero if there is no fault. For limited coverage, value can be weakened to the available coverage despite drastic injuries. The greater the injury and the clearer the fault make the best value for your case.
A bodily injury claim is a claim for pain and suffering following an accident. If an accident is determined to be your fault, then you have no claim. If the other party is completely or mostly to blame you can bring a claim against them when you have suffered a permanent injury. Permanent injuries can be anything from fractures, bad scars, any injury that requires surgery and even some soft tissue injuries such as back and neck herniated disks, bulges, and shoulder and leg sprains, provided a qualified doctor can testify as to the percentage of permanency.
Payment of your medical expenses would depend on varies factors such as the type of insurance
you have or the type of insurance the at-fault party has. Under Florida law, anyone who owns a
vehicle must have auto insurance. This auto insurance policy is required to have Personal Injury
Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers payments no matter who was at fault which is why it is
also called “No-Fault: Coverage.” PIP covers 80% of your medical expenses up to the PIP limit,
the minimum being $10,000, and 60% of lost wages. Travel expenses to and from the doctor can
sometimes be covered as well as any other expenses related to the accident. If your medical
expenses are in excess of the PIP coverage, and you are not at fault, you may have a claim
against the at-fault party for the unpaid excess.
When pursuing a claim against the at-fault party, note that their insurance company will often
dispute liability. If the auto insurance company argues your injuries, disputes liability, or causes
another issue that makes it difficult to receive fair compensation for your unexpected medical
bills, PETION LAW can help you take legal action.
After a car accident, here are some Important Steps to Take Immediately:
- STOP: Florida law requires you to stop at the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene
may expose you to criminal charges.
- PROTECT THE SCENE: Leave cars where they came to rest unless they are blocking
traffic and take note of the vehicles' locations before moving them.
- CALL THE POLICE: Cooperate with the investigation officer and speak only to the
officer concerning the facts.
- GET MEDICAL ATTENTION: Cooperate with emergency medical personnel and go
to the hospital in an ambulance.
- EXCHANGE INFORMATION with the other driver including names addresses, VIN
#s, and insurance.
- DO NOT COMMENT or make statements to the other driver concerning the cause of
- OBTAIN INFORMATION: Make notes of any statements made by the other driver
concerning the cause of the collision.
- TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS of the vehicles: Always keep a disposable camera in your
glove compartment or any other camera device. It’s also a good idea to document any
damage, injuries, skid marks, or road obstructions by taking photos.
- OBSERVE whether the driver appears to be intoxicated, if so, report it to the police
officer and insist that the other driver be given a breath test.
- SEE A DOCTOR. Serious injuries do not always show immediate symptoms. It would
be wise to have a doctor examine you as soon as possible.
- DO NOT EVER give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company.
- DO NOT SIGN any release from the other driver's insurance company without first
seeking the advice of an attorney.
- DO NOT ALLOW anyone to rush you into a settlement. You may be entitled to
significantly more. By consulting a lawyer, you will safeguard your own legal rights.
- REPORT the accident to your own insurance company.
- If your were injured, SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY. Tell your
treating physician all of your physical symptoms and complaints and follow the doctor's
- GATHER all the documents related to the accident in one place or file. These may be
used as evidence.
- For a free consultation, CONTACT PETION LAW; staffed with qualified personal
injury attorneys who will protect your legal rights.
Get well and Protect your Legal Rights!