Regardless of circumstances, being involved in a car accident can be both physically and emotionally traumatic. However, having to deal with one's insurance carrier can make the process even more difficult to bear. While insurance companies promise all sorts of benefits and perks (and collectively spend billions in persuasive advertising to induce you to choose their specific brand), our Miami personal Injury lawyers have learned through many years of litigation that insurers will do anything to make a profit and protect their financial interests at all costs. In essence, what you see and are promised are not usually what you get.
As such, knowing what insurance companies may do and also, how to proactively prevent issues is the key to success. Accordingly, consider the following ways that an insurance company may respond to your car accident claim:
• Insurance companies are notorious for finding any little thing to deny you compensation for your injuries.
• Insurance companies also commonly try to deny that the damage to your car and/or your person was caused by your car accident. Your carrier may also try to argue that you, not the other driver, was at fault for the collision and therefore, not their responsibility to provide you with compensation. Additionally, insurance companies also try and prove that your injuries were not the result of the accident but rather, were pre-existing and therefore not subject to compensation.
• Since insurance companies often seek to place blame on the injured party for their accident, they will do whatever it takes to reduce the amount that you are otherwise entitled to. For instance, in Florida, which is a pure comparative negligence state, the amount of money potentially awarded to an injured person may be reduced by one's own level of fault. Specifically, if the injured party is responsible for 30% of the accident, he or she will receive a $30,000 reduction in compensation out of a hypothetical total of $100,000 in damages.
• An insurance company, if able to prove that you received compensation elsewhere (such as through another insurer, etc.), will most likely deny you coverage.
Given the aforementioned, it is essential that you take certain proactive steps to protect yourself in the event that you are involved in a car accident in Florida. These are as follows:
• Review your insurance policy - don't ignore the fine print in your contract and be sure to ask your insurance agent about how car accident claims are handled within their company. You can also ask them for written information regarding same, if possible. Also, call our office and set up a free policy review appointment. Think of it as "preventative maintenance" that will protect you and your loved ones in case something happens.
• Don't get sucked in by the "puffery" - insurance companies spend millions of dollars in creative and persuasive advertising however, they are not always as warm, friendly and willing to pay out as they claim. Be sure to choose a policy based upon what they really have to offer as opposed to what they advertise. For example, many agents tell you that you don't need Uninsured Motorist Coverage.....WRONG! Nothing can be further from the truth!
• Keep accurate records - make sure that your police reports, medical records, damage estimates, and personal notes recounting the facts underlying the accident are detailed and accurate. Your insurance company will most likely ask you for the aforementioned, so be prepared to respond with reliable information. Photos and videos help a lot.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Florida, please contact us at 1-888-499-9700 or 305-595-2400 for a FREE Consultation. Our Miami Personal Injury Attorneys are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service. Let the highly skilled lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano ease your burdens and fight for the money you deserve. We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.