Do I Need a Lawyer for a Florida Car Crash That Wasn’t My Fault?
After a car accident in Florida, you have the right to a lawyer. You aren’t required to hire one, but it’s not advisable to deal with insurance companies and navigate the legal system on your own — even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
An experienced Florida car accident lawyer can strengthen your claim and greatly increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
Your Insurance Coverage May Be Insufficient
The state of Florida requires all drivers to buy personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In the event of an accident, you must turn to your own coverage first, regardless of who was at fault. The minimum required coverage is $10,000. PIP will cover:
- Up to 80% of necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to your car accident injuries (up to your coverage limit)
- Up to 60% of your lost past wages and future earnings (up to your coverage limit)
To be eligible for insurance coverage, you must seek initial treatment no later than 14 days after the accident. If you don’t seek treatment within this period, or your coverage limit isn’t sufficient to cover your medical expenses in full, you may need to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance.
An experienced Florida car accident lawyer can guide you through this complex web of rules and ensure that you don’t make potentially costly mistakes. They can also:
- Investigate the accident to build a convincing legal case
- Gather evidence, such as the police report and medical documentation
- Help you find medical providers who will accept PIP on personal injury cases.
- Prepare and file all necessary paperwork
- Negotiate with the insurers
- If necessary, take your case to court
Insurance Companies Aren’t Your Friends
Just because an accident wasn’t your fault doesn’t mean insurance carriers will treat you fairly. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses whose goal is to minimize your payout or avoid making one altogether, not pay you fair compensation.
As a consequence, insurance companies routinely use underhanded tactics such as:
- Failing to acknowledge your claim
- Stalling the claims process
- Undervaluing your claim
- Underpaying your claim
- Denying your legitimate claim
- Failing to disclose the full damages you can claim
- Trying to shift the blame on you
- Arguing that your injuries aren’t as serious as you make them out to be or that you had preexisting medical conditions
As you can’t expect insurance companies to play fair, it’s always recommended to hire legal representation. With an experienced lawyer fighting in your corner, the insurers are much less likely to resort to bad faith practices. You will almost always do better hiring a personal injury attorney – even accounting for our fees.
You Should Focus on Your Recovery
Even if a car accident doesn’t cause life-changing injuries, it’s always an upsetting event. You should take this time to focus on your physical and mental health instead of waging legal battles against the insurers and the other driver. Let your lawyer take care of the legal legwork while you focus on your recovery. Also, anything you say to the insurance companies can be used against you. Let us act as your advocate and intermediary.
Talk to an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Call Lyons & Snyder at 954-462-8035 or fill out our contact form to book a free consultation at one of our three South Florida offices.