Do I Accept the Insurance Offer Without Speaking to an Attorney?
If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida and the insurance company completed its investigation and made an offer to settle, should you accept their injury settlement? The truth is that the insurance company doesn’t like paying personal injury claims for their real value. If you receive a settlement offer, contact a Florida car accident attorney to review the offer before accepting.
What Happens After an Accident?
After a car accident, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning your personal injury protection insurance covers the initial medical costs.
An insurance adjuster from your insurance provider will complete an investigation, inspecting the accident scene, damage to both vehicles, and medical records and treatment procedures. At the same time, the negligent driver’s insurance company will also investigate the accident.
Both insurance adjusters will use the police report, witness statements, and any additional evidence they can find to try to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident so they can make lowball injury settlement offers. Their evidence may include statements you make when answering your adjuster’s questions.
Never agree to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company. Even your insurance provider is trying to reduce the value of an injury settlement. Contacting an experienced Florida car accident attorney right after an accident can help you get a better offer for a settlement.
How Attorneys Help Clients with Personal Injury Claims
What do attorneys do to help clients with their personal injury claims? Many believe an attorney can only help clients looking to file a lawsuit. However, many attorneys can provide additional services to assist clients with their insurance claims before filing suit in court.
After an accident, your attorney can:
- Speak with the insurance adjuster on your behalf
- Gather evidence to prove negligence by the other driver
- Estimate fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and intangible losses
- Determine whether any other parties may share in liability for the accident
Ideally, you would hire an attorney right after the accident so that when you notify your insurance company about the incident, you can tell them to direct all additional questions to your attorney. Dealing with the insurance company yourself can lead to unintentional incrimination for shared fault in your accident if the adjuster misinterprets your statements.
If you still can’t reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, or if your injuries exceed your coverage, you may need to file suit against the negligent driver to recover appropriate compensation.
Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Party in Litigation
Your attorney can ensure that you begin the litigation process within Florida’s statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the accident. You can pursue economic damages for tangible losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity. You can also pursue non-economic damages for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or disfigurement.
The plaintiff bears the burden of proof to present evidence of negligence. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary in the event the other driver broke Florida traffic laws or was otherwise negligent in their actions to cause the accident.
Car Accident in South Florida? Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you receive a settlement offer, contact a South Florida car accident attorney with our firm at Lyons & Snyder. Call us today at 954-627-1779 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Plantation, Delray Beach, or Key West, FL.