As careful as we all are with our driving practices, being involved in an accident is an eventuality that everybody needs to be prepared for in their lives. Florida is one of 18 no-fault states. It means that all motorists in the Sunshine State have a certain set of regulations to follow if they are ever in a car wreck. One of the regulations is the requirement for all motorists in Florida to carry a specific type of insurance policy, commonly referred to as no-fault insurance.
Living in a no-fault state means that all the parties involved must seek their own insurance company’s assistance to recover damages for their medical bills whenever an accident occurs. It also means that Florida courts will find all parties sharing the blame for the accident. However, the blame is not assigned equally to all the parties – it is based on how much at fault each of the parties was in causing the accident.
The no-fault law was set in place to minimize the number of civil lawsuits filed by residents while providing adequate measures to protect the rights of people involved in accidents occurring in Florida.
Seeking Help From Your Insurance Company After An Accident
Florida’s no-fault rule requires you to seek assistance from your own insurance provider, but that does not mean you can rely on them to cover your losses adequately. Remember that no matter how much your insurance company appears to care for you, they are not your friend. You represent little more than another paying customer to them, and their business model cannot thrive if they pay all their clients generous amounts in settlements.
Insurance companies find clever methods to legally avoid paying you the entire amount you should rightfully get because their loyalty is to the business, not you. Insurance company adjusters are responsible for investigating the accident and evaluating how much they should pay out as part of your settlement claim. These expert negotiators tend to look for mistakes on your end to devalue your claim or outright reject it.
Insurance adjusters use your statements against you when you report the accident to them. Being careful about what you say to the officials when reporting the accident is crucial to ensuring that you do not give them reasons to minimize the payout you should receive.
Mistakes To Avoid With Your Insurance Company To Win Your Rightful Settlement Claim
Informing your insurance company is one of the first things you should do when you are able to after being involved in an accident. Here are some of the things you must avoid saying to your insurance company when telling them about the accident because the statements you make can make a massive difference in the outcome of your insurance claim. Working with qualified Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers can help you identify and avoid these mistakes from the get-go. Still, you should have an idea of what you should or shouldn’t say to your insurance company.
“I Am Alright”
Many people are in shock in the immediate aftermath of an accident, and you might not feel some of the injuries you suffered at that time. Many injuries after an accident are not obvious and may show symptoms days or even weeks later. Avoid making any statements like, “I feel fine” or “I did not get hurt” when you talk to your insurance company.
They can use these statements to devalue your claim or use it as grounds to reject your PIP coverage outright. You should wait to get a medical evaluation done and discuss the situation with your personal injury lawyer before talking to your insurance company about your injuries.
“I Caused The Accident”
Admitting fault after a car accident is a one-way ticket to getting a rejection for your insurance claim. Even if you think you were at fault for causing the crash, you should never tell your insurance company you feel this way – nor should you say anything like this to the other motorist involved or the authorities.
It is possible that the other driver was the one at fault as well. You do not know the condition the other driver was in. They might have been distracted, were breaking the law in some way, or had some issues with their vehicle that contributed to causing the accident. Avoid saying anything that implies guilt on your part to anyone for causing the accident.
“I Think …”
You might feel that saying something like “I think …” might make your statements to insurance companies safer in terms of being considered by them for use against your claim. Don’t tell them you think you were or weren’t injured. Instead, you should just tell them that you don’t know.
It is completely alright to answer “I don’t know” to questions that your insurance company’s representatives might ask. If you are unsure of something, you should tell them you don’t know the answer because any false information can devalue your claim and reduce the impact you can recover in the settlement.
“I Want To Give An Official Statement”
Your insurance company will likely request that you give them your official statement regarding the accident when you contact them to inform them that it occurred. The insurance company representative might even insist that you should do it right away ‘while your memory of the incident is still fresh.’
You are not legally required to give an official and recorded statement to them right away. Giving them an official statement without discussing what to say in it with your lawyer can benefit the insurance company’s efforts to devalue your claim.
“I Do Not Have A Lawyer”
Most people do not have lawyers on retainers. It is too expensive and impractical unless your nature of work requires working with a lawyer. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your insurance company after a Florida car accident is letting them know that you do not have a lawyer.
Insurance company representatives will try their best to use the fact that you do not have a lawyer to force you into accepting their initial settlement offers. When you do not have an attorney involved, insurance company officials have the opportunity to exploit your lack of legal experience to lowball you. They are expert negotiators, and they can convince you that their initial offer is the best you can expect out of the situation.
Instead of answering any questions about whether you have a lawyer when reporting the accident to them, you should immediately start looking for qualified Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers experienced in dealing with car accident cases.
An attorney can make a massive difference in your claim with the insurance company after a Florida car accident. They know all the tactics insurance companies use to exploit people and devalue their claims and how to counteract their efforts through expert negotiations to defend your right to full compensation for your injuries.
Consider contacting a lawyer immediately after an accident to work with their team and ensure that you do not have to settle for less than what you rightfully deserve.