Following a car accident in Florida, injured drivers and passengers could be facing significant expenses, including necessary medical fees, lost wages while recovering, and auto repairs. Florida is a no-fault state, so regardless of who was responsible for the car accident, you’ll need to file an accident claim with your insurance provider. For Florida drivers who are fortunate enough to not have needed to file a claim before (or only have ever filed minor property damage claims in the past), most assume it will be a pretty straightforward process.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Serious accidents represent a claim with a significant price point for insurance companies and the reality is that these are businesses that will look to save money however they can. The purpose of this post is to provide some insights into insurance company tactics that may be used when responding to a car accident claim in Florida.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

At Herman & Wells, our personal injury attorneys are often contacted by people after they have filed their accident claim and are upset or frustrated with how things have proceeded. Some people end up in such a desperate situation that they are willing to accept any settlement offer their insurance provider makes. Most people in Florida need a working vehicle and the fee from just an ambulance ride and ER visit for your injuries could be over $10,000.  We want to share these insights in hopes of showing more Floridians that they don’t need to settle for less, that they have other resources available to them.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    In a no-fault state like Florida, your medical expenses and lost wages should be covered by your insurance company.
  • 2
    To file a car accident claim in Florida, contact your insurance provider and fill out a police report.
  • 3
    Insurance adjusters will consider actual expenses incurred, pain and suffering, policy limits, strength of the case, and more when determining the value of a claim.
  • 4
    If your claim is denied or underpaid, you can appeal the decision or sue.
  • 5
    Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you need help navigating the claims process.

Whether you’ve just been in an accident or you’re currently contending with your insurance provider, consider calling an experienced personal injury lawyer like Clifford Wells. Herman & Wells offers a free initial consultation for exactly this scenario. While this post covers the basics of the insurance claims process and insights into how insurance companies may respond to these claims, it doesn’t compare to what you can learn from talking to an expert like Cliff.

You can call our firm directly at (727) 821-3195 to get connected with an attorney or use our online form to request a free initial consultation at your earliest convenience.

Insurance Claims Process Basics in a No-Fault State

First, you must understand how the claims process in your area works. In most states, the insurance company that insured the person who is primarily responsible for the accident pays the damages, even though this is not always the case. Florida is a no-fault state. This means you would be covered by your own insurance company for all or a part of your medical bills and lost wages if you were to get into a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. In a no-fault state, the law is applied differently. Depending on the state, insurance companies may be limited to the amount of damages they will pay. Pain and suffering claims in no-fault states are usually not allowed unless a person’s medical damages reach a certain level or they suffer a serious injury.

In a no-fault state like Florida, your medical expenses and lost wages should be dealt with by your own insurance company. In any case, property damage claims are the responsibility of the company that insures the primary negligent party. When you live in a no-fault state, you are usually required to cooperate with your insurance company, which can include providing a recorded statement or being examined by a medical examiner to determine the nature of your injuries.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Florida

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Report the accident to your agent or insurer as soon as possible. You will need to provide the following information:

  • The covered vehicle involved in the accident
  • The person who drove
  • The location and time of the accident
  • The nature of the accident and the extent of the damage
  • Information about the other driver, including their name and insurance information
  • Persons involved in the accident and witnesses’ names and contact information

Keep track of the claim number you receive, as well as the name and direct phone number of the person you speak with.

Fill Out a Police Report

A police report number will be requested by your insurance company. It is still possible to file a report at a police station even if a police report was not obtained at the scene.

Wait for the Insurance Adjuster

Your claim will be handled by an adjuster assigned by the insurance company. You will probably be contacted by the adjuster for additional information. Keep your descriptions factual and do not speculate. Provide any photographs and contact information for any witnesses that you may have taken on the scene.

You should be aware that the conversation will be recorded and used to determine who is at fault. You may want to get in touch with an attorney before contacting the other driver’s insurance company if you are filing a personal injury claim.

An adjuster gathers information about the accident and i