Insurance disputes after car accidents
Every minute you spend in a car or a truck increases the likelihood of coming across someone else who is not paying attention, who is driving too fast, driving while tired, while on the phone, while texting, while intoxicated, or while focusing anything other than the road. There are approximately five million motor vehicle accidents every year in America. About forty thousand result in fatalities.
The fact is that more people under 34 years of age die in automobile collisions than by any other means. The insurance industry pours a tremendous amount of money and time into fighting the claims arising out automobile collisions. They extensively train every one of their adjusters how to try to get you to settle for the least amount possible.
Why it is so important to seek legal help immediately after a car accident in Florida
We urge you to call our personal injury law firm right away after a car accident. Our team of legal experts can often retrieve pivotal evidence that won't be available later. Recently, we were able to get footage from a local pawn shops’ security cameras that showed a crash that happened out front. During litigation, we were able to get the defendant to swear to his version of the crash (which was a lie) and we were able to prove it. The case settled shortly afterward for many times what the offer was without. We would never have been able to do that if the client hadn’t called us within days after the crash because the pawn shop only kept security video for 15 days.
Your legal team will also need to speak with witnesses as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys will try to obtain recordings when possible. It is not uncommon for people to not only forget details about the crash, but sometimes they'll also forget speaking with anyone until we let them listen to their own recording.
What to do if you are in a car accident
In most Florida counties, it's estimated that a person will be involved in a car crash of some kind ever 7-9 years. This is why it's so important to know exactly what do afterwards.
Immediately after the collision, before you speak to anyone, call the police to assist the car insurance claim process. Call paramedics if there could possibly be an injury. It is important that the police report be as accurate as possible (even if it is not admitted into evidence). Often, what seems like very friendly people who cause a crash will blame you the following day when they speak to the insurance carriers and there are no witnesses or photographs of the scene to rebut them. If a ticket was issued following the car accident, it can impact the resulting personal injury case.
If your phone has a camera, photograph the scene prior to moving the vehicles. People involved in accidents will often disagree on how the cars were situated prior to collision. Obtain contact information of all witnesses before they leave. If you cannot get to them, take pictures of their license plates. We may be able to find them before they forget what they saw.
An insurance adjuster will probably try to get a recorded statement of you before you get an attorney. It is always best to speak to a personal injury attorney prior to talking to an insurance adjuster.
Dealing with auto accident injuries
If you suspect that you were injured during the car accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. After this level of trauma, the body often goes into shock and releases endorphins which will mask the pain of an injury. You may notice that your fingers are shaking a little and your heart rate is elevated due to this fight or flight reaction.
Serious neck, back, shoulder or knee injuries which will require surgical intervention may only present with stiffness, a burning sensation, or a headache the day of the crash. Let your doctor know about all your symptoms and that you may be in shock. He or she will know what to do.
In addition, if you delay in treatment will lead the insurance company and their attorneys to argue that it was not the collision that caused your injury.
It is imperative that you find a Florida personal injury attorney who knows how to handle automobile accident claims and has the professionalism to meet with you one on one in order to work up your case properly. If you have been in an automobile collision, a consultation with us is free. You will owe nothing unless we recover for you.
Who will pay for your medical bills afterwards?
In Florida, everyone is required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on their automobile insurance policy. This will usually provide a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. PIP is meant to cover up to 80% of the resulting medical care expenses regardless of who was at fault. The issue far too many people end up facing is that insurance carriers often refuse to pay it all. Even when they do, there's still 20% left over that you are responsible for if you do not make a claim against the at-fault driver’s Bodily Injury (BI) coverage. The PIP coverage for medical care goes straight to the medical facilities. You can claim some of that PIP coverage for some of your lost wages as well, but it only covers 60% of those damages.
Your claim against the other driver’s BI coverage could cover medical care for the rest of your life as well as:
- All lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Injury, pain and suffering
- Disability or physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life
Have you lost someone in a car accident in Florida?
According to the CDC there were more than 32,000 crash deaths in the US in 2013 and about half of drivers or passengers who died in crashes in the US weren’t buckled up. Speeding contributed to more than 9,500 crash deaths. Drunk driving contributed to more than 10,000 crash deaths.
Here are some statistics about vehicle crash deaths that do not touch on the pain this loss has inflicted on you:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the 32,000 crash deaths in the U.S. cost more than $380 million in medical costs.
- 17% of car crash deaths involved occupants of the vehicles.
- 20% of the vehicle deaths involve motorcyclists.
- 19% involved pedestrians.
- 5% involved cyclists.
- As far as how vehicle deaths breakdown by age, 4% of vehicle deaths involved older adults, 3% involved children, teens account for 8%, young adults were 45% and adults were 40%.
If you have had a loved one die in a vehicle crash, it will be covered by a combination of laws relating to car crashes, but it will also be covered by the laws involving wrongful death damages. Call our personal injury law firm today and speak to one of our experienced attorneys for free.