When you have been injured in a car in Florida your life changes immediately. Instead of going to work, school, or spending time with your family, you are now forced to deal with answering questions like:
• Who is going to fix my car?
• Where am I going to get medical treatment?
• Who is going to repair the damage to my car?
• How am I going to pay the doctor bills?
• If I miss time from work, who is going to pay me, so I can pay my bills?
As a Florida car accident lawyer at the Cressman Law Firm, my office has been helping hundreds of Florida car accident victims just like. My office has answered these questions and many others for over 20 years. In this time, it has become clear that thousands of people in Florida, in your exact situation, would be better able to make decisions about their situation following a car accident, if only they had quick access to information about how insurance coverage and automobile accidents interact with each in Florida.
• You need to know your rights when it comes to filing insurance claims against the driver and the insurance company for the person who may have hit you and caused the accident.
• At the same time, you should also be aware of your rights if you were involved in the automobile accident and you caused the accident.
I have written this series of articles to help guide not only my clients, but the general public, and answering some of these questions that may come up following an on a mobile accident. However, this is a general guide and should not be used a substitute for legal advice. If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida and want specific questions to specific answers about YOUR legal rights, you should contact an experienced Greater Orlando Car Accident Lawyer right away.
Let’s read on …
It is very important that individuals be fully aware of their rights and obligations, whether they have been injured or not, due to the negligence of another in an automobile accident. Please keep in mind however that as you are reading this, the insurance company for the other driver has already put together a team of adjusters, claims representatives, and attorneys, all working to protect the interest of the insurance companies.
It is the insurance company adjuster’s job to pay you as little as little as possible for your claim. They will use every tactic they can find to diminish the amount of money that they may finally pay you, if they offer to pay you anything at all. Remember this; individuals who purchase insurance do not pay the exact amount in premiums for the amount of exact amount of their policy limits. In other words people do not pay $10,000.00 every six (6) months in premiums to have $10,000.00 of coverage to protect them if they are involved in a Florida car accident – just as I am certain you did not pay $10,000.00 in premiums to have $10,000.00 worth of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
If every insurance company paid out the full policy limits in every car accident in Florida, all of the insurance companies would go out of business. That is why they are trying to pay you as little as they possibly can – to keep more money in the pocket of the insurance company and their executives. In some instances, insurance companies have paid bonuses to adjusters who have been able to settle cases by paying out very nominal amounts when they should have paid out more money to an injured person.
Hopefully, with the information presented in this series of articles, you will be able to better protect your rights and decide whether you need to hire an attorney to represent you and handle your automobile accident claim or not. You may think to yourself “Why are you telling me this?” “Don’t you want me to hire your firm?”
The truth of the matter is there are over 200,000 traffic accidents which occur on the roadways of Florida every year. That is about 625 car accidents per day across the State of Florida. In Central Florida, in and around the greater metro Orlando area in counties such as Orange, Lake, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard and Volusia counties there are over 37,000 accidents annually. So, as you can see, there are plenty of accidents occurring every day/every year.
Not everyone is going to want to deal with the unpleasant insurance adjusters, the endless paperwork, keeping track of doctor visits and bills owed, etc. For those that wish to try and handle their own case, they should be educated. This way they will at least be on some solid footing when they call State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, or what other insurance company may be involved in the claim and at least know their rights.
To be absolutely clear, you should understand not that not every car accident will require that a person hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent them. In many cases, you do not need an attorney to represent you; especially if nobody was injured in the accident. Not every car accident involves an injury. Most do – but not every accident. Drivers involved in parking lot fender benders; single car accidents, with no injuries, and striking a fixed object while driving such as guardrail, pole, etc., may not need the services of an attorney. In other cases, you may need an attorney and in others, you probably should get an attorney BEFORE you call the insurance companies.
However, you should understand that those individuals, who represent themselves, are known as pro se parties. These drivers are often at a great disadvantage when dealing with the insurance company. The insurance company figures these pro se parties have no intention to file suit or proceed against the insurance companies or at fault drivers. The insurance adjusters will also talk directly with them and will use their own words against them in an effort to pay out as little as possible, if at all, for the compensation an injured party deserves as a result of the automobile collision-which was not their fault.
Stay tuned for more as we begin to explore the pitfalls, insurance questions, and working of a Greater Orlando and Florida car accident case involving personal injuries and the rights of those injured in car accidents in this State.