If the Injured Party Was Partially at Fault, How Does That Impact a Personal Injury Case in Florida?
Florida is a no-fault state, so it really doesn’t matter who was at fault during the accident for the purposes of a personal injury case.
Should I Notify My Insurance Company of the Wreck and Any Injuries? Am I Responsible for Notifying the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?
Once you hire an attorney, your attorney should be the one communicating with both insurance companies, so I would recommend not speaking with either insurance company if you are represented by an attorney.
When Is the Right Time to Get an Attorney Involved? Should I Wait Until I Suspect I’m Going to Be Lowballed or Denied by the Insurance Company?
You want to hire an attorney as soon as possible. After you’re injured, you need to call 911 and seek medical care, and then immediately after that, call an attorney. The insurance companies won’t delay in trying to force you into a settlement, and there is a lot that can happen within the first 24 hours of an injury occurring. You want to make sure that you’re represented so that you have the best advice moving forward with your claim. In our opinion, it’s even more important to hire an attorney right away in a personal injury claim than it is in a property claim.
If the At-Fault Party Had Minimum or No Insurance Coverage, How Does That Impact My Personal Injury Case? Do I Have Any Chance of a Financial Recovery?
In the state of Florida, drivers don’t need to carry auto insurance, so there is a high chance that you might be hit by a driver who doesn’t have an insurance policy at all. This could very negatively affect your chances of financial recovery, especially if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage). UM coverage is for just this type of situation when you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance. Your own policy will take care of your injuries up to whatever the amount is that you have coverage for in the event of being hit by an uninsured driver.
UM coverage is not standard when you’re getting insurance; you have to choose additional coverage and then be willing to pay more in premiums. If you don’t opt to get the additional insurance coverage, you’re waiving the uninsured motorist coverage, which is something important to be aware of when you’re signing up for an insurance plan. I recommend making sure you have UM coverage in Florida to protect you in this type of scenario.
Do I Even Need an Attorney If Everyone Agrees Who Was at Fault in the Accident That Caused My Injuries?
You still need an attorney because the insurance companies are going to undervalue your injuries. You have to factor in not being able to go to work, plus all the pain and suffering that the accident has caused you and will continue to cause you for the rest of your life. Up until the point of the accident, you could have been a completely fine and healthy individual, and then after the accident, you have shooting pains down your leg every single day for the rest of your life.
The carrier might offer some money because you were not at fault for the accident, but Florida is a no-fault state anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. You just want to make sure that you’re getting seen by the right people and that you are receiving enough medical consultations to evaluate what type of injury you have. An attorney can help point you in the right direction of, let’s say, testing for a traumatic brain injury or consulting an orthopedic surgeon, or something along those lines.
In order to get a true evaluation of your claim and receive just compensation for the injury that you sustained; you need an attorney. Just saying, “Here’s the accident report. As you can see, this person was at fault because they got a ticket,” will not be enough to give the insurance company incentive to pay the top dollar on your claim. It’s also possible after an accident to not end up with any documentation at all (maybe the police came but did not write the other driver a ticket for running a red light and hitting you) to show that you’re not at fault.
In short, being the driver who was not at fault has little correlation to the way the carrier will value your claim.