A Quick Refresher On The Florida Car Accident Settlement Process
To remain clear-headed after a car accident in Florida, or as clear-headed as possible, it’s important to know what to expect from the car accident settlement process. While no two car accidents in Florida are exactly alike, the settlement process is often similar from one to the next. A quick refresher on the car accident settlement process can help to keep you up to date on what to expect should you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation. Of course, your car accident attorney will walk you through the process after the fact, but knowing what to expect beforehand can make for a much less stressful experience.
Reporting Your Accident
In the case of any car accident that causes injury, death, or property damage greater than $500, Florida authorities must be alerted to the scene. When the police officer arrives at the car accident scene, he or she will create a police report which may be called upon later in settlement negotiations or, if serious injuries are experienced, a potential personal injury lawsuit. In very minor car accidents where no injuries are reported and only minor damages experienced, an officer may not report to the scene but a crash report must be filed within 10 days.
Exchanging Information And Helping The Injured
After the authorities have been notified, and you’ve been moved to a safe space in the road, any injured persons should be offered reasonable assistance if possible, and driver information should be exchanged. This driver information should include names, insurance information, and contact information, which will then be used during the settlement process. It’s also during this time that evidence collection may begin, and photos taken while eyewitness accounts are recorded.
Once you’re at home after the accident, or able, you should then call your insurance provider and begin the process of filing a claim. The state of Florida observes no-fault car accident laws, which means your own insurance provider will cover any damages you’ve sustained in an accident. In the event of a serious accident resulting in permanent disability or death caused by a negligent driver, one may file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to cover any remainder of damages.
Hiring A Car Accident Attorney And The Settlement Process
After filing a claim with your insurance company, you should have a car accident attorney experienced in Florida car accident injury law on your side. Your attorney will assist you with the evidence collection process, the negotiations process, and explaining to you what each step means.
In a settlement, an injured person accepts a monetary settlement amount in exchange for giving up the right to further pursue legal action in regards to the accident. When a person accepts a car accident settlement after a Florida accident, they may not pursue their insurance company for more compensation from the same accident even if additional needs arise. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to have an attorney on your side. Your attorney will be able to not only account for current and past damages resulting from the accident, but determine what future needs may be required as well.
While premiums are paid to insurance companies in order to cover a policy, one must remember that insurance companies are first and foremost looking after the benefit of the company. Ideally, a person will pay premiums on a policy they never use, so those premiums turn into pure profit and never have to be dipped in to. When a settlement is needed, insurance companies are like to try hard to pay the lowest possible settlement amount, and your car accident attorney will be there to fight for you in negotiations to ensure your settlement is fair to both you and your policy