Learn valuable tips for filing auto insurance claims and discover how a Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer can help.

Car accidents may have a profound impact on your life. Although auto accident victims in Florida have remedies under state law, time is of the essence if you want to collect fair compensation to help move on with your life. After a car accident, the choices you make might have a significant impact on your future.

Nobody expects to get into a vehicle accident when getting behind the wheel. However, hundreds of people get involved in vehicle accidents daily in Florida. Injuries and damages from car crashes are often costly. 

Battling for the compensation you're entitled to while recovering from your injuries might be overwhelming. Your chances of a successful claim improve if you know how to file a car accident claim and work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer.

Once you know how the system works, you can proactively defend your rights. Read on to explore some valuable tips for filing an auto insurance claim in Florida.

What Is An Auto Insurance Claim?

Auto insurance claims are requests for financial compensation filed with an insurance provider by drivers after vehicle damage or injuries in a car accident. Auto insurance claim settlements in the United States total more than $170 billion annually. 

Different states and insurers may have unique procedures, but the fundamentals are typically the same. You will receive payment based on your auto policy terms if your claim gets approval. 

Tips for Filing a Car Insurance Claim 

A car accident can be confusing. After a crash, you are probably wondering how insurance claims work. Most of what you need to do before making a claim revolves around gathering as much information as possible and documenting it.

When you call your insurance provider, you'll be better prepared if you have more details about the damage to your vehicle. Contact a Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney and follow these procedures when filing a claim:

1. Gather Information

It's not pleasant to learn that your car has been seriously damaged. However, ensure you write down the following facts after a crash or damage:

  • Description and registration details of your vehicle.
  • The person driving the car when an accident occurred.
  • Time and location of the accident.
  • Description of the accident event.

If the crash involved another driver, document their name and contact details. Also, note their insurance company. Write the names of any passengers involved and the contact details of any passengers. 

2. Take Photos of Damage and or Injuries

Take photographs of the damage to property or auto accident injuries after you've gathered all the information above. You should capture photos of the damage to your car and any other cars involved. Include as many images of the surrounding area as you can. The details you collect about the damage to your car and how it got there will aid you when filing an auto insurance claim.

3. Talk to Law Enforcement

If you've suffered property damage due to an automobile accident, you'll almost certainly need a police report before you can file a claim.

The role of the police is critical in determining culpability. The police and your insurance company will determine who is responsible regardless of what you say when they get on the scene. You and the other motorist may share some responsibility for the collision.

The badge number and phone number of the police officers that respond might be vital if you need to follow up with them later for more information.

4. Maintain a Good Paper Trail

Retain any documentation pertaining to your mishap, including any receipts. Your insurance policy may cover towing and other emergency services, so check with your agent to see if you qualify. Having these documents on hand is essential for your insurance company to understand what happened.

5. File a Claim with Your Auto Insurance Company

Do not delay in contacting your insurance provider or insurance agent. Most insurance companies allow you to make a claim online or by calling the number on your insurance card. Wait for an insurance adjuster to contact you about the specifics of your claim once you've filed. Prepare to give all of the facts you jotted down previously during the adjuster interview. 

When to File a Car Insurance Claim

When your automobile gets damaged or you suffer injury in an accident, you should file a claim with your car insurance company. Your insurer will not pay a claim if the damage to your automobile is less than your deductible and no one else was at fault.

You can file claims with your comprehensive coverage when events other than collisions cause damage. File a claim with the at-fault driver's liability policy if a negligent party caused the crash. When an accident is your fault or when the fault is unclear, you can file a claim with your collision coverage or policy. If involved in an accident that caused injuries, you can file claims with your auto insurer under personal injury protection (PIP).

Florida Car Accident Laws

If you've been hurt or your car has suffered significant damage in a Florida traffic accident, the following state statutes might have a significant influence on any compensation you seek:

  • Statute of limitations on Florida car accidents.
  • The pure comparative fault laws.

The state of Florida is no-fault car insurance jurisdiction. You can collect compensation for your medical expenses and other financial losses after an automobile accident through your personal injury protection policy, regardless of who caused the accident. You can only sue the at-fault driver directly if your injury claim fulfills specific conditions.

The Statute of Limitations for Florida Auto Accidents

The statute of limitations law sets time limits that may affect your right to sue. If you miss the time limit provided by this statute and submit it after the deadline has already passed, unless a rare exemption exists to extend the deadline, you will not be able to recover compensation.

Florida's court system generally allows four years from the date of the event to begin a vehicle accident case. Working with a Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer may increase your chance of recovering fair compensation.

Comparative Negligence in Florida Auto Accident Cases  

When other drivers were entirely to blame for the accident, expect their insurance carrier to pay for your compensation. But what if you were partly at fault?

When both parties are deemed to be at fault for an accident, Florida applies the "pure comparative fault" rule. According to the evidence in most accident cases, two things must be determined: the amount of the plaintiff's damages and the proportion of each party's liability.

The plaintiff's damages judgment gets lowered by a percentage proportional to their share of blame under the pure comparative fault rule. For example, a court can award $100,000 as your total damages for medical bills, lost income, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. However, if the judge rules that you were 30% to blame for the accident for issues like speeding. The comparative-fault rule in Florida means you will receive $70,000, which is still considerable but not as much as the total damages you have incurred.

Florida's comparative fault law applies even when judged more at blame for the accident than the other motorist. It allows you to get 10% of your total losses if the court finds you 90% at blame. However, you would be liable for 90% of the other driver's damages if they concluded you were at fault.

If your vehicle accident lawsuit goes to trial in Florida, the comparative negligence rule will assist the car insurance claims adjuster in analyzing your case. Insurance claims adjuster base their conclusions on the likelihood that a case would succeed in court. 

However, you should not allow this to deter you from filing a lawsuit or negotiating a fair settlement after a car accident. Consult with a seasoned Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer to determine the best line of action for your circumstances.

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