Most of the time, people call a Fort Lauderdale car wreck lawyer when the defendant's insurance company refuses to pay. This makes sense. If someone else caused your car accident, then their insurance should have to pay. If they don't, then you'll want a skilled car accident attorney to help you. But the same thing is true if your own insurance company refuses to pay your claim.
In Florida, anyone who decides to drive on a public road is legally required to carry auto insurance. If your car is paid for, you can choose to carry liability insurance or full coverage. With liability insurance, you're only covered for bodily injury you cause to another person. Your policy will also cover any damage you cause to a third party's vehicle.
With comprehensive coverage, you should be covered for all types of damage. This includes:
After paying your premiums for years, it can be more than frustrating to find out your insurance company denied your claim. That's when it's time to call and talk to a seasoned car accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
It's important to understand the difference between a first-party insurance claim and a third-party insurance claim. It basically comes down to whose policy you're filing your claim against. If the other driver is at fault, then you'll likely be filing a third-party claim against the other driver's insurance policy. If you were at fault, then you may have to pursue your own insurance company for damages. This is considered a first-party claim.
You may also need to file a first-party insurance claim in a case where the other driver has no insurance. The same is true for situations in which the defendant takes off, and you have no idea how to find them. This is called a hit and run accident.
Ideally, the insurance company would approve your claim within a few days of receiving it. If that's the case, you should have your check within a week or two. If, however, they deny your claim, you'll want to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale car wreck lawyer. The insurance company isn't going to take you seriously if you don't have an attorney. They'll take forever to return your calls and emails. They may offer you a really low settlement. They may even refuse to give you a reason for the denial. They won't behave this way if they know you have a licensed attorney.
Your attorney knows how insurance companies operate. Some of the most common reasons why the insurance company may deny your first-party claim include the following:
Once your attorney knows the reason for denial, they can work on filing an appeal. If this isn't successful, they'll have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
When your attorney files suit, they're going to demand certain damages. In most car accident cases, the plaintiff is entitled to the following:
In some cases, your attorney may demand punitive damages. These are damages meant to punish the other driver. This would be very rare in a first-party claim. If the other driver was at fault and you know who they are, you would be pursuing their insurance company, not your own. The good news is that your Fort Lauderdale car wreck lawyer knows how to handle this. They have years of experience handling cases just like yours. They'll work hard to get you as much money as possible.
If your first-party insurance claim has been denied, you need to call an experienced car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible. The initial consultation is free, and you don't have to pay anything until your case is resolved.