Most people know that if they are ever involved in a car accident in Florida, they may need to file an insurance claim to obtain compensation. But few people actually understand how auto insurance claims work in this state.
A Tampa Personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim and fighting for the compensation you deserve after a crash. But you should still understand the basics regarding how insurance claims work so you know what to expect in the event you are injured.
Whose insurance company should you file a claim with after an accident? When will you be compensated for your injuries? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Should You File A Claim With Your Insurance Company After A Car Accident?
The state of Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. PDL insurance will cover another person’s property damage sustained in an accident that was your fault.
PIP insurance, on the other hand, will cover certain medical expenses and lost wages after a crash regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Because PIP insurance covers damages regardless of fault, it is often referred to as “no-fault” insurance in Florida.
If you are injured in a traffic accident in Florida, you must file a claim with your PIP insurance provider first. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident—you must go through your PIP insurance provider first.
What Will PIP Insurance Cover After An Accident?
PIP insurance will not compensate you for all of your car accident damages. But it will cover up to 80% of reasonable and necessary medical expenses, up to your policy limits. However, this only applies to medical expenses that are incurred while treating “emergency” medical conditions, which are those that are life-threatening or cause the severe impairment or disfunction of a body part or organ.
If an injury is not considered an emergency, PIP insurance will not cover 80% of your expenses. Instead, this insurance policy will only cover up to $2,500 of medical expenses.
Your PIP insurance will also cover up to 60% of lost wages suffered as a result of your car accident injuries, up to your policy limit. Again, these lost wages will be covered regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
How Long Will It Take to Get Compensation From Your PIP Insurance Provider?
The PIP insurance requirement was established in Florida to ensure that the injured could obtain compensation from their insurance companies as quickly as possible. Because there’s no need to prove liability, these claims are resolved much faster than other insurance claims.
In fact, the state of Florida requires PIP insurance providers to pay claimants within 30 days from the date the insurer was initially notified of the damages. However, the insurance company has the right to take an extra 60 days to investigate the accident if they believe you have filed a fraudulent claim.
Should You File A Claim With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?
There are two reasons why you may need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company after a crash. First, PIP insurance will not cover your property damage caused by the accident. But the at-fault driver’s PDL insurance will cover this damage, so you will need to file a claim in order to obtain compensation for repairs.
Second, PIP insurance does not provide enough coverage to compensate victims who are seriously injured in traffic accidents. Most drivers only have $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage, which is the minimum coverage required by law. If you suffer a brain injury or another type of devastating injury, you will need far more than $10,000 for medical expenses and lost wages.
Fortunately, the law allows certain car accident victims to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to obtain additional compensation. You may file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver if your injuries are “serious,” which means they have led to serious disfigurement, the limitation of a body part or organ, or disability.
If your injuries are serious, the law gives you the right to pursue additional compensation from the at-fault party for medical expenses and lost wages not covered by your PIP policy. Furthermore, you can also pursue compensation from the at-fault party for your pain and suffering caused by your car accident injuries.
How Are Auto Insurance Claims Resolved in Florida?
Most auto accident cases are resolved through settlements that are reached outside of the courtroom. If you are injured, it’s best to hire an attorney to handle settlement negotiations so you can ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
But in some cases, the insurance company is not willing to make a fair offer. If this happens, your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve in court. Sometimes, simply filing the lawsuit will put pressure on the insurance company to make a better settlement offer. But if not, your case will go to court, where a jury will decide whether or not you are entitled to compensation, and if so, how much.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured due to another party’s negligence? If so, you may need to file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to recover the compensation you deserve. But don’t file an injury claim without an experienced attorney’s help. Discuss your case with the skilled personal injury attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. Our attorneys will guide you through the process of filing a claim and aggressively fight for the compensation you are entitled to by law.
Call our law office now to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.