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Nicoletti Walker Law Group May 19, 2015

It is common after an accident to seek assistance from your insurance company; but how can you be sure that they are pursuing a settlement in your best interests? Particularly if you have suffered from severe injuries that could require ongoing medical care, how can you ensure that a quick settlement will cover the compensation that you will need to cover your bills?

Florida Statutory Requirements

When it comes to settling personal car insurance claims, there are rules and regulations guiding what an insurer may and may not do. For example, if you pursuing a claim directly against an at-fault person’s insurance company, an insurer may not try to get you to make a claim under your own policy when it is obvious that the at-fault person’s insurance company owes you for damages. The insurer can, however, provide you with some options when it comes to repairs on your vehicle. If the insurer insists on a particular entity repairing your vehicle, they are required to restore your vehicle to its condition prior to the accident at no additional cost to you.

Similarly, the insurer (of the at-fault person) is entitled to, instead, offer a replacement vehicle as long as it is comparable. A comparable vehicle is one that matches your vehicle in terms of manufacturer, year, and similar body type, mileage, and options. It must be in as good of condition or better condition than your damaged vehicle. If the vehicle’s loss is settled, that settlement must be supported by documentation.

Going to Trial for Your Accident

Many cases are expensive to take to trial, in part because Florida has adopted the Daubert standard, which guides the admissibility of expert witness testimony and requires that it meet a very specific relevancy and reliability standard. But seeking guidance from a qualified attorney before providing a statement to an insurance company can be beneficial, particularly if you end up having to challenge your own insurance company. Any statement that you might give before doing so could damage your case. It is in an insurance company’s best interest to low-ball offers in order to preserve more profit. An attorney representing you can help negotiate claims related to both your injuries and property damage. They can also make sure that you do not accept a settlement that is too low.

If you are involved in an accident, it is important to protect your legal rights. Evidence critical to showing who was at fault may be lost if action is not taken quickly. In addition, statements made to the other driver or insurance company can limit the recovery you might otherwise receive.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact Mike Walker Law to discuss your personal injury case.