What to Expect When Head to Head with a Florida Auto Insurance Company
If you have been in an accident and have had to deal with the insurance company, you probably already know that their insurance company is not on your side and does not have your best interests in mind.
Their ultimate goal is not to have to pay out if they don't have to. So, even if you have evidence showing that the other driver was at fault, your insurance company can still ask a ton of questions to try to devalue your claim.
Here is what to expect when going head to head with an auto insurance company.
Consult with a Legal Professional
Before speaking to your insurance company or the other driver's insurance, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of an experienced and professional car accident attorney. The lawyer will speak to the insurance company on your behalf, which can relieve you of having this job while also eliminating the risk of mistakes.
The insurance company will do what they can to trap you. An attorney knows just how to deal with them while also finding ways to maximize the value of your case and get you as much compensation as possible for your injuries and damages.
Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators and, again, are not looking out for your best interests. Their job is to protect the insurance company's interests and minimize the amount they will have to pay out for a claim.
In some cases, they will do what they can to avoid paying at all. Additionally, the insurance company is under no obligation to treat you fairly or promptly. This is especially true when dealing with the other driver's insurance company that may deny or delay your claim.
First Settlement Offers
Your attorney will also tell you that you shouldn't accept the first settlement offer that comes your way. Often, the first offer is not fair and will not be enough to cover your damages and losses, including your vehicle repair and medical bills.
The insurance company just wants to settle as quickly as possible to minimize the amount they have to pay for your claim. However, in some cases, you may not be aware of the actual extent of your injuries following the accident either. So, accepting the first offer would be a disservice to you as your bills continue to pile up.
Your Medical Expenses
Another thing to note is that the insurance company will do what they can to avoid paying out for your medical bills. Since they typically try to minimize the settlement offer, they will suggest that you may be lying about your injuries or may be committing fraud.
The insurance company will try to claim that the injuries you have resulted from a pre-existing condition. For this reason, it is important to seek medical help right away following the accident. Do not delay your treatment. You should also follow up with any ongoing treatment.
Watch What You Say
Just like in any other court case, what you say can and will be used against you. The insurance adjuster will ask for your version of the car accident, but their goal is to get you to agree to their version of what happened.
Never just agree to a question being asked of you. Never give a recorded statement or sign an agreement until you speak with your attorney, even if the settlement offer seems reasonable at the time.
The Right to Appeal
Finally, you have the right to appeal the offer made by the insurance company when your vehicle is totaled. Typically, a vehicle is considered totaled when the repairs cost 70 percent or more of the vehicle's total value. When your vehicle is declared a loss, the insurance company should send you a check for its fair market value.
When the offer is made, ask the insurance company for the list of comparable cars they based their valuation on. If you think your offer is too low, ask for a second evaluation and appeal the insurance company's offer.
For all these reasons and more, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with these kinds of cases. They can walk you through the process from start to end and act as the middleman or buffer between yourself and the car insurance company.