After you contact the authorities at the scene of the accident and get medical treatment for your injuries, you may be shocked to learn that there are many more steps in the legal process of actually recovering compensation in your legal claim.
You will also need to consult with your insurance company and let them know that the accident happened to begin with and to determine how they are going to carry out their investigation of this car accident case.
Florida and Personal Injury Protection
can be very unique as a result of the fact that Florida requires personal injury protection for every person driving on the roads. This means that there’s a $10,000 cap and you must file the claim with your insurance company immediately after the accident to cover your expenses. As you might already be experiencing, this $10,000 cap can easily met and exceeded in the event of a serious car accident.
If this applies to your situation, you should know that you may be entitled to file in a claim against the responsible driver to receive compensation for the injuries that go above and beyond your personal injury protection cap. In this situation, it’s important that you understand how these cases unfold and how the settlement process works.
Settlement vs. Litigation
You may be able to resolve things outside of court with the help of an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. Your Florida personal injury lawyer can help to manage these settlement negotiations and present you with offers, as well as give you insight over whether or not a particular offer is truly inline with your best interests. It’s important to think about what is fair for you in this situation because it can be overwhelming to deal with the injuries after an accident.
The settlement process usually starts with understanding the no-fault car insurance system in Florida. Since Florida is a no-fault, this means that you must first turn to your own car insurance coverage in order to obtain lost income and get compensation for your injuries.
Florida drivers can only initiate a claim against the at-fault driver if the injuries are considered significant, or permanent, or if disfigurement is caused.
You will usually initiate the settlement process with a demand letter to the insurance company. Understanding what is next in this particular case can be extremely helpful as you may get a response from the other side that does not indicate that they understand the true severity of your injuries or necessary next steps.
A knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate the system. If there are delays on the part of the insurance company or if you become frustrated with a denial or other challenges during the stage of managing your personal injury claim, a lawyer can help you navigate this and determine the most appropriate response.
Taking a Settlement Offer
You may be able to resolve your personal injury claim in a settlement outside of court if a fair settlement offer is presented. If any settlement offer is presented to you by the insurance company at any point in time or the other party involved in the case, you can evaluate this and submit a counteroffer back.
If the party accepts the counteroffer or if you accept the initial offer from the other party, you will then move into the settlement stage where you will sign an agreement.
This agreement is important because it is the final document you will sign associated with this claim, and it means you must give up the ability to ever pursue a legal claim about this accident in the future against this person. This is why it is really important that you read all of the fine print and have a lawyer who cares a great deal about your best interests.
The settlement process may not lead to a positive result. If you have presented what you believe to be a fair settlement offer but the other side doesn’t agree, you may have to go into litigation to resolve these issues.
Consult With Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
Hiring the right lawyer at the outset is one of the best ways to handle this situation because your lawyer can tell you whether or not a settlement offer really compensates you for the injuries at hand and can also be preparing for trial at the same time.
This way, if you are successful with the settlement, you can get the benefit of resolving things sooner rather than later. If settlement is not successful, you know that your attorney has practically prepared for trial and to represent your interest to the fullest in court.
If you have recently been injured in an accident in Florida, you need the insight of an attorney who cares about you and your future. Do not hesitate to reach out to learn more. The Fetterman & Associates, PA is here to help, call us or contact us online.