In the aftermath of an automobile accident involving another driver who was at fault, your immediate concern should always be taking care of any injuries you’ve sustained and getting the proper treatment. In the days to come, you’ll be looking at the amount of damage your vehicle sustained, the costs of replacing or repairing the vehicle, as well as the continuing care you need. It is at this point that the at-fault driver’s insurance company generally begins calling, asking for a statement from you regarding what happened. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, dealing with the insurance company in the aftermath of the accident can get tricky. Of course, the insurance company is going to want to do whatever they can to save themselves money. The main way to accomplish this is for them to either deny or downplay your claim.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Section 627.727 of the Florida State Statutes details car insurance requirements for Florida drivers. In addition to bodily injury and property liability coverage, drivers are also required to maintain uninsured motorist insurance. This ensures that drivers involved in accidents caused by others will be covered by insurance for any damages caused by the accident, regardless of whether the person causing the damage is insured or not. Considering that the number of uninsured drivers in Florida ranks as one of the highest in the nation, this coverage may come in handy if you’re in an accident with one of these drivers.
Whether you’re dealing with your own insurer or the other driver’s, it’s important to recognize the motivations of any claims representatives you speak with in the aftermath of an accident. The only way an insurance company makes money is by bringing in more money than what they pay out. An insurance company can accomplish this goal by denying or downplaying accident claims. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, the insurance company for the at fault driver will often attempt to get you to admit to being at least partly to blame for the accident, thus limiting their own liability.
Downplaying Insurance Claims
Short of outright denying your claim, the other tactic insurance companies may use to save themselves money is downplaying the dollar amounts of the claims they pay out. If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, you’ll likely be facing the following expenses:
- Medical and hospital bills;
- Rehabilitative or ongoing treatment costs;
- Lost wages, both now and in the future;
- Costs associated with repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle;
- Loss of livelihood due to lingering disabilities; and
- Pain and suffering.
Consumer complaints regarding insurance companies and claims policies commonly focus on the meager amounts that these companies offer as settlements. Companies often offer injured parties low settlement offers soon after an accident, while the victim is still recovering from their injuries and the full scope of the damages remains to be seen. Insurance companies typically undervalue vehicles and replacement costs, as well as the costs of ongoing medical care. Compensation for pain and suffering and potential future disability is often non-existent.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you’re involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or damages, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys immediately. At Hogan Frick, we’ll help you recover the full amount of damages you’re entitled to by law. Before making any statement that could bar you from recovery, speak to one of our attorneys first. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we’ll look out for your best interest, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free review of your case.