Gather Evidence For Yourself
No matter what happened, how serious the accident was, or who caused it, you can always help your case later when you’re filing a claim with an insurance company by gathering evidence at the first possible moment. The first thing you should do at the scene is make sure everyone’s okay and call emergency services, but after that you can use your phone to take pictures or jot down things like license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance card information.
You should also collect any official documents connected to the accident. For instance, you can ask for a copy of the police report, get a written estimate from the body shop you bring your vehicle to, a receipt from the tow truck that brought it there, and the bills for the medical checkups and treatments that follow the collision. This paper trail will help to convince the insurance that everything happened the way you tell them it happened and all the medical bills and repair costs totaled up to the amount you say it did.
Don’t Settle Early
One way insurance companies avoid paying out in full is by giving people a low initial settlement and saying it’s the most they could possibly provide for the claim. Some people take the money because they believe the insurance provider, some take it because they need whatever money they can get as fast as possible, and some take it because they don’t realize that their chances for a bigger settlement virtually disappear once they do.
However, if you can afford to wait, you should wait. The law gives insurance companies a grace period between when you submit a claim and when they have to pay it, and while the drag their heels at times these companies eventually have to pay your claim if they can’t find a good reason to reduce it. The length of the grace period depends on the type of claim and the state you’re in, so be sure to look up what the law says before you accept a partial settlement.
Hire A Good Lawyer
If the insurance company just doesn’t want to cooperate, or if you’re having trouble understanding their reasoning, it can help to hire a personal injury lawyer who understands Florida laws and how insurance payouts play their part. In fact, if you get into a particularly serious accident you should contact a lawyer right away so you can get professional legal advice on what you should say, what you should do, and how you should proceed.
A personal injury lawyer can also help you out by representing you to the insurance company and negotiating on your behalf. A good law firm can increase your final settlement by more than their contingency fee, and if needed they can take your case to court and present your case to a jury.
If you need a good auto accident lawyer in southwest Florida, the firm to call is the All Injuries Law Firm. We have locations in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, and we represent clients throughout the region for all kinds of personal injuries and civil lawsuits. Contact us today and set up a free initial case review.