Fort Lauderdale Auto Insurance Attorney
Empathetic and Communicative Representation Throughout Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, and South Florida
Unexpected car accidents can lead to many frustrations in the aftermath. A crash can lead to the loss of your vehicle and property as well as painful injuries that require time away from work and rehabilitation. Following a car accident, you will need to deal with the insurance companies and your claims for damages against the at-fault parties. You can consult a Fort Lauderdale car insurance lawyer for guidance and advice on how to protect your rights and fight for maximum compensation.
No one likes dealing with automobile insurance, but in the state of Florida, everyone needs to have it. Auto insurance protects you from property damage liability, costs associated with your personal injuries, and more. Getting in a collision or wreck is frightening on its own, and a bad situation can be made worse when your insurance carrier denies your legitimate claim. Our Fort Lauderdale automobile insurance lawyer at Martin J. Sperry, P.A. has over 45 years of legal experience handling claims of all types. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients and can assist you in efficiently resolving automobile claim disputes.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, many victims think their only legal option is to sue for damages. There are, however, many other options available to accident victims. You should file a claim with an insurance company as soon as you get into a car accident.
Even though the at-fault insurance company may settle your case out of court, you still need to hire a lawyer to represent you in an insurance claim. Attorneys can help you avoid unnecessary delays in your case, limit potential complications, and increase your chances of success.
If you file an insurance claim, you will be up against an insurer who will reduce the amount of compensation available to you in any way they can. There may be several reasons why an insurance company denies your claim or reduces the amount of monetary damages in your claim by offering a low settlement offer. An insurer or its representative has an opportunity to disclose any inconsistency, potential error, or omission that may reduce the at-fault party's liability.
Automobile Insurance Requirements in the State of Florida
Each state in the United States enforces its own unique rules for required automobile insurance. Florida is one of several “no-fault” states, meaning that each motorist is responsible for paying for costs associated with an accident – no matter who caused the crash.
Florida law requires all drivers to maintain automobile insurance policies with at least $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability. Personal injury protection, or PIP, covers any necessary medical expenses and lost wages if you are forced to miss work as a result of your injuries. Property damage liability, or PDL, covers damage to your vehicle and other property.
These requirements are the absolute minimums, but it is often in your best interest to consider additional coverage. Another motorist has the right to file a lawsuit against you if the amount of damage exceeds what your policy covers. If you are found to have been negligent in court, you will be responsible for paying the difference out-of-pocket. It is also important to understand what minimum auto insurance requirements do not cover. Florida drivers are not required to have bodily injury liability policies, or BIL, which cover situations where negligent driving injures or kills other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Again, injured parties have the right to sue you if you do not have sufficient coverage in these scenarios.
Why You Should Have Bodily Injury Liability
Even though Florida does not require you to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage, many experts recommend it. If you are at fault in causing a car accident that causes injuries or death, this policy protects you.
Despite Florida's no-fault law, an injured party may still be able to sue you for damages if they are extensive or exceed your minimum insurance coverage. In any other case, you may have to pay out of pocket for damages.
Why Automobile Insurance Claims Are Denied in Florida
When your vehicle is totaled or you experience serious injuries in an auto accident, you depend on your insurance policy to cover expenses and get you back up on your feet. Unfortunately, insurers are notorious for frequently denying wholly legitimate auto insurance claims, presenting you with additional headaches that may require careful legal attention to resolve.
Florida insurers often attempt to deny claims for the following reasons:
- The accident was not promptly reported. Insurance carriers are wary of scenarios where a policyholder waits a considerable amount of time to report an accident. The reality is calling your insurance company is probably the last thing on your mind when you are dealing with the shock of an accident and serious injuries, especially if they require immediate medical attention. If you intend to exercise your policy and claim benefits, you will still be expected to report any accident to your insurer as soon as possible.
- The driver broke the law. Most auto insurance policies include provisions that allow insurers to deny claims if a driver broke state law at the time of the accident. Scenarios that can trigger these types of clauses include driving without a valid license, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and excessive speeding. Insurance companies will sometimes attempt to exploit these clauses and argue you somehow could have avoided the accident as a justification to avoid paying.
- The driver broke the rules of the insurance policy or is suspected of fraud. Some auto insurance policies preclude drivers from using their insured vehicles for rideshare apps or have other restrictions that void coverage if broken. An insurer also may attempt to deny coverage if they suspect the claimant is seeking “excessive damages.” This excuse can be used to justify denials for legitimate medical injuries and property damage.
Our Fort Lauderdale automobile insurance attorney at Martin J. Sperry, P.A. has handled many types of inappropriately denied claims. Our firm can assist you with the appeals process and help explore all available legal options. We are compassionate to the difficulties drivers experience after suffering injuries in a serious automobile accident and are committed to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.