After getting into an accident, you may be wondering what steps you need to take afterwards. Some of them are obvious, such as getting medical help or calling a tow truck if you were injured while driving. However, for some people, the question of insurance is likely to come up since they will be worried about covering the expenses caused by their accident. The answer to that question depends on who was at fault for the accident because it determines the insurance company with which they will file their claim.
Before or after filing that claim the person involved in the accident may also consider hiring a personal injury attorney regardless of who was at fault. That is because they can help you to negotiate with the insurance company if they try to lowball you and they can also help if an insurance dispute arises. If you live in Florida, and you have been in an accident, and need to deal with your insurance company, then visit abercrombiepa.com to get help regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) is also called no fault insurance and is required in states with no fault insurance laws. No fault insurance means that fault does not have to be established in accidents that only caused relatively minor injuries because the PIP will take care of any expenses caused by said accident. That means you will receive coverage for your medical expenses, but it is also possible for PIP to cover other expenses like lost wages.
That means lawsuits are unnecessary in minor accidents but if the accident is more serious, then you can still file a lawsuit in addition to receiving coverage from PIP. Florida is a PIP state so everyone is required to have some level of insurance coverage. States that do not use PIP have a tort system where the accident victim can sue the at fault party in order to receive compensation for their accident-related expenses.
First Party Claims and Third Party Claims
When you file an insurance claim, you have two possible options: first party claims and third party claims. In insurance terms, the first party is the insured person, the second party is the insurance company, and the third party is another insured person or entity. First party claims are filed with your own insurance company and is typically done when you are at fault for the accident. A third party claim is one that is filed with the insurance provider of another party, which is typically the one responsible for causing the accident, which means that third party claims are usually liability claims.
The type of accident also has an effect on the insurance claim. For example, if a passenger in a car gets injured after the car was struck by another vehicle, then the passenger can file a third party claim against the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. However, if the passenger was injured in an accident caused by the driver of the car in which they were a passenger, then they can file a claim against the driver’s insurance company. Basically, a first party claim is filed when someone is responsible for their own accident and a third party claim is filed when someone else is liable for the accident.
FIling an Insurance Claim
After experiencing an accident, you must contact an insurance company within 24 hours of when the injury occurred. The insurance company that you contact depends on the nature of the accident; if you were at fault, then you should contact your own insurance company, but if another party was at fault then you should contact their’s instead. No matter which insurance company you call, you should be prepared to offer details about the accident and the extent of your injuries.
The insurance company will then begin an investigation into your claim where they will speak to any witnesses, examine police reports, and generally attempt to get a clearer, more detailed picture of the accident that led to your injury. The insurance company may also ask you to subject yourself to a medical examination by a doctor chosen by the company. Once the investigation is over and the company has decided that your claim is valid, they will then offer you a settlement check. That is usually the end of the process, but there may be circumstances where the claims process continues afterwards.
The Claims Appeal Process
If the claims process needs to continue, then it is usually for one of two reasons: the insurance claim was denied or the settlement check was too low. An insurance claim can be denied for various reasons, such as not filing the claim on time, refusal to subject yourself to an independent medical examination, or your plan does not cover the type of accident you experienced. However, the insurance company can also be at fault for using bad faith practices. In general, these are practices where the insurance company will try to reduce or deny your coverage for unreasonable or obscure reasons.
A settlement check that is lower than what the claimant deserves is one of the bad faith practices used by some insurance companies. If your claim has been denied, or you believe that your settlement check was too low, then you may have to start an appeals process to rectify those problems. If you do plan to appeal, then you will need to retain the services of an attorney since the process can be complicated for a layperson.
Consult an Attorney For Help With Your Insurance Claim
An insurance claim can be a complex process, especially if your claim gets denied or you believe that your settlement check is not big enough to cover your expenses. That is why an attorney can be invaluable during this process. It is important to have knowledge about the uninsured motorist coverage in an accident. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, they can negotiate with the insurance company to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve. Do not try to take on the insurance companies by yourself! An attorney can even the playing field and put you on the path to a successful insurance claim that satisfies your needs.