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If you have been involved in a car accident, the entire experience can be traumatic – from the immediate effects of the crash to filing an insurance claim. Regardless if the car accident was your fault or the other driver’s fault, it is important to hire an experienced auto insurance lawyer to represent your best interests in your claim.
Your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company may dispute your car’s damage or other losses from the crash, assert there was already preexisting damage to the car, say you were at fault when you weren’t, take time to return your phone calls, or require unnecessary information before a claim has been filed. Types of auto insurance that may cover drivers in Florida can include:
It is important to consult an experienced car insurance lawyer after an automobile accident. Failure to consult an experienced attorney can result in you being uncompensated for expensive medical bills, property repair costs, lost wages, and more.
Michael B. Germain of Germain Law Group has years of experience ensuring each client’s automobile insurance claims are adequately paid by the responsible actor or insurance company. He is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s insurance laws and experienced with auto insurance claims. Germain Law Group is not afraid to fight the insurance companies and take them to trial, if necessary.
Contact Germain Law Group at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation about your automobile insurance claims throughout Hillsborough County, including Tampa, Sweetwater Creek, Bay Crest Park, Clair-Mel, Hunters Green, Sun City Center, and surrounding areas.
Under Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault law (Fla. Stat. §§ 627.730 - 627.7405), the state of Florida requires every driver to purchase car insurance if they are the owner or registrant of a motor vehicle. The minimum amount of coverage required under Florida law is $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage liability as long as the driver has a valid Florida license plate.
Individuals who drive in Florida are also required to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously while their car is registered.
Florida’s Financial Responsibility laws (Fla. Stat. § 324.021) requires any person who is at fault for a car accident to carry full liability insurance, which includes bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability per crash and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – This type of insurance, also known as Florida No Fault Insurance, covers drivers up to the limits of their policy, regardless if they were at fault for the accident or not. A driver’s PIP also covers their children, members of their household and certain other passenger who do not have PIP insurance and do not own a vehicle.
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – This type of insurance coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death caused to others as a result of a car accident that was your fault or another family member who is covered by the policy. Your car insurance company should pay for injuries to another party up to the limits of your policy and provide you with legal representation if you are sued.
Property Damage Liability (PDL) – This type of coverage pays for damage to another’s property as a result of a car accident that was your fault.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Liability (UM) – This type of coverage is optional and pays benefits to the policyholder if they are injured by the driver of the other vehicle who was at fault if they were either uninsured or did not have enough bodily injury liability insurance to cover all of the policyholder’s injuries.
According to Fla. Stat. § 627.4265, the payment of a claim for a car accident settlement that has been agreed to in writing by the individual and the insurer must be paid within 20 days by the car insurance company from the time the settlement has been reached. Therefore, if the insurance company takes longer to settle your claim, they may be doing so in bad faith. If they do legitimately need more time to investigate the claim or to have you cooperate with them, they are required to provide you, the claimant, with written notice why the claim is taking longer than expected.
After a car accident, the insurance company should send an appraiser to determine the amount of damage on your vehicle. Under Fla. Stat. § 626.9743, the damages an individual is entitled to under Florida law are either the fair market value (FMV) of the car before the crash or the actual cash value (ACV) of the auto prior to the accident. If your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company is disputing the FMV or ACV of your car, it is important to hire a car insurance attorney to fight for what you are entitled to resulting from your car crash.
Car insurance companies may also claim some damage to your car occurred prior to the car accident, deny coverage for medical, surgical or hospital benefits, or claim any other losses are not covered by the car insurance policy. If your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company are giving you the runaround, hire an experienced Tampa insurance lawyer to represent your best interests.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – This government website provides information for driver’s in the state of Florida, including insurance coverage requirements, driver’s license suspensions, and revocations, and tips for individuals involved in car accidents. A local office is located at:
9309 N. Florida Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33612
Phone: (813) 635-5200
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation serves the state’s citizens by regulating and enforcing statutes related to the insurance business in Florida.
Florida Statutes Online – This website provides links to Title XXXVII of the Florida Statutes, entitled “Insurance,” which contains the state’s rules insurance companies must follow, definitions of certain insurance terms, and other provisions regarding rates, statutes of limitations and insurance contracts.
Contact the Germain Law Group today at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form for a consultation about your car insurance claim throughout Central Florida, including Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Polk counties, and surrounding communities.
Attorney Michael B. Germain of Germain Law Group proudly represent individuals with all types of automobile insurance claims, including underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, and personal injury protect.
Michael B. Germain is an experienced Tampa insurance lawyer who will listen to the facts of your situation and help you determine the best recourse in pursuing your automobile insurance claim.
Contributor: Michael B. Germain