Car Accident Law Firm – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
There have already been nearly 59,000 injuries related to car accidents in the state of Florida in the first part of 2019. Chances are, that has led to almost as many car accident insurance claims. Not all car accidents warrant legal guidance, but if significant damage or injuries were a part of the incident, you should consider hiring a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney.
If you are unsure about what you should do after an accident or if you even have a worthy legal case, don’t try to make that determination on your own. It will be worth your while to reach out to the law office of Gabriela C. Novo to understand what options you have.
In this article, we will explain what the legal process is and what kind of evidence is needed after a car accident in Florida.
Car Accident Legal Process in Florida
There are only a handful of states that use the same insurance system for car accidents as Florida. What system is that? Florida is a no-fault state, which means when you get into an accident, you will make an appeal to file a claim with your own insurance company rather than that of the other party’s insurance. Initially, this system was designed to help protect those who were hit by another party without insurance and speed up the claim process. However, the system is riddled with fraud making it harder to file legitimate claims. Here is a little more information about the ideal claim process in our state.
Hire Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Law Firm – Yes, while it may seem we are biased on this point, this really is for your protection and interests. Since the no-fault status creates a level of suspicion with insurance companies, you’ll want to work with an experienced lawyer to position your claim correctly. This will eliminate some of the hurdles you will face when filing a claim and may even prompt your insurer to take your case more seriously.
File the Accident Claim – Your attorney will file a claim after they have collected the right evidence for your case (more on that point below). Your attorney will then work with the insurance adjuster to negotiate a settlement. This may take weeks or months to work through, depending on the details of your car accident.
File a Claim With the At-Fault Insurer – While Florida is a no-fault state, there will be times when you can file a claim with the at-fault party. This is usually when the injuries or property damages are significant, and negligence is present in your accident. Filing a claim with the other insurer will be based on a percentage of how “at-fault” they were and other critical factors.
Await a Resolution – While you wait for a determination as to whether your claim is accepted or denied, you will want to adhere to come key points.
- First, you’ll want to keep and attend all doctors appointments relating to your accident. Missed or rescheduled appointments tend to look bad in the eyes of the insurance company.
- Second, you’ll want to keep a tight lip on your case. Outside of your immediate family, don’t discuss the details of your car accident with anyone but your lawyer. If you have to give the at-fault insurance company a statement, you will want to do that with your attorney’s guidance.
- Third, stay off your social media channels for the most part. Even the most insignificant post may lead to a big problem for your case. If you post photos of you at the beach tumbling around in the water, the insurance company is going to question if you’re really injured.
Go to Court – While nearly all car accident cases will see a settlement before resorting to courtroom litigation, sometimes a trial is necessary. This will likely be a result of unsatisfactory negotiations between you and the insurer or if they feel they have evidence against you. Your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer will be at your side if this is where your case goes.
Settlement or Verdict – After all investigations are done or testimony in court is heard, you will have a decision on your case. That means you’ll either been given an appropriate settlement or be handed a verdict. If your case went to court and you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you do have the option of appealing the decision.
What Kind of Evidence is Needed for a Car Accident Claim
All legal claims require evidence and car accident cases are no different. You might have an idea of some of the data that will be needed, as many of us learned about those things in our driver’s education classes years ago. But here is an in-depth look at car accident evidence that will be favorable to winning your case.
- Police Report – If law enforcement was at the scene of your accident, there will be a police report detailing what happened. The officer may even have determined who was at fault. That police report will be a favorable piece of evidence in your claim.
- Insurance Policy – Your insurance policy is riddled with all kinds of confusing language and stipulations. Your lawyer will be able to decipher that jargon and make sure you are not missing essential factors in your policy.
- Medical Records – No matter how significant or minor your injuries, your medical records will play a vital role in the outcome of your claim. You will want to save all these documents, prescriptions, receipts, braces, empty pill bottles and more. All of this is evidence that you followed doctors orders and confirms your injuries.
- Accident Photos and Video – Any photos or videos of your car crash incident will help establish context, proving your account of what happened. There may even be photos from others on the scene. Your attorney can also request red-light camera footage or surveillance video if applicable.
- Witness Testimony – A police report might give you details about any witnesses who saw the accident. Their account can play a crucial role since they were a third party to what actually happened.
- Accident Specialists – Some accidents will need skilled eyes to breakdown or assess. This can be helpful in accidents where fire or chemicals were involved. This can also be appropriate in crashes with commercial vehicles.
There are plenty of other ways we can support your car accident claim, but we will need to know more information about you first. Give us a call today or connect with us online so we can set up a time to speak with you about your claim.