If another driver rear-ends you in Florida, they’re most likely at fault and the claim might seem like an open and shut case. Why would you need to hire an attorney in such a black and white situation? Life isn’t always that simple, and there are seldom absolutes, especially when it comes to insurance companies. It’s not unusual for the other driver to deny fault, and their insurance company could try to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying you for your injuries. In the meantime, you’re racking up doctor’s bills and might not be able to earn a living.
When You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney
When it comes to auto insurance, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that drivers are expected to file a claim with their own insurance company to file damages. This is in stark contrast to states that operate under an at-fault system, where the other party’s insurance company handles the claim.
Still, the at-fault driver is theoretically responsible for all of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are a couple of situations that could throw a proverbial wrench into your case:
- The insurance company attempts to blame you for the accident by claiming you stopped abruptly, made an unsafe lane change, or had a broken brake light. In this case, you could be deemed wholly or partially responsible for the accident, which might bar or limit your recovery.
- The insurance company agrees that their client is at fault, but offers only a minimal settlement that doesn’t cover all your expenses or feels low.
By working with an attorney, you’ll have someone in your corner who is experienced in navigating both accident claims and insurance companies.
What if the Accident was Minor?
Even if you think the accident wasn’t a big deal, it’s still a good idea to consult with an attorney. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so they don’t get paid unless you win a settlement.
The other insurance company will be quick to minimize your injuries in an effort to settle quickly for as little money as possible. However, you have a right to seek medical treatment and understand the full extent of your injuries before settling a claim.
To put it into perspective, a report by the Insurance Research Council found that car accident victims who hired a personal injury attorney received payouts that were three times higher than people who did not secure legal representation.
Next Steps: Contact an Attorney Regarding Your Accident
Having an experienced Florida personal injury on your side is a valuable resource that can analyze the physical evidence of your accident, interview witnesses, and consult with medical and forensic experts to get a clear picture of what happened. At Aigen Law, we offer free consultations. We’ll never charge you a fee unless we’re successful in getting money for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.