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Carman, Bevington & Finegan Blog

The Florida Car Accident Claims Process

Despite several recent challenges, Florida’s no-fault insurance law is still in full force and effect. Most of these challenges cited widespread fraud, such as the scoop-and-squat. Driver One cuts off Driver Two and hits his/her brakes to induce a rear-end collision, while Driver Three pins in Driver Two to prevent him/her from changing lanes. Driver Three, even though s/he’s in on the scam, usually has the highest injury rate. The law is still in effect, as are the exceptions, which are discussed below.

A Brandon personal injury lawyer plays an important role in both no-fault and tort claims. Insurance companies routinely deny PIP claims if possible. They also regularly deny tort claims, at least in part. Attorneys stand up for crash victims in these situations.

PIP Claims Process

Crash victims may file claims with their own insurance policies and obtain compensation for medical bills, property damage, and, in some cases, lost wages. The following three exceptions apply:

Under Florida law, insurance companies have a duty to quickly make reasonable settlement offers if liability and other important issues in the case are clear. In the unlikely event that the company fails to do that (most insurance companies quickly settle such claims to keep their paying customers happy), a Brandon personal injury lawyer can usually take the dispute to an arbitration proceeding.

Basically, arbitration is a private trial. Most insurance policies include arbitration clauses in the far reaches of the fine print.

Injury Claims Process

Most civil injury claims are settled out of court as well. Once again, if issues in the case are clear, the insurance company has a legal duty to settle the claim almost immediately. However, such matters are few and far between. Instead, most cases go through the legal process.

When attorneys file legal paperwork, they must carefully identify the responsible parties. Frequently, a third party, like an employer, is financially responsible for accident damages and, therefore, a party to the case.

This process usually ends at mediation. Most Hillsborough County judges automatically appoint mediators in contested cases. Toward the end of the case, a mediator meets with both sides and guides them, either gently or not so gently, toward a compromise solution.

Because of the duty to negotiate in good faith (compromise to reach an agreement), mediation is about 90% successful in Florida.

Count on a Hillsborough County Car Accident Lawyer

The claims process in and out of court is often complex. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.