Last Update: 01/13/16
The process of getting paid on an insurance claim after a car accident is not a simple one. If only getting paid by the insurer was as easy as it is for them to take those insurance premiums!
10 Tips for Getting Your Insurance Claim Paid By Your Insurer After A Car Accident
Here are 10 tips from the perspective of a Florida car accident lawyer on how you can get an insurance company to pay your claim after you’ve been injured here in Florida:
At the Time of the Accident – Get Your Facts!
1. Get Driver Information.
After it’s clear that everyone is safe and getting any necessary medical care, and without acknowledging what caused the crash, approach the driver (or drivers) and get their insurance information. You will want to know the information provided on their driver’s license (including their address) as well as their insurance policy card or coverage sheet. Note the license plate numbers on the vehicles, too.
2. Get Visuals.
Get photos of the scene of the accident as soon as possible after the crash. Make sure you get photos from several angles of all the vehicles involved, as well as the surrounding area (intersection, blind spots, etc.).
3. Call for a Police Report.
Call the police to get a police officer there so he or she can make their report. This can be vital if the driver is being uncooperative as you try to take photos or gather information. However, even with a cooperative Other Driver, having an experienced police officer at the scene of the accident is important for you. Don’t skip calling the cops.
4. Find Witnesses.
Look for bystanders or others near to the scene that may be able to give witness accounts of what happened to cause the crash. Look for security cameras that might have caught the crash, too.
After the Accident – Know the Policy!
5. Learn Your Policy.
Pull out your insurance policy and read it carefully. Understand what the coverage provides and what things you may need to do in order to be covered. For instance, you may need to check with your carrier about repair to your vehicle or before you go to the doctor for treatment.
6. Document Conversations With Insurance Representatives.
If you need to call your insurance company, either for answers to questions about policy coverage, or to get their approval to see a doctor for treatment after the accident, then make sure to note the date, time, and name of the person (or people) you spoke with at the insurance company. Also make notes about what was said in this conversation. You may need it later to help prove what you were told at the time.
If There is A Denial of Your Claim – Don’t Stop!
7. Appeal Any Denial of Coverage.
Claims can be denied because of stupid mistakes as well as bad faith. If you are denied coverage of a claim, then appeal that decision to the insurance company. Your policy, or the denial letter itself, will give instructions on how to appeal a denied claim.
8. Complain to the Florida Insurance Department.
File a complaint with the state agency that oversees insurance companies in Florida so they can review the denial, as well. The agency will have its own expert analysis team available to grade the papers of the insurance company’s claims process.
9. Hire a Lawyer to Fight the Insurance Claim with You.
Rather than deal with the insurance company on your own, you can have an experienced car accident attorney work on your behalf with the insurance company to get your claim paid. Your lawyer can go through the insurance appeals process on your behalf.
10. File a Lawsuit to Get Justice.
If the insurance company continues to avoid responsibility for paying your claim damages, then you have the right to file a lawsuit against that insurance company for denying your claim. In the event that your accident lawyer can establish that the insurer acted with intentional bad faith, then your “bad faith” claim can include punitive (or “punishment”) damages being awarded to you.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.