By law in Tampa, Florida, motorists need to have a minimum of $10000 in PIP – Personal Injury Protection coverage. It is in line with Florida’s no-fault insurance systems, where no matter who caused the accident, both parties should claim insurance under their PIP. Only after the PIP coverage is exhausted on account of medical expenses can car accident victims begin a car accident settlement process.
The process can be overwhelming for most people. It would help if you got in touch with a Tampa car accident Lawyer to represent your rights best and receive a fair car accident settlement claim. Some of the things that your attorney will help you with are detailed below.
One of the first things to do is to gather insurance information. Your attorney will contact the other driver’s insurance company and report the accident if he is at fault. Your car accident lawyer will also report the accident to your carrier to protect you if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
The other party’s insurance company will then examine the facts of the accident to decide the claim. They have a whole battery of specialists who will look at the crash report, speak to medical experts and others, and will try to reduce your claim amount. Your lawyer will advise you on what you should and should not do at this stage. In some cases, the insurance company will deny your claim outright because of policy reasons. Once denied, you will need your lawyer to help with your rightful claim. Otherwise, the process of accident claim will be halted for you.
One of the serious steps that your attorney will take is to value your claim correctly. It’s easy enough to calculate damages for bills raised due to medical expenses or lost wages. The tricky bit is appraising the loss of future income and the cost of upcoming medical treatments. Your lawyer will consult with a network of experts who can give the best evaluation for your claim.
When all options have been exhausted, and the other driver’s insurance company cannot deny your claim, they will make you a settlement offer. Most of the time, the offer amount is far lower than your claim since they want to pay out the minimum amount possible. Experienced attorneys know that the amount offered is only to tempt you to take the easiest settlement route. They have the know-how to negotiate with large insurance carriers skillfully. You have a far better chance to receive a better settlement if your lawyer handles it rather than if you do it on your own.
When settlements are not straightforward, you may be asked to go through mediation and arbitration procedures. If these fail to get you the compensation you deserve, you can hire an attorney to represent you and file a petition in court against the other driver. A skilled attorney can get the insurance company to agree to settle the case and renegotiate the claim before going to court.
In conclusion, it’s wise to contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney who can advise you through the claims process.