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How Do Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accident Claims In Florida?

After a car accident, insurance companies take care of everything. Right?

Don't be so sure.

In most cases, a lot happens after an accident. And if you don't stay on top of everything going on, you might not get the money you deserve. Even if you did nothing wrong and the other driver clearly caused your crash, there's no guarantee that all of your expenses associated with your crash will be covered.

So what can you do? To understand your rights, it's important to know what normally happens after an accident in Florida. You should also be aware of the terminology often used after a crash. What's an accident claim? Indemnification? Subrogation?  You can the answers to all those questions - and many more - here or by simply contacting our law firm. If you were in a car accident, we can handle the insurance company red tape so you can focus on recovering.

What is a car accident claim?

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you will likely need to file a claim with your insurance company. A claim is simply your way of letting your insurance company know you have been in accident. And in most cases, you file a claim because you believe you deserve to be financially compensated for the expenses associated with your accident.

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How long do I have to file a car accident claim in Florida?

In most cases, you have up to 4 years to file a claim in Florida after your car accident. However, just because you have that much time does not mean you should wait that long to file a claim. In many cases, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to find the evidence you need to build a strong legal case.

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What normally happens after a car accident victim files a claim?

In most cases, after you file an accident claim, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. Afterward, what happens to your claim often rests in the hands of a claims adjuster.

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What's a claims adjuster?

Claims adjusters work for insurance companies. Their job is to investigate accident claims and determine who was at fault in an accident. In order to find that information, adjusters will often go to the scene of an accident, obtain a copy of a police report for an accident or contact accident victims directly. That's why you should expect to receive a phone call or a personal visit from an adjuster after your accident.

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What type of information do claims adjusters normally look for after a crash?

Claims adjusters examine a wide range of information when it comes to car accidents. They might talk to witnesses to find out what they saw. Other times, adjusters often inspect the vehicles involved in a crash. They also review medical records for accident victims and consult with experts. All of these details go into building an adjuster's case and determining who was at fault in an accident.

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Should I talk to a claims adjuster if one contacts me?

No. Even though an adjuster's questions might seem straightforward, the reality is they don't work for you. They work for the insurance company. And insurance companies often only care about one thing - paying accident victims as little as possible. Simply tell an insurance adjuster that you have hired an attorney and instruct them to direct all their questions to your lawyer. That way, an attorney can deal with the adjuster, who may be fishing for information to build a strong legal case against you.

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What is indemnification?

Indemnification is a term to describe the agreement between your insurance company and yourself to compensate you immediately after your accident. Ultimately, if another driver caused your accident his or her insurance company will likely compensate you. But in the short term, your insurance company will pay for most expenses related to your accident (medical bills, car repairs, etc.) under the process known as indemnification.

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What is subrogation?

If your insurance company determines that the other driver caused your accident, your insurance company will then likely seek compensation from the other driver's insurance company through a process known as subrogation. Your insurance company will pursue this legal process because, in most cases, your insurance company initially covered all your accident-related expenses before insurance adjusters determined who was at fault. Now, your insurance company wants to be reimbursed by the other driver's insurance company.

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Who will pay my medical bills after my accident?

In most cases, your insurance company will pay your medical bills after your accident. That's because Florida is a "No-Fault State." However, there are exceptions to this rule. In particular, accidents that result in permanent injuries could involve your insurance company seeking compensation from the other driver's insurance company.

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Who will pay for repairs to my car after my accident?

The same "No-Fault State" rules apply to car repairs in Florida. Most of the time, your insurance company compensates you. But the other driver's insurance company may be held responsible if your accident results in permanent injuries. That's why it's important to consult with a lawyer after an accident. You could be entitled to more compensation. But your insurance company might be reluctant to do that, especially if paying you less money will save the company more.

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Who determines who caused my car accident?

Insurance adjusters make the initial decision involving who's at fault after an accident. However, if you disagree with the adjuster's decision, you can appeal the adjuster's decision.

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What can I do if I disagree with the claims adjuster's findings?

You can appeal an insurance adjuster's decision several ways - by appealing the ruling to the adjuster's supervisor, through mediation, arbitration or even taking the insurance company to court. All of these legal options have their advantages. That's why it's important to discuss your options with an experienced lawyer who understands how the legal system works in Florida.

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Can I take legal action against an insurance company after an accident?

Yes. You can file a lawsuit against an insurance company if you believe you have not been fairly compensated for your crash. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your accident could be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The important thing to remember is you have rights and you don't have to accept an insurance company's offer.

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How can a lawyer help me deal with an insurance company?

When you have an attorney on your side, you're sending a clear, strong message to the insurance company. And that message is that they better take your case seriously right away. Having a lawyer working for you levels the playing field. It allows you to build a strong case and challenge an insurance adjuster's findings during negotiations or in court. Some attorneys simply want to negotiate with insurance companies. We're not afraid to go to court. We have decades of experience working with accident victims. We know how the legal system works in Palm Beach County, Florida. We have a strong track record of success. That's why we're eager to work with you.

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