How Does the Insurance Claims Process Work in Florida?

If you were injured in a car accident in Gainesville, FL, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses through a car insurance claim. A car insurance claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy can cover a portion of your property damage, lost wages, and medical costs. However, you might be able to take legal action against the at-fault driver in some circumstances for additional compensation as well.

Either way, the insurance claim process can be complicated. Consulting an experienced Gainesville personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the process. 

It’s also helpful to have an understanding of car insurance coverage in Florida and what happens after you file an insurance claim.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

There are several types of car insurance coverage that may come into play if you’re involved in an accident or your vehicle is damaged. A basic overview of these is helpful for understanding how the car insurance claim process works in Florida. 

Personal Injury Protection

PIP covers medical costs and lost wages up to the policy limit for the policyholder, their children, household members, and passengers who do not have their own PIP coverage. PIP is “no-fault” insurance, so you can utilize it regardless of who caused the crash.

In Florida, drivers must have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage, though you can purchase additional coverage.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability covers damage caused to another person’s vehicle or property in an accident. Each driver must have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage in Florida. 

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability covers medical injuries you may cause to another driver. The other driver would file a claim with your insurance to access those benefits. This type of coverage is optional in Florida.

Comprehensive Coverage

A comprehensive insurance policy covers damage that was not caused by an accident, such as damage caused by vandalism, hail, and theft. This type of coverage is optional in Florida.

Collision Coverage

A collision policy covers damage to your own vehicle even if you were at fault in the accident. This type of coverage is optional in Florida.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection 

Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) covers you if you are injured in an accident caused by someone who lacks insurance, has insufficient coverage, or flees the scene of the accident. 

An experienced Gainesville car accident lawyer will investigate your case, including the available insurance policies. 

How Do Florida’s No-Fault Laws Affect Insurance Claims?

Florida is a “no-fault” state for car accidents. Under this system, drivers file claims with their own insurance company for compensation after a car accident. Florida drivers are required to have personal injury protection coverage, and you will be able to seek coverage up to your policy limit for medical costs and lost wages.

For relatively minor accidents, PIP may be sufficient to cover property damage and minor injuries. The minimum PIP policy limit requirement in Florida is $10,000, though you can purchase higher amounts. 

However, PIP does not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. If you’ve suffered non-economic damages, or other damages that exceed the PIP policy limit, you will need to initiate a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Florida law only allows this under some circumstances, such as if your injuries are especially serious.

An experienced attorney can help you evaluate your best course of action after a crash.

What Happens After You File a Car Insurance Claim?

After you file a car insurance claim, the insurance provider will assign an adjuster to your case. They will then investigate to determine whether to accept or deny liability for your claim.

It’s important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney during this process. They can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t say to an insurance adjuster and make sure that you are receiving the full benefit of any insurance policy. 

What Happens If Your Car Is Totaled

In Florida, if the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds 80% of the actual cash value of the car, then the insurance company will deem it totaled. If this happens, the insurance company likely will not pay for your car to be repaired. 

Instead, they will pay you the reasonable market value of the car, which you can use to pay off any remaining loan amount or to purchase a new vehicle. 

How a Gainesville Car Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case

A knowledgeable Gainesville car accident attorney can help you through the insurance claim process. They will protect your interests and make sure that the insurance provider is not taking advantage of you. An attorney can also help you determine whether you can file a claim against the other driver for maximum compensation.

They can also defend you against claims of fault, which could be important if the other driver later decides to file a claim against your insurance or even a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, you can ask the insurance company to communicate through your attorney, which can save you time and prevent you from saying something that may negatively impact your claim to the adjuster.

Contact Our Experienced Gainesville Car Accident Attorneys in North Central Florida for a Free Consultation

If you were injured in a car accident in Gainesville, you may be wondering what steps to take next and how those steps will impact your compensation, recovery, and insurance rates in the future. Our experienced Gainesville car accident attorneys will review your case and guide you through the process so you obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

Contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258