What To Do if Someone Files a Gainesville Car Accident Claim Against You
Bill Allen | February 6, 2023 | Car Accidents
Let’s say you were just involved in a minor fender bender car accident in Gainesville, Florida. The other driver may have convinced you not to report the accident to the police because they said they didn’t want to report the accident to their insurance company. They may have even promised to pay for your vehicle’s repairs.
However, you now learn that the other driver has filed a claim with your insurance company. You’re sure you didn’t do anything wrong, and you don’t understand how you’re now being blamed for the collision. What do you do? Allen Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers explains the situation and what you can do to protect your rights.
How To Deal With Fraudulent Insurance Claims
The other driver may be committing insurance fraud against you. Insurance fraud occurs when someone attempts to defraud the public or insurers. Examples of auto insurance fraud might include:
- Someone intentionally causes an accident
- Medical providers, lawyers, and others are involved in a scheme to receive payment for fraudulent claims
- The alleged victim exaggerates injuries or lies about injuries to get proceeds from an insurance policy
- The alleged victim uses the accident to blame someone else for a pre-existing injury
Finding out that you are in this type of situation can be terrifying and confusing. If you believe that you are a victim of insurance fraud, it is important that you understand your rights and the process you may be subject to.
What Happens When an Insurance Claim Is Made Against You?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. If someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident, they turn first to their own insurance provider for coverage, regardless of fault. However, if the victim alleges that they suffered a “serious injury” as described by state law, they can file a claim against the at-fault party.
The process of filing an insurance claim usually contains the following steps:
- The alleged victim contacts the at-fault party’s insurance company and reports the accident.
- The insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to the case.
- The insurance adjuster investigates the accident. They may review the police report, interview the parties involved, and contact witnesses.
- Based on the investigation, the insurance company decides whether or not to approve the claim. If the company approves the claim and accepts liability on your behalf, it may try to negotiate a settlement with the driver within your policy limits.
If the insurance company denies the claim, it is contractually obligated to defend you against any personal injury lawsuit the alleged victim may file against you. The insurance company typically hires and pays a lawyer to defend you. Depending on the insurance company and the language of your policy, you may or may not be able to choose the lawyer you hire.
As part of the proceedings, your lawyer may decide to file a counterclaim against the alleged victim for the damages you suffered because of their negligence.
How To Avoid an Exaggerated Personal Injury Claim
The best way to avoid having this situation arise is to be prepared in advance. It is important to be vigilant and on the lookout for potentially fraudulent behavior. You may be able to protect your rights by considering this advice:
- Report the accident to the police, even if the other driver is begging you not to.
- If the police do not respond to the accident scene, file a report with the DMV as soon as possible.
- Take pictures at the scene of the accident, including the damage to all involved vehicles, any relevant traffic signs, skid marks, your injuries, and wide angles of the scene.
- Ask any witnesses for their contact information.
- Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation, but do not apologize for the accident or accept blame outright.
Finally, if you were injured in an accident you think was not your fault, contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, 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: