What to Do When Your Insurer Denies Your Car Accident Claim
Even though you’ve faithfully paid your insurance premiums, it doesn’t always mean that your insurer will pay out claims when you need them. In many cases, no-fault insurance policies don’t cover nearly as much as accident victims need to handle medical expenses, lost wages, etc.
That’s especially true for individuals who have their no-fault insurance claims denied.
Although Florida no-fault insurance laws require insurers to make expeditious payments for claims (no matter whose fault the accident is), it doesn’t always work that way. Insurance companies are notorious for issuing a denial of claim letters and making low-ball offers.
With that in mind, if you’ve received a claim denial letter or a subpar offer, it’s in your best interest to consult a Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Schrier Law Group have helped countless people recover maximum compensation.
We’re confident that we can obtain the best possible outcome for you as well. Contact us today for your free initial case evaluation.
Continue reading to learn more about what to do when your insurer denies your car accident claim in Florida.
Understanding No-Fault Insurance in Florida
Every driver in Florida must carry no-fault PIP insurance coverage of at least $10,000. Generally, PIP insurance pays insurance claims (up to the amount covered) regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.
In most cases, PIP insurance covers up to 80% of the reasonably necessary medical care for driver accident injuries. Further, it can also reimburse you for up to 60% of lost wages.
If you suffer from severe injuries in the accident, you can also pursue a personal injury claim (to cover damages above PIP insurance coverage) against the at-fault driver. Potentially recoverable damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
However, if the injuries you sustain don’t reach the PIP insurance threshold, you are typically limited to personal injury protection benefits.
Reasons You May See a Denial for Your Personal Injury Protection Claim
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not in the business of helping people recover from devastating injuries. Like most companies, their interests lie with the bottom line.
That means that they can and will deny your claim for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Neglecting to seek adequate medical care within two weeks of the accident
- Receiving medical care deemed unnecessary for the injuries sustained by the collision
- Injuries unrelated to the collision
- Driving while under the influence
- An injury resulting from or exacerbated by pre-existing conditions
- You intentionally caused the crash, or the car was stolen
- You were committing a felony offense at the time of the accident
- Your Personal injury Protection policy doesn’t cover the collision or injuries
Although insurers have the right to deny claims, you shouldn’t always take PIP insurance claim denials at face value. Your auto accident lawyer can help you file an insurance claim denials appeal in many cases. Learn more below.
How to Appeal PIP Claim Denials
If you receive a PIP claim denial letter, it will include instructions for submitting an appeal. However, it’s important to note that you are usually required to submit your appeal within a specific time. Otherwise, it will not be effective.
In many cases, insurers use bad faith practices to underpay or outright deny otherwise viable claims. Sometimes, the insurer just needs additional information. However, if you receive a denial from your appeal, it may be time to consult an auto accident lawyer.
Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Florida can drastically increase your odds of recovering maximum compensation for your damages. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your auto accident lawyer may be able to recover compensation for losses incurred due to the wrongful denial of your claim.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Suppose you had injuries from a car accident, but your insurance company refuses to pay PIP benefits. In that case, a proven auto accident lawyer can help you assert your rights, negotiate with your insurer, and take your case to trial if necessary.
Further, if your damages exceed your PIP allowances, an attorney can also help you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. You don’t have to accept your insurer’s excuses for not compensating you for your injuries.
Instead, work with an attorney who will aggressively fight on your behalf for maximum compensation. Contact a top-rated auto accident attorney today at Schrier Law Group for your free initial consultation.
HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA
If you’ve sustained injuries due to an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you can pursue several types of damages (i.e., economic, non-economic, and punitive damages) by filing a personal injury claim.
However, it can be challenging to recover the maximum compensation owed when negotiating with insurers, which is especially true if you intend to pursue non-economic damages like:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Activities
- Worsened prior injuries due to the collision
- Emotional Distress
In most cases, getting maximum compensation requires the skill and experience of a proven Florida auto accident attorney. That’s because, unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don’t have an exact monetary value attached to them.
File Your Personal Injury Claim Within The Florida Statute of Limitations
According to Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), individuals have four years to file a personal injury suit against another person. However, there are exceptions, including but not limited to:
- The injured person was incapacitated (i.e., short or long-term mental illness) at the time of the accident. In that case, the statute of limitations is seven years from the date of the accident.
- The individual who caused the accident leaves Florida after the accident, but before the lawsuit is filed AND the defendant attempted to conceal their identity in order to prevent or delay a lawsuit.
Generally, your Florida accident attorney is likely to suggest filing a personal injury claim much earlier than the statute of limitations allows to ensure fresh evidence and memories from the scene.
Prove The Other Parties Negligence
Negligence is the cornerstone of most personal injury cases. Generally, Florida regards negligence as the failure to use reasonable care that an otherwise reasonably responsible person would use under similar circumstances. To win a negligence-based personal injury case, you must prove the following:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care
- The defendant did not provide (breached) their duty of care
- As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff suffers injuries
- The injuries sustained by the plaintiff are compensable
Furnish Proof of Your Injuries and Damages
Receiving maximum compensation for your injuries requires concrete proof of the injuries sustained. Generally, the best way to document your injuries and their effect on your life include:
- Obtaining evidence from the scene include pictures and videos
- Seeking immediate medical attention and strictly following physician orders
- Adhering to all prescribed rehabilitation
- Writing daily journal entries after the accident describing your injuries, pain, etc.
- Waiting to settle the case until you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
- Hire a Florida auto accident attorney who can help you build your case
Clearly Convey Pain And Suffering And How it’s Linked to the Accident
Before you can pursue damages for pain and suffering, it’s essential to understand what qualifies as pain and suffering in Florida. Generally, pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain the plaintiff endures due to the accident and subsequent injuries.
Common examples of pain and suffering include headaches, body pain, neck pain, etc. Further emotional pain and suffering can include sleeplessness, PTSD, fear, anxiety, etc., resulting from the collision.
It’s important to clearly differentiate your pain and suffering post-accident from your life before the accident occurred. That means that you and your Florida accident attorney need to prove how your life has worsened after the accident.
Stay Away From Social Media
If you’re claiming significant economic and non-economic damages in your personal injury case, it’s essential not to publish posts on social media sites that could infer otherwise. For example, if you’re claiming serious back injuries, but your Facebook page shows videos of you energetically participating in physically strenuous activities, your case could suffer. Most auto accident attorneys recommend staying away from all social media activities until the conclusion of your case.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Attorney Today
Suppose you’ve suffered significant injuries resulting from the negligence of another party. In that case, you may be eligible to receive maximum compensation for your damages. However, recovering maximum damages isn’t always an easy task.
Hiring the best Florida auto accident attorney for your situation can be the difference between a successful personal injury claim and an unsuccessful claim.
At Schrier Law Group, our auto accident lawyers have been instrumental in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in personal injury cases. We’re confident that we can help you achieve the best results in your case as well. Contact us today at 1-800-700-7285 for your free initial consultation.
HOW DEFENSIVE DRIVING CAN PREVENT A CAR ACCIDENT FROM HAPPENING
Did you know that 77% of drivers have been in at least one accident in their life? In many cases, individuals involved in accidents are not at fault, and they are the victim of a reckless or distracted driver. With that in mind, learning and practicing defensive driving techniques can help you and your family to avoid a major collision while driving.
What is defensive driving? Defensive driving is the practice of using safe driving techniques to avoid accidents by predicting potential hazards and doing your best to stay away from them.
Drivers who routinely use defensive driving techniques can expect:
- Decreased insurance premiums
- Lowered risk of being the victim of an accident
- Reduced risk of causing an accident
If you’ve already suffered injuries resulting from the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries, property damage, and more. Contact Paul Schrier at Schrier Law Group at 1-800-700-PAUL for your free initial consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Continue reading to learn more about how defensive driving can help drivers avoid accidents.
How Can Defensive Driving Help Drivers Avoid Accidents?
No defensive driving technique is 100 percent effective. However, regularly practicing defensive driving skills can drastically improve your chances of making it to your destination without getting into an accident. A few of the most effective methods to avoid car collisions in Florida are listed below.
Follow The Law And Pay Attention to The Signs
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding contributes to 26% of all traffic fatalities. While it may seem normal to go a bit faster than the posted speed limit, you should be aware that doing so drastically increases your risk of getting into an accident.
Further, it’s essential to pay attention to posted signs like:
- School zones
- Children at play / recreation zones
- Slippery when wet
Driving at a safe speed and paying attention to posted signs can help you and your family avoid disaster while driving on Florida roads and highways.
Only Use The Passing Lane When Necessary
The passing lane (the lane furthest to the left) is meant for drivers who need to increase their speed to pass other drivers momentarily. Generally, it’s not recommended to remain in the passing lane for most of your trip. Doing so can lead to traffic congestion and potentially create unsafe conditions for you and other drivers on the road, especially if you’re driving at a reasonable speed while in the passing lane.
Use Defensive Driving Techniques to Avoid Dangerous Situations
While driving, it’s imperative to practice the three defensive driving techniques that are proven to help drivers avoid accidents. What are the three basic principles of defensive driving?
- Always put safety first (i.e., higher importance than speed, comfort, or fun) and follow the rules of the road.
- Be courteous with other drivers and be aware of unsafe driving conditions and reckless driving behaviors.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained (i.e., brakes, mirrors, tires, etc.).
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
According to the CDC, approximately eight people are killed every day in car accidents due to distracted driving. Distractions can lead to devastating collisions that put you and other drivers at risk of injury or worse. With that in mind, examples of distractions you should avoid while driving include but are not limited to:
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
- Typing in directions while operating your car
- Eating and driving
- Sending or reading a text message or similar
Hope For The Best But Prepare For The Worst
Accidents can happen anywhere, to anyone, and at any time. With that in mind, it’s essential to be ready for the worst-case scenario. That means that you should always assume that another driver is capable of causing a dangerous situation. A few things you can do to help yourself prepare for the worse include keeping a safe distance, getting off the road when you notice unsafe driving, and practicing patient driving techniques.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Sometimes, defensive driving techniques aren’t enough to help you avoid the recklessness of another driver. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another driver, you may be entitled to maximum compensation. Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you:
- Identify and collect evidence
- Negotiate with insurance providers
- Calculate your damages
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Contact Schrier Law Group today at 1-800-700-7285 to discuss your case with a proven auto accident lawyer.
How Do You Determine Who Is Responsible for an Uber or Lyft Passenger’s Injuries?
If you speak to most Florida car accident lawyers, they will often have interesting stories about specific automobile accident cases, in which it was challenging to determine the complete liability picture or the causation between the type of impact and the injuries complained of, and then amazed at the amount of monetary compensation that they were able to recover for their clients. There are various reasons why the best attorneys in Florida can face even more obstacles in cases that involve clients who were injured as passengers in Rideshare vehicles, including Umber, Lyft, etc.).
Why Are Ridesharing Cases Confusing?
The reason why ridesharing vehicles, such as Uber & Lyft auto accident cases, pose additional obstacles for lawyers and their clients is because the courts and the legislature had not determined enough guidelines. Until recently, it had not been determined whether Uber and/or Lyft entities were deemed to be employees or contractors. That also means that the Uber and Lyft drivers were not defined as either independent contractors or employees until recently as well. Florida has a no-fault system.
Meaning, if a Floridian owns a vehicle for which security is required, their own insurance company must generally pay their medical bills, regardless of who is at fault. No fault coverage, often referred to as PIP coverage, pays for the first $10,000 of medical expenses, lost wages, plus an additional $5000 for funeral/burial expenses, subject to the deductible that each owner of a vehicle carries. Additionally, much has changed since 1971, when No Fault Law first came into existence in Florida.
Insurance Policies and Ridesharing Companies
Automobile insurance premiums have only risen, time and time again, since 1971. However, PIP Insurance Coverage, which used to pay 80% of medical bills submitted and 60% of lost wages submitted, has actually taken many steps backward. The best Pip Insurers will generally pay less for the medical care that is received by an injured automobile accident victim today than in 1971.
The laws in Florida regarding Uber & Lyft cases can present a web of obstacles and potential complications for particular lawyers. That is why it is most important that Floridians use the services of a top Uber, Lyft, and Rideshare accident attorney. While there are many general negligence lawyers in Florida, the experienced lawyers are often thorough, up to date as to new laws, and they understand how & when each insurance coverage applies.
The attorneys and legal teams in Schrier Law Group have been successfully handling rideshare cases for both drivers and passengers since Uber first began doing business in Florida.
There are distinctions to be made for various scenarios, and lawsuits may have to be filed against certain insurers when the right insurer denies coverage and refuses to honor the driver’s or the passenger’s coverage under their insurance policy. One of the main issues that determine which insurance must provide coverage often centers around whether the Uber or Lyft driver was on the clock and driving a fare or the driver was driving their vehicle, but not actually on the clock for providing Uber or Lyft services.
At Schrier Law Group, it bothers us when we learn that the right insurer has denied its obligations to provide coverage, whether under the Uber or Lyft drivers policy or under the policy of the entities, Uber or Lyft. There are many wrongful denials of insurance coverage involved in the handling of Uber, Lyft, and other Ridesharing accident crash cases. The right Florida car crash lawyer must be able to assist Uber & Lyft injured accident victims.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Rules & Uber Accidents
Suppose you are a passenger and you are involved in an Uber accident because another driver is careless (other than the rideshare driver). In that case, you will most likely be able to recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If the careless, other driver is underinsured or does not have insurance, you may have to rely on your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. It covers a percentage of your medical expenses and potentially other economic damages.
Since Florida is a “No-Fault State,” all motor vehicle owners must have at least $10,000 of PIP insurance coverage. Uber passengers are not required to have PIP insurance, but if they do, they may be eligible for PIP benefits under their own policy.
Additionally, the “at fault” driver’s insurance (if they have insurance) must pay 20% of the approved and authorized PIP amounts paid to the victim, as well as all “reasonable, related, and medically necessary bills” for the damages not covered by PIP insurance.
What If the Uber Driver Is at Fault?
If you are an Uber passenger involved in an accident and the Uber driver is at fault, Uber’s insurance may cover accident-related expenses up to $1 million. However, if the Uber driver isn’t logged into the app when the accident occurs (and you are still their passenger), you must seek damages from their personal insurance coverage.
What Damages Can I Recover After an Uber Accident?
If your Uber driver causes an accident that leads to injuries, you may be eligible to seek damages for many reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Healthcare costs: hospital bills, physician appointments, medication costs, physical rehabilitation, etc.
- Lost income: income lost due to missed work or decreased wages due to injuries caused by the car accident.
- Pain and Suffering: decreased quality of life, mental health damages, ongoing physical pain, etc., resulting from the accident.
- Loss of a loved one: the anguish, loss of companionship, decreased income caused by the death of a loved one due to an Uber accident.
It’s important to note that it’s not always easy to get the compensation you deserve after an Uber-related accident. That’s why it’s essential to work with an Uber car accident lawyer who won’t stop until you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
What Steps Should I Take After an Uber Car Accident?
Uber & Lyft are multibillion-dollar companies with unlimited resources at their disposal. With that in mind, it can still be challenging to get the compensation that you deserve after suffering injuries in an Uber accident. Listed below are a few steps that you should take immediately after a collision occurs and you are injured.
- Seek immediate medical attention
- File a police report
- Collect insurance and contact information from all parties involved
- Take videos and photos of the scene and your injuries
- Contact an Uber car accident lawyer as soon as possible
By following these steps, you will be helping your own case go smoothly by providing your car accident attorney with important evidence to build a strong case on your behalf. The better the evidence, the more likely your lawyer will be in a position to negotiate the most money possible for your injuries.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in an Uber accident, the car accident lawyers at Schrier Law Group can help you get the money you deserve. We’ve helped countless clients recover more than 500 Million Dollars in damages over many years. Why not you?
Recovering the most money possible for our clients is one of our daily goals. You should not have to think twice or worry about who will pay for your medical bills, lost wages, future loss of income, pain & suffering, or the other monetary damages available to an injured accident victim. When you hire Schrier and the lawyers at Schrier Law Group, you are securing peace of mind that you will have a skilled Florida Rideshare accident attorney handling your case.
Have you suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle? If so, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. All too often, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing passengers have been assaulted, raped & killed by Uber Lyft and other Ridesharing entities drivers. By the same token, these tragic occurrences also have occurred way too often to the drivers of Uber and Lyft vehicles.
If you or a loved one is physically assaulted or even tragically killed because of the unthinkable actions of an Uber, Lyft, or other Ridesharing driver, Schrier Law Group can help because we know that many of the hiring processes and background checks have often left too many stones unturned. The attorneys at Schrier Law Group handle cases. We can often bring a case against the Ridesharing companies for either the negligent hiring of a driver or for negligent retention of a driver who was not fired after they already showed a propensity to commit violent or horrific acts.
Our attorneys at Schrier Law Group have aggressively and compassionately represented car accident victims for more than 45 years. We can do the same for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get the most compensation possible for your case.
How to Take Good Photos After a Car Accident
If you are involved in an accident, comprehensively documenting of what happened could help support your case; should you choose to hire an attorney. Accidents can be a difficult and bewildering time. Therefore, taking photos of the scene of the accident could help you or your attorney catch some of the most important details that could be missed due to your pain or confusion.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, it may benefit you to contact a car accident lawyer. Your Florida accident lawyer can help you obtain the fair value for your vehicle damage and either negotiate an appropriate settlement for your injury case or advocate for you in court. The right attorney will secure the most compensation for you, by presenting the most relevant evidence to ensure that you are awarded all of the damages that you are entitled to.
Take Photos of The Scene And Your Injuries
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. By taking photos of the accident scene, including the damage done to both vehicles, as well as the position of the vehicles after the crash, you will be in a better position to prove what actually took place. Most of the photos can be used as evidence in court.
Many bruises, cuts, lacerations, and scrapes will eventually heal, but having pictures of your injuries could also help your Florida car accident attorney build a case for you. If you have permanent scars or bruises, Florida Law permits you to obtain compensation for the cost to surgically improve the scars and for the permanent damage that has been done because of the negligence of the other driver. Damages are typically awarded based on proof and many photos can provide additional evidence regarding your injuries.
Take a picture of Your Vehicle and Other Vehicles Involved
Capturing photos of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved after the crash may prevent you from being responsible for damages that you did not cause.
The photos that you take could demonstrate some of the details about your accident that you may not recall months or years later. They also may assist your lawyer and legal team with your case, by proving omissions in witness statements, as well as various inconsistencies that may appear on police reports.
Take A Lot of Pictures and Videos
Taking more videos and photos than necessary may prove useful when it’s time to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
The more photos you have, the more likely they can provide context for your accident and help your Florida personal injury law firm tell the story of your accident and why you deserve to recover compensation.
It could also be of use to take photos of the licenses and insurance information of the parties involved. After your accident, things may be lost, especially if your car gets towed, along with your personal possessions inside. Taking photos of everyone’s documentation and evidence can ensure that you have a backup. These photos should also be tagged, with the date of the accident, which may come in handy if the Florida statute of limitations is an issue in your case.
Get Close, Shoot Wide, Cover Everything
Getting close-up shots can help provide more details about the specific elements of your accident. They also can provide some evidence as to how the accident may have occurred. Shooting wide shots also provide context, as to where the accident happened and may provide evidence as to who’s liable. A best practice, post-accident, is to take lots of photos, to cover everything that you think will be helpful evidence, whether for yourself or for your Personal Injury Attorney to use.
Give The Photo a Sense of Scale
Placing a small item in the photo to provide a reference point for your damages or injuries could be very useful. Pictures can show how your injuries have changed over time, especially if they worsen. Using everyday items in your post-crash photos as a reference point could help expedite your injury claims process.
Be Sure To Capture Hazards That Led To the Accident
Capturing photos of what may have contributed to your accident could establish who is at fault and, therefore, liable for the accident.
Proving liability is essential to winning a car accident case, whether in or out of court. It is up to you, the victim, to prove who the negligent party was in your case. By capturing the right photos, you will be able to assist in establishing who the at-fault party was and who should be providing compensation for your case.
Don’t Forget About The Lighting in The Photos
Capturing photos with and without flash could make a difference in the quality of the images. That’s why Florida car accident attorneys suggest taking lots of pictures and changing the lighting options on those photos so that you don’t miss any crucial details.
Factors That Can Affect The Quality Of Your Pictures
Many factors could contribute to the overall quality of your photos. The lighting and the angles you take the photo at can affect the appearance and perception of your accident or injuries. Adjust for the lighting, zoom in and out, and secure videos also, to make sure that you cover all of your bases.
Contact The Schrier Law Group Today
If you need a car accident attorney, they will be able to determine which photos to use, post-accident, to assist you with your case, contact Schrier Law Group at 1-800-700-7285. You may not know about some of the best car accident and negligence law firms because they are not necessarily on tv commercials. Schrier Law Group is known for making a huge difference and for changing the negative perception that too many have about personal injury lawyers. The lawyers, investigators, and assistants, at Schrier Law Group, aggressively and compassionately represent those who have unfortunately been injured victims of negligence.