Few motorists who have been involved in a Florida truck accident wish to engage in protracted litigation afterward, but instead, prefer to obtain fair compensation in as short a time frame as possible. Thus, most claims that require negotiation with an insurance carrier do in fact settle well before a trial is necessary.
The key to receiving just treatment in such situations is to gain an understanding of how to proceed when dealing with insurance settlements in a Tampa truck accident. If you want to know more about insurance settlements, consult a determined truck accident attorney.
Process of Engaging with Insurance Carriers After a Truck Crash
If you have had the misfortune of experiencing a truck-related crash in Florida, it is important that you enlist the help of law enforcement right away if injuries, death or property loss exceeding $500 have occurred.
While this may seem like an onerous task in the midst of a difficult situation, the documentation that results can prove helpful when it comes time to get in touch with insurance carrier representatives.
No-Fault Auto Insurance System
Florida’s no-fault system of auto insurance, the purpose of which is outlined by Fla. Stat. §627.731 provides that medical expenses incurred by a driver in Florida as a result of a crash will be covered by their own insurance company first, no matter who is deemed responsible for the events in question. Property damage claims, however, can be pursued with the at-fault motorists carrier.
Drivers in Florida are required to have no less than $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance, though that is often wholly insufficient to meet the financial burdens stemming from an accident.
Collecting Evidence of Losses and Their Value
Almost from the instant a demand letter is sent to an insurance company to get settlement negotiations underway, the carrier’s adjuster or attorney will set to work trying to undermine, question and reduce the value of the injury victim’s claim.
In order to put these efforts in check, claimants must be vigilant in accumulating documentation regarding the harm sustained, medical treatments received, future prognosis and more.
An injury attorney will be experienced with insurance settlements in a Tampa truck accident and can guide victims through this process to ensure that the strongest possible case for a proper settlement can be presented.
Carrier Evaluation of Claims
The trajectory and eventual outcome of insurance settlement negotiations after a truck accident will depend on a number of factors.
It is important to bear in mind that an insurance adjuster is not in the business of paying out large claims without substantial justification and will generally do everything possible to minimize financial losses to their employer, even if that means denying otherwise valid arguments. Settlement discussions with adjusters will almost always involve analysis of:
- Type and seriousness of injuries sustained
- Cost of required medical procedures, testing, and treatments
- The anticipated cost of ongoing care and therapy
- Amount of lost wages
- The strength of the documentary evidence presented by the claimant
- Insurance coverage in place at the time of the accident
It should also be noted that Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, as provided by Fla. Stat. §768.81, meaning that a truck accident victim’s possible recovery will be reduced, perhaps significantly, in proportion to their degree of responsibility for what occurred. insurance settlements in a Tampa truck accident
Negotiation Outcomes and the Possible Need for Further Litigation
If settlement talks with an insurance carrier go smoothly and agreement is reached, an injury victim will sign a release in which they pledge not to pursue further action in exchange for the stated payout amount.
However, because this may not represent adequate compensation for all losses incurred, it may be necessary to pursue the at-fault driver separately in court. This course of action is permissible if the accident was extremely serious and permanent disability or disfigurement resulted, but can be daunting without the help of a seasoned injury lawyer.
Zealous Assertion of Victim’s Rights in Florida
Because insurance carriers will go to great lengths to deny even the most thoroughly documented claims, it is critical for truck accident victims to secure the help of a seasoned legal advocate who can go to work on their behalf. An attorney with experience with insurance settlements in a Tampa truck accident case can truly be a claimant’s best ally in the fight for fairness.