Insurance Companies’ Role in Car Accident Cases
Insurance companies have two main roles in car accident cases: defending their clients from liability and paying injured people compensation. Yet, both of these roles can conflict with one another.
Our firm has dealt with insurance companies for more than 20 years. If you’re having trouble getting a settlement from an insurer, our car accident lawyer can advocate for what you need. Connect with our team by dialing (954) 633-8270.
Insurance Companies Have Two Primary Roles After a Car Accident
It’s important to note that while many people rely on insurance companies for reimbursement, these agencies have one goal: making money. They make money selling policies and charging monthly premiums.
An insurance company’s role may vary depending on the exact situation’s details. Here’s what to know if:
A Third-Party Claimant Wants Compensation
Consider a car accident case. An insurance company learns that its client caused an accident, and the injured party wants damages. The insurance company will do everything possible to avoid paying for the injured person’s damages and shield its client from liability. It may:
- Offer a low settlement. If the insurance company can’t deny liability altogether, it may offer the injured person a low settlement. While this might not fully cover their losses, it ultimately saves the insurer money.
- Deny the injured person’s claim. For instance, the insurance company could assert that the injured party’s negligence caused the collision, and it’s not liable for their damages.
- Employ bad faith insurance practices. Some insurance companies resort to unscrupulous tactics to deny injured people compensation. For instance, a representative may assert that the claim filing deadline has expired. They may also falsely say that the policyholder doesn’t have coverage for this situation.
You Want Compensation for Your Losses
Some states operate on a no-fault system when it comes to car accidents. In Florida, for example, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) explains that drivers are required to carry insurance that would cover some of their own losses after a crash.
This means that the injured person files a claim with their own insurer before seeking compensation elsewhere. If you’re filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own insurer, it should offer the compensation you’re owed. After all, you’ve paid your premiums, and you’ve maintained the insurance the state requires.
Depending on the exact policy’s details, compensation could account for:
- Medical bills, including future required treatments
- Lost income, tips, bonuses, benefits, and commissions
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage repair or replacement costs
You could also file a claim if your loved one passed away following a collision. In that instance, you could recover the cost of paying for their funeral, burial, and end-of-life care costs.
How Insurance Companies Process Car Accident Claims
Pursuing compensation begins with notifying your insurer of the accident. This may require you to take photos and videos of the collision scene, along with your car’s damage. If you partner with an Florida car accident attorney from our firm, we can send a demand letter that outlines the cost of your damages, the liable party’s policy details, and other relevant facts.
- The insurance company will investigate your claim. All insurance companies must put forth a good-faith effort into investigating a claim. This may involve consulting with field professionals, reviewing the police report, and interviewing witnesses.
- The insurance company will evaluate your damages. The insurance company will review your injury-related receipts and documentation to verify the amount you’re requesting. Still, it may look for ways to cut costs and pay less than you really need.
- The insurance company makes an offer. You don’t have to accept an offer from the insurance company if it doesn’t fully account for your losses. If an offer does meet your needs, however, you can sign a waiver of liability and accept it.
- You start negotiations. You can negotiate with the insurer if it offers a lowball settlement.
A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer from our firm can manage these obligations. While you focus on feeling better, we can file your claim, calculate your losses, and negotiate with the insurer for what you need.
You Have Options if an Insurance Company Doesn’t Cooperate in Your Car Accident Case
Despite its obligations, an insurance company may not fulfill all of its roles. When all else fails, and you can’t recover a fair settlement, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Keep in mind that the at-fault party isn’t the insurance company. The at-fault party is the person or people who directly caused your collision.
Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) notes that most people have four years to file their lawsuits. Some have even less time if they’re filing a wrongful death case. Filing your case before the deadline expires preserves your right to recover damages.
Begin Your Free Case Review With Our Car Accident Team
Having a hard time getting compensation from an insurance company? Our car accident team has recovered millions for injured clients. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato offers free case reviews during which you can learn more about the role of insurance companies in car accident cases. Contact or call (954) 633-8270.