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Car Insurance Attorney in DeLand, FL
Nobody ever wants to make a car insurance claim. That’s because when you are making a car insurance claim, this means that your life has been undesirably disrupted in one way or another. You’d prefer to pay your premiums every month and never have a reason to make a car insurance claim.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t care about what you want. And when you’ve gotten into a car accident or your car has been stolen or damaged, you need to make a claim. That is when you are most happy that you have diligently paid your dues. At least, that is what is supposed to happen.
But just as you can’t control whether your car is stolen or damaged, you also can’t control whether the insurance company will compensate you properly when you make a car insurance claim. Insurance companies are notorious for denying rightful claims or underpaying claims.
If this has happened to you, you need the best car insurance attorney in DeLand to protect your rights. Morgan and Morgan offer the car insurance legal services you need to make the insurance companies pay what they owe. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation for your car insurance case.
Florida Is a No-Fault State
It is extremely important to have full insurance coverage in Florida because Florida is a no-fault state. This means that your insurance company pays for damages to your vehicle and medical treatment after an accident, regardless of which party is at fault.
There are some exceptions to this, but if you don’t have the proper amount of insurance, you usually won’t be compensated after an accident.
That doesn’t mean that fault is meaningless in an accident in Florida. The fault will be determined for possible criminal charges. Your insurance company can also increase your insurance rates if you are at fault in an accident.
Finally, if you are seriously injured, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver if they are at fault in the accident.
That last part is incredibly important. Because fault becomes relevant when a party is seriously injured and because insurance companies usually foot the bill in those lawsuits, the other driver’s insurance company may try to conceal that the other driver is at fault.
And even if you can prove that the other driver is at fault, that insurance company is likely to try to minimize how much it pays you. The sooner you hire the best car insurance attorney in DeLand, the sooner you can protect yourself from these predatory practices.
If Fault Doesn’t Matter, Why Do You Need the Best Car Insurance Attorney in DeLand?
Because fault doesn’t matter in most car accident cases, your insurance company will usually be stuck with the bill. And insurance companies don’t like paying money. Therefore, your insurance company is likely to find any excuse possible to deny your claim or to underpay what you are owed.
A car insurance attorney can protect you from these practices. The first step is ensuring your insurance company doesn’t deny your claim. This shouldn't be a problem if your insurance premiums are up-to-date and you have the right type of insurance.
But insurance companies will use any excuse to assert that your claim isn’t valid. Your attorney is familiar with these tactics and can prove that you have a legitimate claim that should be fully covered.
The next step is to ensure that you aren’t underpaid. Again, insurance companies use devious tactics to pay you less than you are owed. For example, an insurance adjuster may use dubious data to undervalue your vehicle or may try to claim that damage or injuries were sustained before an accident.
Just by retaining a lawyer, you help mitigate this behavior by the insurance company. They know that clients who have retained a lawyer are willing to go to court to fight for their claims. And since trials are expensive and court verdicts could result in extremely high damage awards, most insurance companies will make a fair settlement offer rather than risk going to court.
The final protection you get from hiring an insurance attorney is protection against stalling. While it is illegal to unreasonably delay the processing of a claim, most claimants aren’t aware of their rights, and insurance companies are rarely punished for this behavior.
The longer your claim is delayed, the more likely you are to drop the claim or accept an extremely low offer just to get it over with. Your car insurance attorney will clamp down on delays and force your insurance company to act at a reasonable speed.
Serious Injuries Require a Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover medical expenses. This is when it is most important to have an experienced car insurance attorney fighting for you.
When you have suffered a serious injury, you don’t only have immediate medical expenses. You also have long-term medical expenses that may last a lifetime. Additionally, you will likely suffer from lost income due to your injury.
These expenses can be recouped in a lawsuit and usually fall on the other driver’s insurance company to cover.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay a lifetime's worth of expenses and will try to short-change you on compensation. Sometimes, the insurance company might even try to pay you less than your current medical expenses.
You need an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of injuries and costs to examine any settlement offer and advise you on whether it is fair. If it isn’t fair, your attorney can fight for a higher offer and take the recalcitrant insurance company to court.
The consequences of not hiring an experienced lawyer can be overwhelming. You could have lifelong medical expenses and lost income and no way to get compensation for them. Avoid this fate by hiring the best car insurance attorney in DeLand, Morgan and Morgan.
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Can My Insurance Company Raise My Rates After an Insurance Claim?
Unfortunately, your insurance company probably can raise your rates after a claim, even if you aren’t at fault. Your insurance policy will dictate when your insurance company can raise rates and under what circumstances.
If your policy specifically prevents or limits rate increases after an accident where you aren’t at fault, and your insurance company does it anyway, it violates your contract. An experienced car insurance lawyer can help you file a lawsuit for breach of contract if this happens.
Should I Make a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident?
As a good rule of thumb, you should always initiate the claims process after an accident. This both acts as a notification to your insurance company that you were involved in an accident and gets the ball rolling if you end up needing significant compensation for damage and injuries.
Many insurance policies also include time limits to make a claim. And if you don’t file in time, you may be forfeiting your right to receive compensation.
Just because you have initiated a claim doesn’t mean you have to follow through. Up until the moment you receive payment, you can choose to dismiss your claim. This means you can find out what compensation your insurance company is offering before making your final decision.
If you have minor damages or injuries, you may decide you are better off not having a claim against your insurance for minimal benefit.
Can I Dispute the Value That the Insurance Company Gave for My Car?
There are a lot of ways to assign value to a car. Most evaluations are based on the age of the car and the number of miles it has been driven. If your car has been driven considerably fewer miles than expected for the age of your car, you may be able to argue that it is worth more than most comparably aged cars.
Also, if you have refurbished the car in some way, it may have more value than similarly aged cars. Your car insurance attorney can help you dispute an evaluation that you think undervalues your vehicle.
What Happens if I Get Into an Accident in Another State?
Only 12 states in the U.S. are no-fault states. In all other states, the insurance company of the driver at fault covers all or the majority of payments. If you are in an accident in one of those other states, you should still file a claim with your insurance company.
State laws may allow your insurance company to recoup from the other insurance company or may require you to also file a claim with the other insurance company, but those are issues that can be dealt with later in the process.
Morgan and Morgan has branches in every state in the country. So even if you have gotten into an accident in another state, you can still be represented by an experienced and knowledgeable car insurance attorney.
Can I Recover Money if My Car Was Damaged or Destroyed in a Hurricane?
Hurricane season comes every year in DeLand, FL. And usually, there are at least a few high-category hurricanes that cause massive flooding and wind damage. These hurricanes damage and destroy countless vehicles and homes. If your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in a hurricane, you might be eligible for compensation.
Whether you can recover money depends on what your insurance policy covers. Some policies exclude natural disasters or specific natural disasters, like flooding.
The best way to ensure that your car is covered no matter what happens is to purchase the right policy in advance. If there is any gray area in your policy, your insurance company will try to use it to deny you coverage.
Can I Sue My Insurance Company?
Your insurance company has a contract with you. Your insurance company is also bound by state law. If your insurance company breaks the law or breaches the contract, you have the right to sue for damages.
Even though Florida is a business-friendly state, with the right attorney, you can get all of the money you deserve by filing a lawsuit against your insurance company.
What Is the Minimum Amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) That I Am Required to Have?
Florida requires that you have at least $10,000 of PIP coverage to drive a vehicle. This shouldn’t be a problem because no insurance company in the state will let you purchase less when you purchase insurance coverage. The only way you could have less than the minimum required is if you don’t have any car insurance coverage.
Having no coverage is something you should avoid at all costs. Driving without coverage could result in criminal consequences and will likely result in having your license stripped. If you were in an accident and driving without appropriate coverage, you should speak with the best car insurance attorney in DeLand as soon as possible.
Where to Hire the Best Car Insurance Attorney in DeLand
If you are looking for the best car insurance lawyer in DeLand, Morgan & Morgan is the law firm you are looking for. Our experienced attorneys have an excellent record of getting fast and fair settlements from insurance companies. Contact us today to schedule your free initial evaluation of your car insurance case.