Car Insurance Claims Disputes Lawyers in Fort Myers
Car Insurance Claims Disputes Lawyers in Fort Myers
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Car Insurance Claims Disputes Lawyers in Fort Myers
Southwest Florida is a dangerous area to drive, and statistics support this observation. Many people suggest it's due to increased population, inadequate traffic rules, and just plain poor driving habits. Driving behavior is a top factor in accident prevention. Some have suggested Florida's no-fault insurance system is a component in the number of collisions because people aren't held accountable for bad decisions. Still, negligent drivers can be held responsible if the injuries they cause to another are significant. Under these circumstances, we highly advise Fort Myers residents to consider legal help.
Our car insurance claims dispute lawyers in Fort Myers are prepared to help you battle it out with the at-fault driver's insurance company or even your own insurer if they're giving you the runaround. Motorists are responsible for knowing and obeying traffic laws, paying attention, and observing traffic signals and signs. When they fail and cause harm or property loss to another individual, they must pay the price. Morgan and Morgan can help make a difference in your pursuit of justice and compensation.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.
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What to Expect When Making an Insurance Claim Against Your Own Insurer in Florida?
Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, the first step most people will take after an accident is filing a claim with their own insurance provider. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is supposed to pay for your medical bills and provide partial payment for lost income. At least that's what's on the policy. However, just because it's your own insurer doesn't mean they won't look for ways to underpay or even deny coverage.
You may be questioned concerning the seriousness of your injuries or the type of medical treatment you're getting. You may be compelled to undergo an independent medical exam (IME) to satisfy their skepticism of the gravity of your injuries. Your own insurance company may even try to insist they know what kind of treatment you should receive. Suppose this is how your own insurance company treats you. In that case, it's no wonder why you're looking for the best car insurance claims disputes lawyers in Fort Myers.
PIP policies are managed by adjusters whose primary role is to limit costs. This direction comes from the top to reduce coverage wherever possible. This often comes to pass by requiring an IME. Unfortunately, if your insurer demands it, you must comply in accordance with the terms of your insurance contract, or they can flat-out deny coverage. The purpose of an IME is to get a medical evaluation from an independent physician who will determine if the treatment you're receiving is reasonable and necessary and provide an opinion about future treatment.
Of course, the expectation of such an exam is that the doctor will side with the insurance company and conclude that further coverage should be denied. Then, you'll have to find a way to pay for medical treatment on your own. Since being uncooperative isn't viable, the insurance companies have a stranglehold on your choices, and your options are minimal. When an insurance provider demands an IME, getting in touch with Morgan and Morgan Law Firm is vital.
Our attorneys can provide you with advice to make the most of this compulsory exam. We may even attend and record the exam to ensure the physician is using the proper testing procedures. The choice of physician is up to the insurer, so we find that the presence of a legal representative willing to document the proceedings is a great incentive to curb any bias. If your coverage is denied following the IME, we can offer advice on the next steps. You may have options such as pursuing a claim against the other driver, or we may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against your insurer, asking the courts to compel them to continue coverage.
How About Bad Faith Insurers in Fort Myers?
Under Florida insurance laws, vehicle owners are required to carry the minimum amount of PIP and property damage insurance. While vehicle owners have laws they must obey, so do insurance companies. Your rights as a consumer are protected. Florida insurance companies can be forced to pay damages exceeding the value of the claim if they are found in breach of contract or operating in bad faith. Let's take a look at both scenarios.
Bad faith - Bad faith insurance tactics are just as awful as they sound. Bad faith is being treated with intentional dishonesty or unfairness when you're trying to settle an insurance claim. You might get a denial notice for the most senseless reason, or they might be dodging your request for answers. Either way, they're not holding up to their end of the contract.
Insurance policies are, in fact, a contract, and consumers have rights that insurers must respect. If they run afoul of their obligations, they can be liable to pay what you're owed under the policy and then some. Here are some examples of bad faith tactics:
- Altering an application without the knowledge of the policy applicant
- Denial of claims without a reasonable investigation
- Misrepresenting the facts of the claim in order to reduce or deny payment
- Not investigating a claim in a reasonable amount of time
- Failure to communicate promptly with a claimant
- Failing to provide notice to claimant if additional information is required on their part
If we can establish an insurance provider attempted any of these tactics to deny, delay or underpay
your claim, we may be able to recover a significant amount under Florida's bad faith insurance law.
Breach of contract - Insurance companies are masters at creating contracts and coming up with policy terms. When doing so, they carefully word these policies to maximize profits and minimize payouts. However, should they violate the terms of the contract, they may be found in breach and subject to a lawsuit. Breach of contract is closely aligned with bad faith insurance tactics and may include the following:
- False advertising or selling practices
- Misrepresenting policy language
- Failure to meet the reasonable expectations of the policyholder
- Refusal to pay for something that is listed as a covered loss under the policy
- Refusing liability for an accident
- Not offering up to the allowable limits of the policy
- Offering far less than what the policyholder deserves
Breach of contract is against civil law, and the affected party has a right to pursue damages in court. A judge or the court will interpret the language of the policy to determine if a breach of contract took place and award fair compensation to the plaintiff if applicable. The insurance company in violation may also be liable to pay further damages for acting in bad faith.
What About At-fault Driver Insurance Claim Disputes in Fort Myers?
As mentioned earlier in this article, the no-fault insurance law in Florida is not absolute in the event of severe injuries. Still, determining liability will be of great consequence when trying to win compensation. Even if your injuries allow you to step outside the no-fault law, another hurdle might be your percentage of fault, if any, for the accident. The standard in Florida for this scenario is called pure comparative negligence, which means each party is liable for their contribution to injuries sustained.
For example, if you were seriously injured by a rear-end collision, typically, this would be a straightforward case because the person who rear-ended you would be at fault. However, the other party may argue that you had some responsibility for your injuries if you were not wearing a seatbelt. They may argue that because you were not following the law, the injuries you suffered were made worse. In this instance, we may recommend filing a lawsuit to allow a jury to decide what percentage of fault you should be assigned or suggest that you accept a lesser settlement if their evidence is strong.
If we believe you had no contributory negligence, we may employ the service of an accident reconstructionist to prove it. The availability of resources a law firm has access to is crucial in complicated cases such as these. That's why working with Morgan and Morgan is a smart idea. Not only are our car insurance claims disputes lawyers in Fort Myers prepared to take on big insurance attorneys, but they're armed with all the resources they could need to back them up. That's a huge plus. Smaller firms may not have the capacity to handle difficult cases. However, they'll charge you just as much as we would. Trusting your family's future with a lesser law firm makes no sense.
How Can Morgan and Morgan Help Me Win a Car Insurance Claim Dispute?
If you're facing contradictory statements from the other driver, or the insurance adjuster isn't buying your version of the story, you may feel hopeless. The other driver will most likely have big-time insurance lawyers working on their side. Why shouldn't you be equally matched with a fierce advocate of your own? We will work to collect evidence, settle fault disputes, and ensure vital deadlines are met.
Having keen negotiation skills is perhaps the most critical trait of a successful personal injury lawyer. After all, our role is to make sure you get compensation so you can get medical care and get back on track.
You can have a powerful ally on your side to take the burden of collecting evidence and building a case off your shoulders. That way, you can concentrate on more important things like taking care of yourself and your loved ones. As you may have already discovered, insurance companies are invested in making a profit, not necessarily helping you in your time of need. Sadly, this is even true if you're the policyholder and the one who has paid years and years of premiums.
Give Morgan and Morgan Law Firm an opportunity to demonstrate why tens of thousands of clients have chosen us to represent their legal interests. We know every car insurance claim dispute is unique, and so are our clients. We will work tirelessly to resolve your claim favorably. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.