How Do You Sue An Insurance Company After An Auto Accident in Florida?
April 1, 2023 | Winters & Yonker, P.A. | Car Accident
Car accidents are expensive. The average economic cost of car accidents in Florida is over $10 billion a year.
Across the United States, the average cost of a car accident that caused an injury is $29,200 and a disabling car accident is $101,000. Even a car accident without injury and only property damage costs an average of $4,700 per car involved.
The reality is that most people cannot afford to get into a car crash. People rely on auto insurance to protect themselves and others from unexpected costs after an auto accident.
If you’ve been in a car crash, you may wonder how to sue a car insurance company for compensation for your injuries or property damage. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get the money you deserve.
File An Auto Insurance Claim With Your Insurance Company
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that you must first file a claim with your own auto insurance company after a crash, even if you didn’t cause the accident. You must file this claim within 2 weeks of the crash.
Florida Insurance Requirements
Florida drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance.
Your policy must have a minimum coverage of $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PDL. If you are hurt in a car crash, your PIP insurance will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages or lost earning capacity, up to $10,000.
Timeline For PIP Claim In Florida
There is a strict timeline for PIP claims in Florida. You must seek medical treatment within two weeks of the accident, or else you waive your right to file a PIP claim. The insurance company has 60 days to investigate your claim, but they must pay the claim within 30 days.
Providing Evidence To The Auto Insurance Company
When you file a claim with your auto insurance company, you will need to provide evidence of your injuries, damages, and other costs. Auto insurance companies are notorious for denying claims to get out of paying.
Examples of relevant evidence include:
- Medical records and doctor’s notes
- Receipts and invoices
- Repair estimates
- Wage records and pay stubs
It is best to provide as much information as possible so that you can expedite the claim and increase your chances of recovery.
When Can You Sue After A Car Accident
If you have severe injuries or your losses are greater than $10,000, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. You cannot sue their auto insurance company directly. Instead, the auto insurance will indemnify the defendant and pay for any awarded damages consistent with the terms of their policy.
Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
The only time that you can sue an insurance company for a car accident is through a bad-faith insurance lawsuit.
All auto insurance companies must settle claims in good faith, which means fairly and honestly. They must make reasonable efforts to settle valid claims. You can sue the auto insurance company directly if they use bad faith and refuse to pay or avoid paying a valid claim.
This may be delaying payment, failing to investigate a claim, or flat-out denying a claim without an explanation. If you sue your own auto insurance company, it is a first-party claim. If you sue the at-fault driver’s company, it is called a third-party claim.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help
Most Florida car accident attorneys are familiar with bad-faith insurance lawsuits because they deal with insurance companies regularly. Before you sue the auto insurance company you should speak with a lawyer for advice on your claim and the best way to proceed.
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805