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How Does My Insurance Company Affect My Tampa Personal Injury Claim?
How Does My Insurance Company Affect My Tampa Personal Injury Claim?

How Does My Insurance Company Affect My Tampa Personal Injury Claim?

If you’ve been in a Tampa car accident, you need to educate yourself and get the right information on how your insurance company will affect your personal injury claim. In this article, we’ll discuss the following key points:

  • What you can expect during the insurance investigation process
  • The role of your insurance company in your accident claims process
  • What an insurance adjuster is and how they affect your claim
  • The basics of Tampa insurance requirements
  • Immediate steps to take if you’re injured and need to file a personal injury claim
  • And how you to get in touch with the top Tampa Car Accident Lawyers in your area

What to Expect From Your Insurance Company During a Tampa Personal Injury Investigation

The first thing you can expect is for your insurance company to launch an investigation. The type of coverage you seek will be dependent on what kind of accident it is. That is, if you were in a car accident, you’ll deal with auto insurance. If you were attacked by a dog, you might seek compensation through homeowner’s insurance or pet liability insurance.

For this article’s purposes, we’ll mainly discuss a personal injury claim as they relate to a car accident injury. Here are the steps auto insurance companies take to carry out an investigation:

1. First, they open a file for your claim (you must first submit a claim to begin the process).

2. The company will then assign an adjuster to your case and begin the investigation process.

3. Your insurance will contact you about the claim or whoever is the insurance policyholder. The adjuster wants to get accident details from you and discuss the events of the accident. It’s your choice to speak with an adjuster – or not. You have no legally binding obligation to speak to an insurance adjuster.

The smartest thing to do is talk to a Tampa personal injury lawyer who knows what they are talking about and get some solid advice before talking to an adjuster. If you do talk to the insurance company without a lawyer, don’t say too much. Keep your responses brief, and only talk about the facts. Don’t get too emotional or feel the need to over-explain anything. Bottom line – If they don’t ask about it, don’t talk about it.

4. The insurance company will ask you for any relevant records, documentation, and paperwork to provide proof of your injuries (and other damages). For example, they might want doctors notes and hospital records – but again, just because they ask, it doesn’t mean you have any legal obligation to provide them without first consulting with a knowledgeable attorney.

Insurance companies want these records so they can justify denying your claim. Let’s say you have a pre-existing condition or injury that reflects in your medical records before the accident date; they might try to deny your claim or reduce you settlement by saying your injuries were not caused by the accident.

5. Be prepared for the insurance adjuster to start looking into your background. They have a clear motive – to find any negative or discrediting information about you so they can diminish your claim. This is why it’s advised to stay off of social media, or at least keep it to a minimum while you have an on-going personal injury claim.

6. They’ll Want to Interview You in Person

If you were in a Tampa car accident, your insurance adjuster will want to interview you in person. They will also want hard evidence to assess damages, such as pictures, videos, recorded statements, and other forms of evidence to support their argument. This is how they determine the value of your claim. Remember, you don’t have to give a recorded statement if you feel uncomfortable doing so before consulting with an attorney.

6. The Insurance Adjuster Will Suggest a Settlement Amount

After conducting an investigation, the adjuster will send a formal assessment to your insurance company with a recommendation on whether to accept or deny your claim. The insurance company will base their decision based on the information they receive from the adjuster, and then offer you an initial settlement if they feel you have a valid claim. Otherwise, they will deny your claim, or perhaps ask for additional evidence or information.

7. You Can Negotiate the Settlement Offer

Whatever the insurance company initially offers you is not a fixed amount. You can negotiate the offer to meet your needs and come to an agreement for a value that will realistically meet your needs and cover your damages. Having a skilled lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies can go a long way in getting you an amount that justifies your injuries, damages, and losses.

Insurance Adjusters: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

If you get into a Tampa car accident, you’ll inevitably have to deal with your insurance companies, which means you’ll have an insurance adjuster working on your case. An insurance adjuster’s job is to investigate your claim and render their analysis of your claim to the insurance company.

Once the insurance adjuster investigates your claim, they’ll submit a report for your claim and decide on if and how much you should be compensated for your injuries.

The timeline in Florida for an insurance adjuster to do this is fourteen days. Meaning, they have fourteen days to:

  • Confirm that they’ve received submission of a claim
  • Investigate the accident
  • Send you a request for all necessary paperwork the insurance company will require from you

Brief overview of Florida Car Insurance Requirements

One vital part of getting the most out of your Tampa personal injury claim is understanding your policy and its specific conditions.

As your insurance company will play an important role in your car accident claims process, you need to have at least a basic understanding (and the correct information) of insurance requirements in Tampa.

Tampa drivers are required to have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance and PDL (Property Damage Liability) – both having a minimum requirement of $10,000. Your PIP will cover medical damages up to the minimum amount; it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was. PDL will cover property damage, also up to $10,000 (while this can vary depending on your insurance policy, the minimum requirement is $10,000 for every driver).

While these are the minimum requirements, drivers can opt for any plan they want, including additional coverage for BIL (Bodily Injury Liability), UM/UIM (Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage), and other add-ons for more protection in case of an accident.

Contact Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible

You will need to communicate with your insurance company as they will provide coverage up to whatever amount you have under your policy. As an additional measure of protection, it’s always a good idea to speak to an attorney if you believe you are entitled to more compensation than what your insurance company might offer. Unfortunately, your insurance company could decide to deny your claim after they’ve conducted an investigation. If you have an attorney who can advocate for your rights, you’ll be in a better position to get maximum compensation.

The first step you need to take is to get medical care after any type of accident, be it a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, or any instance where you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. Don’t delay reporting the accident to your insurer because they will interpret this as indifference on your part. It’s in your best interest and best practice for safeguarding your rights to file a claim sooner rather than later.

Be sure to also get the necessary evidence you need to back up your claim, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Hospital bills
  • Any other expenses that were a direct result of the accident or related to accident injuries (travel costs, medication, assistive equipment and care, etc.)

Understanding the Limits of Your Tampa Insurance Coverage

As Tampa law requires every driver to carry a minimum amount of PIP coverage, your insurer will provide initial coverage, regardless of who is at fault. PIP will only cover medical expenses, and you need to get medical treatment within fourteen days from the date of the accident. If you wait longer than that, you can’t seek PIP benefits.

However, before you go to seek coverage from your insurance company, you need to understand your policy and the amount of coverage you’re actually eligible to obtain. Typically, Tampa PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills. Clarify with your insurance company your deductible amount and policy limits so there’s no confusion or upset when you get a settlement offer. By knowing the correct facts and figures about your policy, you can set reasonable expectations for how much compensation you could potentially receive.

Speak To a Knowledgeable Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were injured in an accident and need help getting compensation to cover the damage expenses, our skilled Tampa personal injury attorneys are here to help you. We’ll guide you through the claims process and make sure you get the amount you deserve. If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy or how your insurance company affects your personal injury claim we can give you expert legal advice in further detail.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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