Starke, Florida is a small community outside of Jacksonville, but a smaller population does not mean that residents and visitors are at any less of a risk of being hurt or killed in an accident that someone else caused. Each day, we pass by countless strangers without realizing how much we rely on their prudence and responsibility to keep us safe in our travels, and unfortunately, we are not always guaranteed that those around us will uphold their duties of care towards our safety. In the event that someone is involved in an accident that someone else causes, the victim has a legal right under US tort law to seek financial compensation for a range of impacts, some that are financially measurable and others that do not have set dollar values.
Most often, these impacts — known as damages — are paid to a victim through an insurance claim. However, many people fail to realize that an insurance claim is not carried out by the insurer with the goal of identifying and compensating every damage that the victim suffered; in fact, insurance companies and their employees focus on settling claims for as little as possible in order to maximize their own profits. Whether or not you suffer financial consequences as a result of a low settlement is not a priority for the insurer, and this is why it is so important to work with your own representation to fight for what you rightfully deserve.
The team at Bernheim Kelley Battista offers a free consultation to victims of many types of personal injuries where we can discuss the details of your situation and provide you with specific legal advice on how best to move forward.
In the early days and weeks after suffering significant injuries, your top priority should be your health and recovery, but when you need to take on the stressors of an insurance claim and worry about the legal implications of your accident, your medical needs can take a backseat. This initial consultation is meant to give you clarity and confidence about your future and get a clear understanding of the benefits of working with experienced legal representation to get the money you deserve. When an attorney from Bernheim Kelley Battista contacts the insurance company to initiate your claim, they know that you mean business.
Read more about personal injury claims below, and contact us now to begin working with our award-winning team of personal injury lawyers today.
Typically, a victim will be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance. This is true for car accidents, medical malpractice injuries, premises liability cases, and more. These insurance policies are designed to protect the policyholder from personal liability in accidents that they are responsible for.
Medical professionals are required to carry medical malpractice insurance that will guarantee compensation to a victim. Property owners carry commercial property insurance or homeowner’s insurance (or a number of other insurance policies depending on the legal status and nature of the property) that injured visitors can often file claims against. Drivers have auto policies, either personal or commercial, depending on the type of vehicle and the type of driving they are doing. Construction companies and other trade companies have specific types of insurance that protect them from liability, as well, typically in the form of workers’ compensation for their employees, surety bonds that are required by municipalities for them to perform work, and a number of others.
Simply put, there are many different types of insurance policies that people can carry, and depending on the type of accident that you were hurt in, you will need to file against one of these policies.
There are instances where the at-fault party does not have insurance, such as the 1 in 5 Florida drivers who do not have automobile insurance. In the event that you are in a car accident with someone who does not have insurance, your personal injury attorney will help you seek compensation from your own insurer, often through PIP coverage. This policy is your own personal injury protection and covers up to $10,000 of damages.
If your damages exceed the payment from your PIP, there are additional options, such as filing a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party. In many cases, the defendant does not have the liquidity to cover your damages, but the courts may design a program that places a lien on their property, garnishes their wages or bank accounts, or may even seize personal property to account for the damages you have suffered due to their negligence or recklessness.
There are similar processes of seeking compensation from individuals or groups that do not have insurance policies to cover your accident, and your attorney will help you make sense of your unique situation during your initial consultation and as you move forward together to seek fair and adequate compensation.
The claims process is fairly simple if you follow the insurance company’s lead, but this is not the way to get the money that you deserve. Insurance companies stay profitable by collecting more in premiums than they pay out in claims, and a big part of this strategy is settling claims for as little as possible through a range of aggressive tactics. When you file a claim, you will likely deal with a single claims adjuster throughout the process, but it is important to remember that they are working through a decades-old and continuously evolving system designed to settle claims cheaply and quickly.
When you are working with a personal injury lawyer through your claim, you have the support of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional who understands these tactics and has their own method of pushing back on behalf of their clients. No scare tactics will work on your attorney because they understand each of the tactics employed by insurance companies and will fight back to get you the money you deserve.
There is no law that requires a personal injury victim to partner with an attorney, but the reality is that the insurance companies win when victims represent themselves. We are here to help make sure that your claim is resolved with your best interests in mind, not with a preference for a corporation’s profitability.
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