Most car accident claims and lawsuits involve cases where those within the car at the time of the crash suffer an injury. Indeed, when a person is injured due to another’s negligence, the law allows the injured party to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, assuming the serious injury threshold has been met (in car accident cases).
If you’re someone who’s lucky enough to have been in an accident where injuries were not suffered, you may be wondering whether or not a lawsuit is necessary. While it’s less common, taking legal action to recover damages after a no-injury crash may be unavoidable. Here’s what you should know–
Who Pays for Vehicle Damages After a Florida Crash?
While injuries suffered by a driver in an accident in Florida will be paid for by the injured person’s no-fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, property damage losses are paid for the by the at-fault driver following a crash. In Florida, every driver is required to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. The latter, property damage liability coverage, pays for property damages that the policyholder causes to others.
This means that after a crash that results in property damage in Florida, the not-at-fault driver can bring a property damage claim against the at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance.
What Happens Next? Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer? No-Injury Crash Scenarios
There are a number of things that can happen after a driver brings a property damage claim against an at-fault party’s insurance coverage. In some cases, the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will agree that the insurance company should pay for the costs of repairing your vehicle. In other cases, the insurance company may declare your vehicle as “totaled,” which means that the insurance company will pay for the value of your car rather than for the cost of repairs.
In other cases, the insurance company may deny the claim outright, stating that you, not their policyholder, caused the accident. Or, the insurance company may agree that their policyholder was to blame, but disagree with you about the value of your vehicle or what you’re owed, especially if you are seeking compensation for a rental car, diminished value, etc.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Many property damage claims are straightforward: the crash happens, fault is determined, an estimate for repairs is given, and the insurance company pays for repairs. In other cases, though, getting the amount of money you’re owed for your property losses can be very complicated. If you are having trouble with the insurance company, your claim is denied, or you are offered less than you think you deserve, it may be time to call an attorney. Most property damage claims are settled out of court through negotiations; in rare cases, filing a lawsuit may be the best course of action.
Reach Our Florida Auto Accident Lawyer – No Injury Crash Legal Representation
To learn more about Florida car accident laws and who pays for injuries and property damage after a crash, reach out to the law offices of Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today for a free, no-obligation consultation.