Many people who have suffered property damage or a personal injury find themselves in a situation where they have to negotiate with the insurance company. In some cases, injury victims or people whose homes were damaged in a hurricane are anxious to get some money because they need to pay for medical treatments, home or vehicle repairs or make up for lost wages. They may not want to delay the process by getting a lawyer involved.
Whether or not it’s a good idea to negotiate with the insurance company on your own is highly dependent on the situation you find yourself in.
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered very minor or no injuries and just had vehicle damage, you may want to consider foregoing an attorney. In most cases, a property damage attorney won’t get involved in a case where the only thing at issue is vehicle damage.
Home damage claims can be a little more complicated. The extent of the damages and the claim offer should really be the determining factor. If your home suffered roof damage due to storm damage and the insurance company offers you a fair settlement that will cover the cost of repairs, you likely won’t need an attorney.
If you are trying to decide whether you should get an attorney involved in an auto accident injury claim, consider the extent of your injuries, long-term repercussions and the cost of treatment and recovery. Are your costs going to exceed the limits of your personal injury, bodily injury or uninsured motorist coverage?
You may benefit from legal representation if your injuries were the result of another driver’s negligence and are going to:
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, negligent drivers can still be held monetarily accountable for the injuries they cause, especially when the cost of treating your injuries significantly exceeds your auto insurance policy provisions.
Homeowners and business insurance policies are thick, complicated documents that are littered with complicated rules and restrictions. The dozens of potential damage source exclusions can sometimes result in homeowners getting offered a settlement that won’t even cover a fraction of the cost of all the required repairs.
If you’re going to be saddled with massive out-of-pocket costs because your insurance provider is saying the damage your home or business sustained isn’t covered by your policy, it’s likely in your best interest to speak with a property damage attorney or independent claims adjuster.
These professionals are intimately familiar with:
Put settlement agreements in writing. It’s much easier to hold an insurance company accountable if you have everything in writing. If you do negotiate a claim settlement with your insurance company, write it out, including the damages covered and for what amounts and the agreed upon date of settlement payment.