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Car accidents in Florida: an advocate’s role

Every automobile accident, even a fender bender, comes with challenges for the parties involved. Florida law requires every driver to be properly insured. Known as the Florida Financial Responsibility Law, it mandates that any person at fault in a crash causing injury and property damage must have full liability insurance coverage in effect when an accident happens. Minimum bodily injury and property damage limits are required, and personal injury limits for each person are established. On the surface, this would seem to make handling the aftermath of a collision fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, often that isn't the case.

Once immediate medical needs are taken care of, and proper police investigation begins, a good choice for victims might be to consult a third-party advocate. One of the most important tasks an advocate undertakes, as outlined on our practice page, is to protect the rights of accident victims through the recovery process. For example, many people don't realize they may be compensated for expenses not directly related to current medical treatment or time off from work.

Dealing with insurance agents and claims adjusters can be daunting. It's their responsibility to minimize the payouts a company must make. When a victim handles interactions with them, other than the immediate notification that the accident happened, it's possible that a claim payment would be less than is necessary in the given circumstances. It can be a better idea to negotiate settlements or deal with the other parties from a knowledgeable position. Serious accidents require in-depth investigation of fault, accurate medical evaluations and properly projected future financial needs before any settlement is accepted. While most cases don't end up in court, that possibility does exist. Consideration of the strength of the case is a relevant part of the process.

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