Many people believe that after an accident, fault is so clear that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do the right thing and handle the claim properly. Sometimes this actually happens and the damage to the vehicle is fixed quickly and you are able to go on with your life. But, insurance companies have changed over the years and you may be frustrated to learn about how bureaucratic and regimented they have become. Things become much more complicated when injuries are involved.
The immediate answer to the question about what you should do if you are having problems getting answers from the at-fault driver’s insurance lawyer is to hire an attorney. But, the reasoning for this action is much more complicated. Often, if you have been getting the run around by the other insurance company, you have run across a company whose business model is to delay or frustrate claims. If you have been involved in an accident with a company like Ocean Harbor a/k/a Pearl Holdings, Windhaven, or Direct General, you know what I am referencing. These companies have poorly trained operators, do not regularly return calls, and employ people who do not communicate well. Much of the business model appears to be a method to deny or delay claims in order to avoid having to pay benefits. Really, the only way to hold these companies in check is to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. Because the companies have such poor organization at the lower levels, the claims are much easier to win in court.
Dealing with Out-Of-State Insurance Companies
Another common problem that people encounter is with an out-of-state insurance company who does not regularly handle claims in Florida. Many of the out-of-state insurance companies do not have local adjusters or repair shops available in Florida. So, most will hire independent adjusters to be their “boots on the ground” and advise the out-of-state contacts what to do. These local adjusters are usually very slow to process claims, conduct an unnecessary investigation, and ask for long interviews of all witnesses. Again, since they get paid by the hour, the local adjusters have an incentive to draw the situation out. A local attorney familiar with these methods can advise you about how to handle these situations and make strategic decisions to speed them up. Again, I am often forced to have to file lawsuits quickly in these situations simply to get these independent adjusters off the case.
Does the At-Fault Driver Have Enough Coverage?
Another reason why people may have an issue with the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be as simple as a problem with the coverage. The insurance company will never disclose to the layperson what is going on behind the scenes, but your lawyer will be able to request the insurance policy and have a discussion with an adjuster about the issue. Again, since the coverage issue is between the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company, this creates a complete stop to the processing of your claim until it can be resolved. While these problems are rare, they are extremely frustrating because few answers are normally provided. Remember, the other insurance company does not have a contract with you and thus, they have no obligation to tell you anything.
I am often contacted by people who have been injured in an accident, tried to handle the claim alone, and been completely frustrated by the process and by at-fault driver’s insurance company. Many of these clients actually may have had a prior accident or some knowledge about how the claim process works. But, no two cases are alike and it is very rare that you will get the same results from different insurance companies. Since personal injury lawyers work on a contingency out of the recovery made in the case, there is very little risk of hiring a lawyer. The guidance and experience that a lawyer can provide can make the difference between being alone in the dark on a case, or getting answers and getting the case resolved.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, and are having trouble with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, then you should take the proper measures to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today and speak with an attorney. For over 60 years our firm has been successfully helping people who have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness. We have been nationally ranked for decades by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 law firm, which is the highest ranking that can be received. Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas have dedicated their careers to continuing the firms legacy of superior legal representation.
Remember that we never charge a fee, unless we win. Call us today at 727-381-2300 so that we may answer your questions, help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and recover the compensation that you deserve.
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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas
5858 Central Ave suite a
St. Petersburg, FL 33707