Owning and operating a motor vehicle is expensive, with costs of gas and maintenance growing more and more. The potential liabilities of operating a vehicle can also become quite expensive, but car insurance offers a reasonably affordable way to manage those risks. Insurance can cover expenses associated with repairing a car after an accident, as well as for paying claims for damages, either from you or someone else, after an accident. Insurance companies have developed a wide range of rules and procedures for handling claims and managing policies, operating almost as its own legal system parallel to the court system. A Florida auto accident lawyer with knowledge of the major insurance companies can help you recover on your claim.
Coverage for Liability
Insurance policies are contracts between a driver and an insurance company, in which the insurance company agrees to take on some of the driver’s risk and pay certain claims and damages. This includes coverage for claims of liability against a driver found to be responsible for a car accident. Most states, including Florida, require drivers to maintain liability insurance for both bodily injury and property damage.
Bodily injury coverage pays for medical expenses and other damages arising from injuries sustained in a car accident. Property damage coverage pays for other damage caused by an accident, such as damage to the other vehicle or to a building or other object. Insurance policies almost always limit coverage to a specific amount, known as the “policy limits,” for specific types of damages. State law requires drivers to carry liability insurance in certain amounts. Florida requires a “10/20/10” policy, meaning that the insurance company will pay up to $10,000 per person injured in an accident, but not exceeding $20,000 total for the accident. The insurer will also pay up to $10,000 per accident for property damage. Under this plan, the maximum amount an insurer would pay for a single accident would therefore be $30,000.
If damages from a car accident exceed a person’s policy limits, an injured party could still sue for the extra amount. The vast majority of claims arising from car accident injuries are settled with an insurance company, rather than through litigation. Insurance companies employ claims adjusters to review claims and make recommendations on settlement payments. Experienced personal injury attorneys know how to work with adjusters effectively.
Automobile insurance also provides coverage of costs incurred by the insured driver. Damages caused by collisions are often covered, and some policies may cover non-collision damages. A policy may allow payment of damages for an accident where the other motorist lacks insurance and would otherwise be liable. Some policies offer personal injury protection, where an injured driver receives a payment from the driver’s own insurance company for injuries in an accident, independent of any claim against the other driver’s policy. Other provisions in policies might include the cost of towing the vehicle, damage to personal property in the vehicle, and payment of rental car fees during repairs to the vehicle.
The Deerfield Beach injury attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. represent people in Palm Beach, Broward County, and throughout South Florida who have been injured in automobile and other vehicle accidents. Contact the firm through this website or at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.