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& Flager Counties

Since 1985

Need information to settle your own car accident claim?

Quick Tips for Handling Your Own Florida Car Accident Settlement

1. Find out the identity of the person who hit you, as well as the name and address of their employer if they were working at the time of the accident. (Employers may be responsible for their employee’s actions.)

2. Get any and all contact information of independent witnesses to the accident. Take pictures of your vehicle and your injuries.

3. Find out the name of the Defendants insurance company and policy number. Determine if the potential defendant had any insurance that would cover you for the accident.

4. Get pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks and the locations of vehicles.

5. Find out how much insurance coverage the person who hit you carried. You can request a dec page from the insurance carrier to find this out. Find out if your own insurance agent sold you uninsured motorist coverage. If they did not ask them why they did not advise you to buy it.

6. Order the accident report from the police department, sheriff’s office or FDOT for more information on how to do this click here.

7. Decide whether or not you are going to voluntarily submit to a recorded statement without your lawyer present. Decide if you will sign a broad medical release authorization that would allow the insurance company to get any medical records it wanted for an unlimited time.

8. Obtain your medical records. Depending on your injury you may need to obtain up to ten years worth of your medical records.

9. Find out who should pay for your medical records. It may be your own auto insurance company or health insurer or both. It could also be Medicare or Medicaid. You don’t want to get sent to collections or sued for non-payment while the Defendant’s insurance company is deciding whether or not to pay you.

10. Find out how much your auto or health insurer will pay your medical providers and if there is a deductible and if you are responsible for the balance of what the insurance companies pay and the actual bill. Also, find out if the insurance company paying for your medical bills will be asserting a lien for what they have paid.

11. Go to the potential defendant’s court appearance if they were charged with a traffic violation and if you are well enough to do so.

12. Don’t over treat for your injuries, if you do so the insurance company may not pay for it and you are racking up a substantial bill that will have to somehow be paid. When all your treatment is done then request that the doctor determine that you have reached you Maximum medical improvement and issue you a permanent impairment rating. Without this permanent impairment rating you will not be allowed to seek damages for non-economic injuries.

13. Get your wage and salary information from your employer if you have lost wages and are going to be making a lost wage claim.

14. Create a demand package. Provide the insurance company with an analysis of liability and damages, including past and future medical expenses past and future lost wages. Research to find out what a reasonable settlement value is for your claim in the jurisdiction where it happened. Make sure that the demand is appropriate and reasonable if you hope to reach a settlement.

15. If the insurance company responds to your demand in a reasonable fashion and you decide to accept the settlement offer read the release FIRST to make sure that you are not signing away any important rights.

16. If you don’t like what the insurance company offers, call us . . . we will tell you if it is a good offer or not. But, don’t wait too long. We don’t accept “stale” cases.

This is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given after we review the particular facts of your case. Every case is different. This is just good information. Actually trying to handle your own settlement is similar to taking out your own appendix or doing your own root canal. It is possible but it’s not what most sane people do. Obviously we can’t put years of experience and a law school education onto a few pieces of paper. If you want more information about your Florida accident case we offer lots of information on zqlawyers.com. Keep in mind that there is a time limit on when you can begin your legal claim.

Zimmet & Quarles. P.L. Law Firm have the experienced Daytona Beach Auto Accident Attorneys to help you on your questions and concerns.


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