Dealing with insurance claims after a car accident in St. Petersburg can be stressful. Even if you file a claim with your insurance company, you cannot be sure that you will be treated fairly. All insurance companies work to protect their best interests, which means paying as little as possible to settle insurance claims. 

Our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys have extensive experience handling car accident claims. With more than 25 years of legal experience in cases such as St. Petersburg bad faith insurance, St. Petersburg premises liability, negligent security, and more, our lawyers understand how insurance companies process claims. As a result, we are prepared to respond to and fight back when insurance companies try to undervalue and deny valid accident claims. 

Contact our law firm today at (727) 353-5451 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys in St. Petersburg, FL. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlement agreements for our clients. We want to help you receive the compensation you deserve for a car accident case. 

How Our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers Help You With an Uninsured Motorist Claim 

Proving a driver does not have insurance coverage is not sufficient to win an uninsured motorist claim. You have the burden of proving the other driver caused your car accident. You also have to prove the car crash caused your injuries and that you sustained damages.

Experience Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident

You need an experienced legal team working for you to obtain uninsured motorist compensation. Your insurance provider has a team of professionals protecting its best interest. You should have the same. 

When you hire the Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys to handle your claim, you can expect our legal team to:

Investigate the Cause of Your Car Accident and Gather Evidence Proving Causation and Fault

Our legal team conducts a thorough investigation of your car accident to determine its cause and identify the at-fault party. 

This process includes:

  • Collecting and reviewing police reports and accident scene photos.
  • Interviewing witnesses who saw the accident.
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction experts to establish how the accident happened and who is at fault.
  • Securing surveillance footage from nearby cameras that may have captured the accident.

Verify Insurance Coverage and File Insurance Claims

We take the following steps to manage insurance claims:

  • Confirming the insurance status of all parties involved in the accident.
  • Filing claims with your insurance company under the uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Ensuring all paperwork and claims are submitted within the insurance policy’s deadlines.

Our team manages all aspects of the insurance claims process, including:

  • Communicating directly with insurance adjusters to advocate on your behalf.
  • Providing necessary documentation and evidence to support your claim.
  • Addressing and resolving any disputes or challenges raised by the insurance companies.

Monitor the Police Investigations into a Hit-and-Run Accident

If your accident was a hit-and-run, we:

  • Stay in contact with the police department to receive updates on their investigation.
  • Provide any information our investigation uncovered that may assist the police.
  • Work to identify the at-fault driver for potential compensation recovery.

Document Your Damages and Injuries, Including Hiring Medical Specialists and Other Expert Witnesses as Necessary

Our comprehensive documentation process includes:

  • Gathering medical records and bills related to your injuries.
  • Consulting with medical experts to understand the full extent of your injuries and future medical needs.
  • Hiring economic experts to calculate lost wages and future loss of earning capacity.

Negotiate with the Insurance Company for a Fair Settlement Amount

Negotiation involves:

  • Presenting a detailed demand letter outlining your damages and the compensation required.
  • Engaging in settlement discussions with the insurance company’s representatives.
  • Leveraging the evidence and documentation gathered to argue for a fair settlement.

File a Lawsuit and Proceed to Court if the Other Party Refuses to Negotiate in Good Faith

If necessary, we are prepared to:

  • Draft and file a lawsuit on your behalf, initiating the litigation process.
  • Conduct discovery to gather further evidence and depose witnesses.
  • Represent you in court, presenting your case to a judge or jury for a verdict on compensation.

Our experienced legal team is dedicated to guiding you through each step of the uninsured motorist claim process, ensuring you have the professional support necessary to seek the compensation you deserve.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is an insurance policy that protects you in case a hit-and-run driver or uninsured driver injures you. Many insurance companies provide UM coverage as optional insurance a person purchases as part of their liability insurance policy. 

If an uninsured or hit-and-run driver causes an accident, your insurance company pays your damages as if it were the insurance company for the at-fault driver. 

Therefore, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other economic damages. You could also receive compensation for your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. 

How Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Impact Uninsured Motorist Claims?

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Therefore, all drivers must have a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. The no-fault insurance coverage pays for medical care and loss of income for the driver and other covered individuals, regardless of which driver caused the car crash.

Therefore, your first claim after being hit by an uninsured driver is against your PIP policy. However, PIP insurance only covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. Furthermore, no-fault insurance pays nothing for your non-economic damages. 

However, if you sustained serious injuries in an accident, you could file a claim against the driver who caused the car wreck. 

A claim against the other driver can include all damages caused by the car accident, including:

The Total Cost of Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation

This includes all medical expenses related to the accident, such as:

  • Emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and medical tests.
  • Costs for ongoing treatments, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Expenses for any necessary medical equipment, like wheelchairs or home modifications for accessibility.
  • Future medical care costs for chronic conditions or surgeries required down the line.

All Loss of Income and Benefits, Including Future Decreases in Earning Capacity

Compensation can cover:

  • Lost wages from time off work due to the accident.
  • Loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job or working at the same capacity.
  • Benefits lost due to the inability to work, such as retirement fund contributions or health insurance.

Pain and Suffering Damages

This category compensates for the physical pain and discomfort experienced during and after the accident, including:

  • Chronic pain.
  • The severity and duration of pain related to injuries.
  • The impact of pain on your daily life and activities.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress damages address the psychological impact of the accident, such as:

  • Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • The emotional pain of dealing with injuries, medical treatments, and recovery.
  • The impact on your overall mental health and well-being.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

These damages compensate for the ways injuries have affected your ability to enjoy daily activities, hobbies, and leisure activities, including:

  • Inability to participate in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed.
  • Loss of enjoyment in life’s pleasures due to physical limitations or chronic pain.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

This covers any additional costs incurred because of the accident, such as:

  • Travel expenses for medical appointments.
  • Costs for hiring help for household chores or caregiving services.
  • Any other out-of-pocket costs directly related to the injuries and accident.

Permanent Impairments and Disabilities

Compensation may be sought for long-term or permanent disabilities resulting from the accident, including:

  • The impact of permanent injuries on your lifestyle and ability to work.
  • Costs associated with long-term care or assistance.
  • The need for ongoing medical treatment or personal care.

A Decrease in Quality of Life

Damages in this category recognize the diminished quality of life due to the accident and injuries, including:

  • Adjustments to living with a disability or chronic pain.
  • The emotional and psychological impact of a reduced quality of life.
  • The loss of independence or ability to perform daily tasks.

Disfigurement and Scarring

Compensation for disfigurement and scarring may include:

  • The psychological impact of living with visible scars or disfigurements.
  • Costs for surgeries or treatments to address scarring or disfigurement.
  • The social and emotional challenges associated with disfigurement.

In Florida, navigating the complexities of no-fault insurance while also pursuing compensation for serious injuries requires knowledgeable legal assistance. Our firm is equipped to guide you through both your PIP claim and any potential claims against at-fault drivers, ensuring you receive the comprehensive compensation you’re entitled to for all aspects of your damages.

Why Was My Uninsured Motorist Claim Denied in St. Petersburg?

If the person who caused your car accident fled the scene or does not have liability insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company. Your company should compensate you for the damages caused by the accident. 

However, insurance companies often deny or fight uninsured motorist claims. Reasons why your UM claim might be denied could include the following:

You Did Not Prove That the Other Driver Caused the Accident

For a UM claim to be successful, it’s essential to establish the other driver’s fault in causing the accident. This involves:

  • Gathering concrete evidence such as police reports, witness statements, traffic camera footage, and accident scene photographs.
  • Demonstrating how the other driver’s actions or negligence directly led to the accident.
  • Collaborating with accident reconstruction experts if needed to solidify your claim.

You Failed to Seek Prompt Medical Care After the Crash, Thereby Failing to Mitigate Damages

Insurers expect claimants to take reasonable steps to minimize their damages, including seeking immediate medical attention after an accident to prevent injuries from worsening. 

Delays in medical treatment can lead to:

  • Insurers questioning the severity of your injuries or suggesting they were not related to the accident.
  • Reduced compensation due to a perceived lack of evidence linking the accident to the injuries.
  • Challenges in proving that immediate medical issues directly resulted from the accident.

Your Insurance Coverage Does Not Apply to This Situation

There are specific scenarios where UM coverage may not apply, such as:

  • Accidents that occur while using your vehicle for commercial purposes not covered by your policy.
  • Claims that exceed your UM policy limits or are not covered types of accidents (e.g., intentional acts of harm).
  • Situations where the policyholder violates the terms of the insurance agreement, voiding coverage.

The Amount You Claim Is Higher Than the Claim Is Worth

Insurance companies scrutinize the amount claimed to ensure it aligns with the actual value of damages incurred. 

Claims may be denied if:

  • The compensation sought significantly exceeds the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other quantifiable damages.
  • There is insufficient evidence to justify the amount of non-economic damages claimed, such as pain and suffering.
  • The insurer believes the claimant is inflating the value of their damages.

Your Injuries Are Not as Severe as You Claim

Insurers assess medical records, expert opinions, and other evidence to evaluate the severity of injuries. 

Denials based on the perceived severity of injuries may occur when:

  • There is a discrepancy between the claimed injuries and medical documentation.
  • Pre-existing conditions are mistaken for injuries related to the accident.
  • The insurer disputes the extent to which the accident caused the alleged injuries.

Insurance companies use many excuses for not paying valid uninsured motorist claims. Fortunately, our St. Petersburg uninsured motorist claims attorneys understand these tactics and how to fight back. We gather evidence and build a strong case for full compensation for all damages. 

SeanCarlo Lopez, Esq. St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer
SeanCarlo Lopez, Esq, Car Accident Attorney in St. Petersburg

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced St. Petersburg Car Wreck Lawyer

When you file an insurance claim, you should receive the compensation you deserve based on your injuries and damages. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In most cases, you must fight to recover a fair settlement.

Call us to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers. We are sincerely sorry for the pain and suffering caused by a hit-and-run or uninsured driver. We are here to help you as you continue to recover from the injuries and get back to your life.