Part of our work here at Goldberg Noone Abraham law firm is to answer your legal questions, large or small. We receive calls every day from people like you who just have a simple question, but don't know where to turn for answers.
Many of the calls we get come from folks who were involved in what they call a “minor” car or motorcycle accident, and they're unsure what to do next. People often think that because the damage to your property, in this case your car or bike, was minor, there should be no need to hire a personal injury attorney to help you.
And in many cases, that is true.
Let's say you were involved in a fender-bender in a grocery store parking lot, or your motorcycle got knocked down by another driver trying to park near it. In a lot of cases, you may look over the apparent damage and decide you'll be able to work the situation out with the insurance company of the other driver, your own insurance company, or some combination of both. You both exchange personal information and details about your car insurance coverage, and off you go.
But in some instances, you may not see the entire extent of physical damage to your vehicle just by glancing it over. There can be hidden damage that won't be discovered until your car or bike is in the repair shop. This can be critical in cases where an at-fault driver offers to pay you out of his or her pocket to get that small dent repaired, or buy some new parts for your bike. It does happen; many people ‘don't want to go through the hassle of getting the insurance companies involved', and will offer to come up with cash to try to make your car whole again.
While this may seem like an easy option after a minor collision, it may not be your smartest move.
Insurance Coverage: Is Anybody Going to Pay for This?
In cases where the insurance provider of either or both parties involved in a minor crash are contacted, an entire new and more complex set of circumstances come into play. As we've written about before here, your insurance company, and certainly not that of the other guy, are not your friends at a time like this. They employ their own attorneys, along with adjusters, inspectors, claims analysts and more whose job it is to make sure you jump through all of their hoops to get paid for the damage to your vehicle.
If you start getting calls from the other guy's insurance company, things will generally seem like they're starting out pretty well. They'll likely ask you about what happened, and you'll start giving answers. But, you can count on the fact that they are looking for reasons – any reason, really – to either deny you any compensation for your property damage, or offer a very small amount. In many cases, they'll use stall tactics and delay your compensation for as long as possible.
At that point, you may in fact be smart to hire the services of an experienced and skilled car accident lawyer. Because we deal with auto and property damage insurance giants daily, we know what they will be asking you – and we know what to tell them.
What if the Other Guy Has No Insurance?
What happens if the person who hit you has no insurance? Florida law doesn't require motorists to carry bodily injury liability insurance. So unless you have Uninsured Motorist coverage, you could be out of luck and left with a mountain of bills if someone without insurance hits you.
Another question involves whether to involve or utilize your insurance, or that of the other driver. Should you use your collision coverage to pay for your property damage, as opposed to the property damage liability coverage of the at-fault driver? These are just a few of the serious questions you may have following even a minor accident.
It Doesn't Cost a Penny to Find Out
We receive multiple calls every day from people who were involved in an accident that could be considered minor. They have suffered no physical injury, but are concerned that they are getting the run-around from an insurance company – either their own, or the one representing the other driver. We're in the business of dispensing legal advice, and we're always available to answer any questions you may have after an accident, at no cost to you.
We understand that the confusion and insecurities that are involved after someone backs into your car and you're not sure what to do next. One simple phone call to an auto accident lawyer at Goldberg Noone Abraham can address all of your concerns, and put your mind at ease.
Our law practice is dedicated to representing the legal rights of people who have been seriously hurt in a car, motorcycle or some other type of crash involving a motor vehicle. We can tell you whether we feel your situation does warrant the hiring of a personal injury lawyer, or whether it does not.
We encourage you to not wait until you're in deep trouble by ignoring the situation, or expecting the insurance company will treat you the way you would expect. Before you say anything that could put your financial compensation at risk, call one of our personal injury lawyers at Goldberg Noone Abraham, and get the guidance you need.