When someone is injured in an accident, they will be worried about many things. Money should not be one – but it usually is. After an injury, medical bills will pile up and, if the injury is severe, weeks or months of work could be missed. One question many people have in Florida is, how long do they have to wait for an insurance company to offer a settlement?
The answer to that question depends on many factors, including what type of insurance policy the injured victim filed a claim against. Below, our Ft. Lauderdale personal injury attorney will discuss these factors and how they impact the timing of your settlement offer.
Dealing with insurance providers is often frustrating. With an experienced Hollywood car accident lawyer at your side, you could ensure that your best interests are being protected. Insurance companies are not interested in your health or wellbeing. Call South Florida Law, PLLC to discuss your claim and strategies for negotiating with insurance companies. Contact our law offices at (954) 932-7877.
The Timeline for Insurance Claims in Florida
When you can expect an insurance company to settle a claim depends on the type of insurance claim you have filed.
General Insurance Claims
For a general insurance claim, there is no hard deadline for when an insurance provider must settle a claim. Under Florida law, an insurance company has the subjective “reasonable period of time” to accept or deny your claim. More specifically, Florida considers it a deceptive and unlawful trade practice to fail to accept or reject a claim within a reasonable time after you have submitted proof of your loss.
When an insurance company denies a claim, it is required to give a reason for the denial. If an insurance provider misrepresents your coverage or fails to communicate promptly, it is also considered a deceptive trade practice.
Under Florida law, an insurance company must provide a written statement to the claimant that their claim is being investigated within 30 days of the submission of the claim. While this might appear that your insurer is required to make a decision within 30 days, it only has to inform you that your claim is being investigated.
Once an agreement is reached, the insurance company must pay the claim within 20 days. This 20-day deadline could be conditioned upon the signing of a release of liability by the claimant. An insurance company could be subjected to an additional 12 percent annual interest payment to the claimant if it fails to comply with this deadline.
if you are negotiating with an insurance provider, an experienced Miami personal injury attorney could provide invaluable assistance in valuing your claim and evaluating the legal strength of your claim if you wished to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claims
if you own a car or truck in Florida, you are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP insurance. Because Florida is a no-fault state, if you are involved in a car accident, you will have to file a claim against your insurance provider. It does not matter who caused the accident.
Unlike general insurance claims, PIP claims must follow a clearly defined set of rules. These rules apply to both the claimant and the insurance company. To submit a PIP claim, an injured person must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident. After submitting your claim, your insurer has 30 days to either deny or pay your claim.
In cases where an insurer denies your claim, they are required to provide you an itemized list of why the claim was rejected. If a clerical error on your part was why your claim was denied, the insurance provider must explain the mistake. When this occurs, a claimant has 15 days to resubmit the claim.
When paying a PIP claim, Florida law applies the mailbox rule to the 30-day deadline. This means that the insurance company must have the check in the mail within 30 days. Cutting the check and having it in the insurance company’s system does not comply with Florida law. Additionally, authorizing the check within 30 days does not satisfy this requirement. The insurance company must place your settlement check in the mail by the 30th day. Having an Aventura Florida personal injury attorney working on your behalf will help maximize your claim.
What Can You Do if the Insurance Company Does Not Pay On Time?
After negotiating with an insurance company and agreeing to a settlement, you should receive your payment according to the deadlines set forth under Florida law. However, what is your options if the insurance company fails to comply with the payment deadline? Also, what can you do if the insurance company does not deny or accept your claim in a reasonable time or under the 30-day period?
if an insurance company is acting in bad faith or failing to comply with its requirements, the insurance provider might have to pay you additional compensation. However, you will probably need an experienced Florida insurance attorney to advocate for your rights. If you have to file a lawsuit in court to compel the insurance company to comply with its obligations, it must be filed within four years from the date of your injury. Remember, this date is not the date you filed the claim or the date the settlement was reached.
Our Florida Car Accident Attorney Will Help You Deal With an Insurance Company
Dealing with an insurance company is often frustrating, especially when the insurance provider fails to comply with its obligations. At South Florida Law, PLLC, our staff and attorneys have the knowledge and experience to work with an uncooperative insurance company. Our Hallandale car accident attorney is also prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Call (954) 932-7877 to set up a free consultation.