So you thought this was already a bad week? The dog ate your recliner. Your Mother-in- Law just called with the “good news” that she’s visiting for the summer and now some crazy speeder jumped the median, ran over a row of flowers and landed SMACK in front of your car. Worse yet, his insurer now says it’s your fault because you rear-ended him and they won’t fix your car. Here’s what to know:
• Often times it’s just a delay game by the insurer. Insurance companies know that most people NEED to fix their cars, which makes victims more apt to negotiate. Be aware that there are tools to help you fight back like: obtaining sunpass and traffic camera records, filing complaints with the insurance commissioner, and even filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
• Anyone can point the finger. Shockingly, just because the police officer gave the other guy the ticket doesn’t mean he can’t blame you. In fact, most times, the police report and police officer’s opinion about fault won’t be admissible in court, so get eye-witness contact information and pictures. Photos of purple azaleas stuck to his hubcaps will go a long way in proving what happened.
• Insurers bank on you giving up. If the other driver’s insurance won’t budge, get your car out of storage and get a lawyer.
Remember, while you may never win with the dog – and you certainly won’t win with your mother-in-law — know that with the right attorney, and little gumption, you can win against an insurer that just refuses to accept responsibility.
Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of two of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law. He also represents accident victims and consumers at war with their insurance companies and is based in North Miami, Dania Beach, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Questions? Contact: Russ@lazegalaw.com