The short answer is yes; you can sue your own insurance company following a car accident. Regardless of who is at fault, your own car insurance provider will be your first source to recover your assets. In some cases, however, the insurance company may deny claims, which is when a personal injury lawyer will have to file a lawsuit against your insurance company.
Circumstances that Lead You to Sue
The following instances may push you to choose to sue your own insurance company:
1. Not Being Offered a Fair Compensation Package
Unless you meet specific requirements and prove that the insurance company is liable for the type of damages you seek, you may not be able to file a personal injury claim against your insurance company. Sometimes these companies act when placed under legal pressure; if not, they may fail to compensate for your damages.
Other damages you may be eligible for may include:
- Legal costs
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Loss of use of your home or car
- Loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering
Keep in mind that pain and suffering vary from case to case. When suing for pain and suffering, you will have to determine how your injuries negatively affect your lifestyle and emotional well-being. When insurance companies see a strong case against them for pain and suffering, they may offer a settlement to prevent you from going to court.
2. Issues with Uninsured Motorists Causing Your Injuries and Damages
If you or your loved one is involved in a car wreck and the uninsured driver causes your injuries, you may choose to file a claim against your own insurance company. In Florida, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you if the at-fault person has little insurance coverage or no bodily liability insurance to compensate for your injuries or damages.
When the insurance policy fails to cover your losses, you may have to pursue your insurer for protection under your Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Florida is a “no-fault state,” which means you must claim some of your lost wages and medical bills under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is the main way to protect yourself if you are injured in a car accident because it enables you to cover up to 80% of your medical expenses regardless of who is at fault.
Additionally, you can elect to add Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage to your already existing insurance policy. This allows you to seek compensation for injuries and damages sustained from an accident involving those types of motorists.
3. Suing Your Insurance Company for Denying Claims
Insurers must avoid unfair trade practices, stand by the policy rules, and act in good faith. If you feel inadequately compensated, contact an attorney or your state's insurance department, and ask for the proper guidance or a second opinion on how a third party could have reviewed the case.
Keep in mind some reasons for denying a claim may be legitimate. Common causes may include:
- Claiming errors on your part of the insurance company's behalf
- Bad faith denial
- Lack of enough insurance coverage
4. When You Are Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident
If the hit-and-run driver flees from the scene and is not identified, or if they have no insurance coverage, you may have to use your Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage for your damages and injuries. In addition to that, you will need to file a claim against your own Uninsured Motorist Insurance coverage if you fail to identify the at-fault person.
However, the policy requires you to report the accident to the police first. By doing so, your own insurer will act as the liability insurance provider for the at-fault driver. You must provide the following information in order to win this type of lawsuit:
- Proof that the hit-and-run driver caused the accident
- Verification that you indeed have insurance with the insurance provider
- Proof of the severe injuries and damages that you suffered due to the accident
Dolman Law Group Can Help
Before filing a lawsuit against your insurance company, consult an attorney with experience in these cases. Our law firm understands how insurance companies operate and that cases against them can be challenging, which is why we at the Dolman Law Group are here to help you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule a free case review.