At-Fault Accident Representation
After a car accident, one of the party’s involved is usually deemed to be more responsible or “at-fault”, even if the others involved are partially liable. Being found at-fault may not only leave you responsible for compensating the other parties, it gives your insurance company an excuse to try and deny covering your property damage or compensating you for your personal injury.
The South Florida at-fault car accident attorneys at DRG Firm will represent you even if you are responsible for causing an accident. You may feel as though you should represent yourself since you are “already at-fault”, but you may actually open yourself up to more liability by doing this. It is an attorney’s job to protect their clients. Even if you are at-fault in an accident, an attorney can help to mitigate your liability and protect your rights. Florida is a no-fault insurance state and this means that the “faultless” driver doesn’t have to prove that the crash was someone else’s fault to receive compensation from their insurance company. Likewise, generally that driver cannot come after you if you are at-fault (pursuant to PIP/Personal Injury Protection). However, if you are found at-fault, when it comes to your property damage the insurance claims are still based on fault.
Being at-fault also means that you must comply with post-loss requirements in order to ensure you don’t negate your policy. Post-loss requirements include recorded statements, forms, and examinations under oath (EUO). You may deny compliance with a post-loss requirement because you don’t realize that it is something you must submit to. That is why it is imperative to contact a competent at-fault attorney, such as our staff at DRG Firm, as soon as possible if you are found at-fault in an accident.
Most insurance policies have a provision that provides for taking the sworn testimony of one or all of the insured parties, thus making the EUO a contractual provision. EUOs are similar to depositions as the insurance company’s attorney will question the insured under oath. A court reporter is present to swear-in the insured and document the process. EUOs often take several hours to complete, and it is not advised that the insured party attends without their own legal representation. In fact, the 5th District Court of Appeals noted that, “S]everal of Florida's district courts of appeal have concluded that the failure of an insured to appear for an EUO prior to filing suit to recover an unpaid claim is a material breach of contract, requiring forfeiture of coverage. These decisions have led to a cottage industry of EUO litigation. If an insurer can procure a failure to comply—or, even better, a refusal to comply—with the EUO requirement, they have a perfect defense to payment.” Whistler’s Park, Inc. v. The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 5D10–2410 (Fla. 5th DCA May 18, 2012).
In order to make sure you keep your insurance coverage you must attend any EUOs and provide your insurance company with the documents reasonably required from you. Our Miami at-fault car accident attorneys can represent you at the examinations under oath (EUO). The attorneys at DRG Firm will help you to effectively communicate with your insurer without speaking to your detriment.
When you don’t have legal representation, insurance providers often go out-of bounds at an EUO. Furthermore, insurance providers will be more likely to offer you little to nothing, or even deny your claim despite your compliance with the post loss requirements. If you have been found at-fault in an accident, don’t let your insurance company take advantage of you. Our Fort Lauderdale at-fault accident attorneys will make sure you receive full compensation even if it means filing a first-party claim against your insurance provider.
If you are the at-fault party in an accident and you feel as though you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, contact the Miami-Dade at-fault car accident attorneys at DRG Firm. We can be reached at 1.888.413.8353. Our staff is happy to assist you, and our consultations are always free.