A boat accident can be a traumatic experience, and it may leave you with serious injuries. If you have boaters insurance, it is supposed to be there to help when things go wrong. However, there may be situations where your insurance company acts in bad faith and fails to pay what you need them to after a crash. There could also be other situations where you need to file a lawsuit to get coverage after a boating accident, but your insurance company might be the wrong target for that lawsuit. The Florida boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. explain.
Is My Boaters Insurance Supposed to Cover My Injuries After an Accident in Florida?
Most boaters insurance policies focus on the liability insurance side of things. This means that these insurance policies will pay damages to anyone you accidentally injure or anyone who suffers property damage because of your boating. Sometimes, these insurance policies also have first-party coverage that helps you and any of your passengers in an accident regardless of whether you caused the boat accident or someone else caused the accident. It is important to look at the terms of your policy to see what your boating insurance is supposed to cover, and a lawyer who sues cruise ship insurance companies can help you go over those terms if you think you’re being cheated out of coverage.
Can I Sue My Boating Insurance Company in Florida if They Refuse Coverage?
If your insurance policy says that the insurance company is supposed to cover something, then they are contractually obligated to do so. Insurance policies are contracts between the policyholder and the insurance company that dictate how much the policyholder pays in premiums and under what situations the insurance company will pay damages. Many insurance companies often try to avoid paying to save themselves money, which can sometimes run into “bad faith insurance” problems.
Appealing Insurance Denials
Whether your insurance company is refusing to pay first-party benefits to you as an injury victim or they are refusing to pay damages on your behalf after an accident you caused, you might have a breach of contract case against them. This can allow you to take them to court to have the court enforce the policy so that the insurance company has to pay what they promised to pay. However, many cases like this can be resolved by appealing a denial to the insurance company and working with an Everglades boat accident lawyer to negotiate payments instead of having to take the case to court for breach of contract. Many denials are based on missing information or unclear information rather than attempts to wiggle out of the agreement.
Suing for Bad Faith Insurance
Sometimes when negotiations fail, it becomes obvious that the insurance company is taking things too far and that they never actually intended to pay damages in the first place. Insurance companies have a contractual obligation under insurance policies, but they also have a legal obligation to try to fulfill the contract in good faith. Sometimes, insurance companies will do some of the following things to avoid paying damages on a claim:
- Delay the claim without cause
- Delete records that the claim was made
- Deny the claim without an excuse
- Deny the claim with an excuse that doesn’t apply
- Cancel the insurance policy without notice
- Pay a claim at a reduced value not accounted for in the terms of the policy.
In some cases, it becomes apparent that the insurance company is not negotiating in good faith. This can often lead to a lawsuit, especially if you were the victim and you are trying to get compensation for your injuries, but the insurance company refuses to pay in bad faith. Talk to a Miami boat accident lawyer like those at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. immediately if you think that the insurance company is operating in bad faith or has denied your claims for no reason.
Other Reasons to Sue Insurance Companies After Boating Accidents in Florida
After a boating accident, you might have serious injuries that need compensation. If you were a passenger or you were hit by another boat operator, either operator may have insurance that can cover your injuries. Filing an insurance claim with that company as a third party is common, but the insurance policy might not cover the damages you faced in full. In that case, a lawsuit might be in order.
In these kinds of cases, you typically do not sue the insurance company directly. Rather, you sue the at-fault boater, and their insurance company steps in to join the case to defend them and pay damages. When you file a lawsuit like this instead of simply working through the insurance claims process, you might actually open up access to additional damages. First, you might get increased payments since you can claim the full value of the damages you faced instead of worrying about policy limits or policies that only pay a percentage of damages. Second, you can claim additional areas of damages like pain and suffering, which are usually blocked by insurance companies.
Ultimately, what you claim and what you settle for might be different values. Talk to one of our Miami riverboat accident lawyers about what to expect when suing after a boat accident and how much your case might be worth.
Call Our Florida Boating Accident Attorneys for Help Dealing with Insurance Companies
Never accept money from the boating or homeowners insurance companies after a boating accident before discussing your case with one of our experienced Pensacola boat accident lawyers. Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind’s Miami personal injury lawyers and boating injury attorneys have been representing boat injury victims for over 40 years, fighting to help them get compensation from insurance companies and at-fault boat operators. For a free legal consultation, contact us at (866) 386-1762.