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The at-fault driver is trying to settle, what should I do?

It's a tale as old as time: Jane Doe's car collides with John DoRight's truck because she wasn't paying attention. John's truck is severely damaged and he's also injured. He wants to file a claim with Jane's insurance company, but she's worried about what this will do to her rates and her coverage. She already has a few accidents on her record and this one could cause her insurer to drop her. Hoping to avoid this possibility, she tries to negotiate payment for damages without involving the insurance company.

If you're John in this situation, you should be wary of any at-fault driver who tries to make their own settlement offer for property damage and bodily injury after a car accident. Whether they're doing it because they want to keep their own rates from going up or because they don't have insurance, accepting a settlement before you seek medical attention and have your vehicle examined by an experienced mechanic and auto body repair expert is a huge risk.

How to Avoid a Storm Damage Scam

Was your roof recently damaged by hail or another type of storm in West Central Florida? Whether your home already sustained damage during a storm, or if you have concerns about roof damage caused by storms in Florida, it is important to learn more about scams where "contractors" offer to repair your roof. Be aware of scams so that you are not the victim of fraud that can occur following a storm. When your home is damaged, you can experience a range of emotions, from frustration to deep concern about whether the damage will be covered by your homeowners' insurance. Usually, this is when homeowners are the most vulnerable and the targets of scammers.

Replacement Cost, Actual Value Coverage, and Fire Damage Claims

Losing property or having it damaged in a home fire in the Tampa Bay area can be a devastating experience. While homeowners can obtain compensation for losses by filing an insurance claim and following the proper steps, the amount of money that the insurance company provides does not always correspond to the value of what you've lost.

How Flooding from Hurricane Irma May Be Responsible for Sinkholes in West Central Florida

If you live in the Tampa Bay area or elsewhere in West Central Florida, you may have experienced flooding as a result of Hurricane Irma. Although the hurricane struck Florida's Gulf Coast back in the second week of September and the cleanup and recovery processes are well underway (if not complete) for many homeowners, it is important to consider the possible link between hurricane flooding and sinkhole damage. To be clear, according to a report from AccuWeather, heavy rain from hurricanes, as well as flooding, can trigger sinkholes that can damage property and destroy homes.

Massive sinkhole causes major problems for Florida homeowners

There are several families in Land O' Lakes this week who are counting their blessings and are thankful to be alive after a 50 foot deep sinkhole opened up in their neighborhood. At present, two homes are reported to have been destroyed with other nearby homes likely to have suffered structural damage.

Although some families have been cleared to return to their homes, five homes remain empty despite the fact the sinkhole has reportedly stopped growing. "We're treating this, in essence, as a hazmat incident," explains Pasco County's Assistant Administrator for Public Safety, Kevin Guthrie, in a CNN article. The sinkhole, which is presently stopped up by debris, contains water contaminated by "household chemicals and septic tank parts."

What is the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Losing a loved one in a preventable accident can be devastating. At the Wells Law Group, P.A. we know how difficult it can be to think about filing a lawsuit when you are dealing with emotional and psychological repercussions of a family member's untimely death. While it may seem impossible to think about seeking compensation through a lawsuit at this point in time, it is important to discuss your case with a Tampa Bay wrongful death attorney who can help you to understand the types of compensation for which you might be eligible.

Why do insurers automatically suspect fraud in whiplash cases?

Not all car accidents are violent rollover crashes that result in fatalities. In most cases, car accidents are minor accidents, frequently referred to as fender benders, that typically result in non life-threatening injuries. In fact, one of the most common injuries associated with minor rear-end collisions is whiplash.

Herein lies the problem, however, for many accident victims. For many insurers across the nation, including here in Florida, using the term whiplash on an injury claim can spell disaster for recovering damages. That's because many insurers automatically assume fraud or minimal injuries when they see this term, even if the victim has been diagnosed with this injury by a medical doctor.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes: What You Should Know About Hurricanes that Produce Dangerous Tornadoes

While many residents of the Tampa Bay area have heard about waterspouts and tornadoes forming during and around a hurricane, most of us tend to think of tornadoes as separate weather events. In other words, homeowners frequently assume that tornadoes can form when certain types of thunderstorms occur, but we do not always consider the risks of tornado damage when preparing for a devastating hurricane. As many Tampa residents know, Hurricane Irma recently made its way near the Tampa-St. Petersburg area as a Category 1 hurricane, according to an article in Business Insider. Yet while West Central Florida homeowners were preparing for high winds and flooding associated with the hurricane, many Floridians also learned that they were under tornado watches and warnings.

Wind Damage, Trees, and Your Home After a Hurricane

After a powerful hurricane like that which affected Florida last month, policyholders are often left to deal with the damage to their homes and businesses caused by the powerful winds brought by those storms. Wind storm damage can be extensive and costly, and it is important to ensure that you properly document the damage in order to file a timely insurance claim. Given that Hurricane Irma recently caused significant damage in West Central Florida, now is a good time to learn more about wind storm damage produced by hurricanes and how to plan in advance to prevent this type of damage when a hurricane again threatens Florida in the future.

Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida: Second-Worst in Nation

Are Tampa Bay drivers getting into car accidents as a result of distracted driving? According to a study reported in the Sun Sentinel, Florida was recently ranked as the second-worst state when it comes to distracted driving accidents, meaning more accidents happen on Florida's roads and highways as a result of preventable distractions than in all but one other state (Louisiana). The study was conducted by a motion-sensing app called EverDrive, and it determined that Florida drivers often text and drive, or talk on a cell phone while driving, at rates that exceed drivers in other states.

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