7 steps to take if you have been involved in a car accident

It happens, someone pulls out in front of you, you make an abrupt stop, or reckless driving turns into an unexpected visit to the ER. We have all been there and it is important that you are aware of the steps to take after you have been involved in a car accident. Here are 7 steps you should take: 1. Call 911 or your local non-emergency police station’s number so that an officer can respond and write a crash report and exchange of information. 2. If possible, take photos of the damage and license plates to all vehicles involved as well as the surrounding area 3. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their name and contact information 4. Contact your car insurance company and file a claim. Have your policy number, year, make and model, and your VIN number handy

  1. Florida is considered a no-fault state so be sure you call your insurance company first to file a claim
  2. To file a claim, many times you will be able to use an app, online, or by phone at your auto insurance company
  3. You should speak to an attorney before giving any recorded statements to the insurance companies
  4. When making the claim, give an honest, straightforward account of what happened without minimizing any injuries or damage to the vehicles involved

5. Make sure you seek medical attention within 14 days of the accidentSince Florida is a no-fault state, regardless of fault, turn to your insurance company first. Everyone is required to have a minimum of $10K Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, but you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident so that you don’t miss out on coverage that you need. Within the 14 days, you can visit a medical doctor, chiropractor, hospital, or urgent care centerKeep in mind that symptoms related to injuries from a car accident can be delayed to reach its full potential. It can take days or even weeks for a person to feel the full effects, and you don’t want to miss coverage provided by PIP because you did not get treated within 14 days 6. Document as much as possible. 7. Contact a personal injury attorney For no cost to you, we recover our fees only if we win your case, whether through a settlement or jury trial. To watch Marie Schoeb explain the steps further, visit the video below.

Call Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb today at (813) 225-2695 if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident.

What is UM coverage and do you need it?

If you are in an accident and the at-fault party has low or no bodily injury coverage, what do you do? UM (uninsured or underinsured) motorist coverage is additional coverage that you can purchase through your auto insurance company. In the event of a car accident, UM coverage provides security for when the at-fault party that hit you has low or no bodily injury limits to cover your medical expenses. For example, a situation where UM coverage is important is if another driver hits you and they only had $10,000 in bodily injury coverage, but you now have $50,000 in medical expenses. UM coverage will take place and provide coverage for those additional medical expenses. This is why it is so important to have. What is the difference between unstacked vs. stacked coverage? Unstacked. If you only have 1 vehicle on your policy, you will choose the unstacked option. Stacked. Stacked coverage allows you to stack limits on top of each other. For example, you have $50,000 per person in UM coverage but your policy covers two vehicles. Stacking UM coverage will allow your limit of $50,000, to be $100,000 in UM coverage per person.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, please call us at Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb to reach Marie Schoeb directly to help walk you through the process. If you have any questions about what additional coverages are available to you, please contact your auto insurance carrier.

7 Steps To Take When Your Home Has Sustained Damage

It’s summertime in Tampa Bay which means thunderstorms and hurricanes are bound to strike. Heavy winds, water damage, debris can all cause damage to your home or business and when it strikes, it can be devastating. Make sure you are prepared and ready to take action in the event of a damaging storm. Here are 7 steps you should take if your home or business has been affected:

1. Immediately report the claim to your insurance company It is important to report the claim to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies use email or have an online portal where you can submit your claim, making it easy to track and manage all communications with the insurance company. If online options are not available, review your policy documents or the company’s website for a phone number to start the claims process.

2. Make a list of all damages and take photos and/or videos of the existing damage You want to make sure you document everything. It is important to make a list of all damaged property, including as much information as possible, such as types of floors, carpeting, or brand of furniture for all of the damaged items. Document any and all damages to your property, using photos and/ or videos to be taken throughout stages of the repair. The information stored will be valuable later in the claims process so… the more information you can document, the better.

3. Protect your property from further damage Do your best to protect your property from further damage. For example, if your roof is leaking, do your best to protect your property from further damage by putting a plastic tarp over the leak, use buckets, and dry the floors as much as possible.

4. Save all documents exchanged between you and your insurance company Since you have documented all photos and videos of the damages, make sure you also keep track of all letters, emails, and claim numbers you would have received from your insurance company. Keeping a record of all communications including the date, time, and the person you spoke with, will help protect you and claims throughout the process.

5. Field inspection After the claim is made, you will go through field inspection. This includes communications with the field adjuster that will visit your home on behalf of the insurance company. Make sure you keep a record of the damaged areas you pointed out to him/ her as well as a summary of what was discussed regarding the damages.

6. Save all receipts and/or estimates related to the damage and/or repairs It is important to save all receipts from repairs or equipment used during the repairs. Any estimates or quotes that you receive should be saved and documented. Make sure you are careful before signing any paperwork with the company performing or providing an estimate for the repairs. Many companies often have an assignment of benefits that allows the company estimating the repairs, to collect directly from your insurance company. This could significantly affect your rights under your policy. You will want to have a lawyer review these documents before signing any paperwork with these repair companies.

7. Contact Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb We understand that dealing with hurricane damage can be overwhelming. Unfortunately for the home or business owner, insurance companies have adjusters whose jobs are to save their own money, oftentimes leaving your home or business at a severe disadvantage by getting your claim improperly denied, or significantly underpaid. In many cases, with Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb, our fee can be paid directly from the insurance company in addition to the settlement we get for your claim.

Contact us if your home or business has sustained damage and we will walk you through the process, take on the insurance company, and fight for the results you deserve. Visit your YouTube channel to listen to Marie Schoeb share these 7 steps.