The most common error Florida accident victims make is not seeking legal counsel. Insurance adjusters work for their companies, not you. The police are not advocates. A car accident lawyer will explain what you should do and what you shouldn’t. He’ll negotiate with the insurance adjuster. The lawyer will investigate your case. He’ll explain how important it is to work with your doctors. Lawyers understand how to bring a car accident case and try cases before juries.
Some of the common mistakes that can destroy your car accident case are:
- Accepting a quick settlement. Many victims are in a hurry to settle. This is a mistake. Cases should never be settled until you know how serious your medical injuries are. Thus, you shouldn’t think about settling until you have a complete diagnosis and prognosis. Victims should also avoid settling until they know if they can return to work. Once you settle your case, you can’t ask for more later.
- Not seeing your doctors. If you’re in any type of car accident, you should first go to the ER or see your family doctor. Even if you don’t feel any pain you should still get a medical review. Also, many times, the pain can take time to appear. Often, the pain gets worse with time. You have the right to get healthy. This means seeing specialists, therapists, and other health care providers.
- Not following the advice of the doctors. Insurance companies will always argue that failing to take your medications is why your pain is lingering. They’ll look for any excuse to say you’re not doing your best to get better.
- Talking about your case on social media. The insurance company and their lawyers will ask to review your FB, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts. Many times, they won’t even ask. They’ll search for your name to see what you’re saying.
- Failing to notify your own insurance company. In Florida, accident victims should tell their own liability carrier and no-fault carrier about the accident. They need to investigate the cause of the crash. Then, they will inspect the vehicles and the accident site.
- Speaking with the insurance companies for the other drivers. These adjusters are trying to get victims to say something that will hurt your case. If you say you’re not hurt that bad, the insurance company will use that against you. Also, it's the same idea if you say you’re not sure what happened. Or if you say, it was partially my fault.
- Failing to file the PIP and MedPay forms correctly. You need to document your medical bills and lost wages. Doctors still need to justify the need for your visits. Employers need to detail exactly how much money you lost
- Not buying UM/UIM insurance. All Florida car owners should buy as much UM//UIM insurance that they can afford. UM stands for uninsured covered. UIM stands for underinsured coverage. Not having UM/UIM insurance is a common mistake that can destroy your car accident case. If the person who hit you is liable, it doesn’t do you any good unless you can collect. If the fault-driver doesn’t have insurance, you need UM/UIM insurance to collect your damage award.
- Assuming that insurance companies won’t be conducting surveillance. Many insurance companies hire investigators to take photos and videos of you. They want to show you’re not really hurt.
Other common mistakes that can destroy a car accident case
- Not using your own repair shop, when possible. Your own shop will do the job right.
- Signing any papers without having a lawyer review them.
- Waiting too long to file. There are strict time limits for filing claims.
There are many other things you should do and things you should avoid. The best course of action is to see a Florida car accident lawyer.