Pensacola Personal Injury Attorneys
If you were injured in a car accident, a slip-and-fall, on someone else's property or at work, this likely means someone else (the other driver, the property owner, your employer) may be responsible for your injuries which means their insurance company has a duty to pay your claim. It may surprise you the lengths an insurance company may go to in an effort to avoid paying your claim by making it look and feel like the accident was your fault, that your injuries were not caused by the accident as you claim or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim by making you undergo an examination by a doctor hired by the insurance company. You have rights and we know you have questions. Here is what you need to know and do after you've suffered a personal injury.
3 Steps to Take If You Have Suffered a Personal Injury
1) Seek medical treatment. Even if you are not 100% sure you need it. You suffer no harm to your rights to recover by seeking treatment it may turn out you do not need. However, you will greatly impact your ability to recover by not seeking treatment you do in fact need. Insurance companies often try to use the fact that you did not seek medical treatment sooner against you to downplay your injuries and your request for medical expenses. Do not let this common mistake hinder your personal injury claim. If, as a result of a car accident, an accident that occurred on someone else's property or an injury that you suffered at work, you are now in pain and unable to do all or many of the things you were able to do prior to the accident—for example, take care of the house, your children, your spouse, commute to and from work, perform your job, etc. waiting to get medical treatment is one of the worst things you can do because it can hinder your ability to pursue a personal injury claim and recover those costly medical bills and expenses from the insurance company that has a duty to pay them. If you suspect an injury, go see a doctor.
2) Do not discuss your case with an insurance company. It's hard to understand why insurance companies try to take advantage of you as the accident victim but they often do. As a corporation that needs to see profits, they have every incentive to gather damaging evidence, twist your words or try to confuse you and get you to say or sign things that limit your ability to recover. If they can come up with an accident reconstruction scenario that proves you caused the accident, even though you know and you have told them you did not, they often do. If they can gather statements from witnesses at the scene who say the accident looked like it was your fault, they often will and will rely on these types of statements and evidence, and discount other evidence that shows you were not at fault in hopes of forcing you into an early and unfair settlement that does not fully cover your expenses and bills. The insurance companies do this so they don't have to pay as much, or anything on your claim. It saves them money. If you are not required, you should not speak to, provide information or submit to requests from an insurance company or resolve an injury claim without first consulting a qualified attorney to understand your rights. It is not in your best interest to think the insurance company is looking out for you.
3) Hire or consult with a personal injury attorney. Sometimes the law requires you to give a statement to the insurance company, but not always. You also have a duty to send information and documents, but you do not have to turn over records or answer questions that do not relate to your claim. For example, if the insurance company has asked you for medical records that do not relate to your current injury? Maybe they have asked for financial records that have nothing to do with your injury? Maybe they have asked for medical records relating to a sports injury you suffered years before the accident? Maybe the insurance company has asked you to undergo an independent medical examination even though your doctor has already diagnosed your injuries and determined they were in fact caused by the accident. Insurance companies do this because they are often trying to find a way to wrongfully deny your legitimate insurance claim for recovery of expenses they are required to pay. You need a team skilled at battling insurance companies fighting for you. If you are suffering as a result of a personal injury, coming to Taylor, Warren & Weidner as soon as possible after the accident to protect your rights and handle your personal injury claim is an important first step to your recovery. You are likely incurring additional bills and expenses daily that you did not have prior to the accident and there may be someone who is responsible for covering these costs. The best person to advise you whether there may be a third party who is liable for your medical bills and help you take the right steps to ensure you recover as much as possible on your insurance claim is a personal injury attorney.
At Taylor, Warren & Weidner, our only interest is in protecting you. We never charge any fee or cost to advise you of your rights. Be assured, the insurance companies often try to take advantage of the situation to pay the least amount possible on your insurance claim and treat you unfairly. We see it often and we have dedicated our practice to fighting for your claim and helping you recover, to the fullest extent possible, your health, well-being and your damages when you have sustained a personal injury through the fault of another.
Helpful Links and Resources
Learn about Florida CFO's Personal Injury Protection Working Group.
Read Florida law on negligence to help determine whether someone else is at fault for your injury.
Learn more about what expenses and bills you can recover in Florida's laws on damages.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's guide on safe driving.
Insurance Information Institute's power-point on Florida No-Fault Auto Insurance.
The Florida Chief Financial Officer's Frequently Asked Questions for Injured Workers.
Florida Department of Finance's First Report of Injury or Illness form.
Florida Chief Financial Officer article on How to Report an Injury.
Department of Motor Vehicle's 2017 Car Crash Data.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's report on Crash Citation and Statistics.
2017 state-wide accident crash data from Florida's Integrated Report Exchange System.
Read the Department of Motor Vehicle's “In the Event of an Accident” guide here.
Learn how you can help prevent traffic fatalities from distracted driving from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association's Distracted Driving department.
The premier personal injury lawyers at Taylor, Warren & Weidner have years of experience dealing with car accidents, personal injuries, as well as the ins and outs of insurance companies and the great lengths they will go to to deny a personal injury victim's claim. We never charge any fee or cost to inform you of your rights when pursuing a personal injury claim. If you've been injured in a car accident, at work or on someone's else's property, give us a call today at (850) 438-4899 to see if we can help you recover.