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Auto accidents can be devastating, and injuries sustained in an accident can begin a timeline of treatment and therapy that can take months to complete.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to know what steps to undertake to protect yourself and avoid damaging your potential personal injury case. Many people are unaware that there are several ways they can actually damage their Florida auto accident claim. Here are some important things to avoid that will help ensure your claim is successful:
1. Revealing Information via Social Media: Today’s generation is technologically savvy, a fact which defense attorneys or insurance companies use to their advantage. People can update their status, tweet, write a blog post, or check into places in real time, making themselves more susceptible to public scrutiny. In an auto accident case, Internet research is conducted to help prove that you may not be as injured as you claim.
It is important to understand that what you post or tweet can potentially help the opposing insurance company and hurt your case. Be cautious when posting photos or comments that might discredit your claim. For instance, think twice before posting a status about going to the gym when you claimed to have severe back pain from a recent accident.
2. Lack of Witness Information: Any type of auto accident can cause stress and impair your normal thought process. It is important to stay as calm as possible and gather proper information that will help your case later on. One of the key ways to help your claim if you are not at fault is to identify witnesses. It is important to corroborate your case with eyewitnesses because it will minimize debate from insurance companies. Do not assume the investigating office will collect this information. Take matters into your own hands if possible and ask for witnesses’ contact information promptly after the accident.
3. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Opposing Insurance Company: This is a very common mistake. Usually when an auto accident occurs, the insurance companies are notified right away. Once insurance companies are notified, they move quickly to obtain a recorded statement about what happened and information about your current injury. Most people feel that they have to give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company and answer their questions. THIS IS FALSE. There is no requirement that you give a recorded statement.
Often, the other insurance company is looking to take advantage of your mental state and lack of knowledge about the matter at hand. Therefore, do not ever give a recorded statement without first consulting your attorney.
4. Take Opposing Auto Insurance Companies Lightly: If you are not at fault, the opposing driver’s insurance company will conduct an investigation during your case. This may include surveillance, photos of damages or video footage of you at some point during the process.
Honesty is the best policy. If you attempt certain activities that might seem questionable, admit them. We understand that over the period of the claim process, you will be treated for injuries and your physical health will improve. However, when an auto accident victim denies something that an insurance investigation later reveals to be true, it will hurt your claim.
5. Waiting too Long to Get Medical Treatment: Most people involved in an accident assume the pain or injury will go away in time. Unfortunately, that is always not the case and complaints may progressively worsen.
Insurance companies monitor the gap between treatments. If you wait even a few days to start treatment, they assume you may not be as injured as you claim. Prompt medical attention is necessary in evaluating your claim and if injuries are severe, report to the hospital. Once you visit a personal injury attorney, request appropriate medical care. Any complaints and symptoms should be well documented and recorded.
Personal injury claims all vary in severity, and often times they involve lifelong consequences that require extensive future medical expenses and years of pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions or negligence of another, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840.
Parties to an accident are often times contacted by insurance companies in an attempt to get personal injury victims to settle an injury claim quickly, and for a non-negotiated amount. Before a settlement offer is even discussed, it is extremely important to first know the extent of your injuries.
Usually, the severity of damage sustained in an accident is not easily determined, and in many cases an injured party may suffer soft tissue or latent injuries that do not arise until much later. However, once a settlement agreement is made and tendered, an injured party releases their right to recovery for injuries related to that particular incident.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to first seek medical attention. After an auto accident, it is best to go immediately to the hospital or other treatment facility to determine the extent of your injuries and pinpoint the necessary steps of rehabilitation that might be required.
Secondly, an injured party should always contact an attorney for legal consultation and general information on how to proceed following an accident. In the event an insurance company contacts you regarding your injury claim, do not offer any recorded statements without first consulting with an attorney.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today @ (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
Auto accidents can be devastating, and often times result in not only property damage, but also severe injuries that require extensive medical attention and treatment. The stress and pain associated with automobile accidents can be extensive, and there are many situations when the victims of a car accident cannot afford the medical assistance needed to treat their injuries. To make matters worse, each year motorists across the country become victims of hit and run accidents, and are left devastated by the actions of another driver.
If you have been hit by another driver who fled after the accident, it is important to immediately attempt to gather as much information as possible about the vehicle and/or driver. It is extremely helpful to your case if you can provide a description of the vehicle that hit you, and any identifying information that can be helpful when filing a police report and an accident claim with your auto insurance company.
If you cannot obtain identifying information about the vehicle or other driver, at least write down the location and time of the accident, and as many other details about the sequence of events as you can, including any potential witnesses to the accident, their names, and contact information.
It is very important to contact law enforcement and file a report immediately after the accident; even when it seems like a waste of time due to lack of information about the other driver or incident. Having a police report can be helpful to you when filing the auto claim with your insurance, and memorializing at least some of the details of the incident in writing.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Across the country, distracted driving continues to be a rising cause of automobile accidents and has resulted in numerous fatalities over the past decade. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2010 alone.
On May 2nd, 2013, the Florida Senate vote was nearly unanimous in favor of the texting and driving bill. The proposed bill cleared the House of Representatives with a 110-6 vote the day before, and has now been sent to the governor for his approval. The new texting and driving law calls for fines of $30 plus costs; as well as additional penalties for subsequent offenses, causing a crash, and/or for texting in school zones.
In an effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel nationwide, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been encouraging all states to enact tough laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. Furthermore, several celebrities, media sources, and automobile companies have made efforts to raise awareness of the growing problem by reaching out to the community and promoting the dangers that can occur when driving distracted.
If you or a loved has been a victim of an accident involving distracted driving and you have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 and schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Auto accidents can be devastating, and injuries sustained in an accident can begin a timeline of treatment and therapy that can take months to complete. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is always important to know what steps to undertake to protect yourself and your potential personal injury case.
If you are involved in an auto accident, it is critical to first seek medical attention. After an auto accident, it is best to go immediately to the hospital or other treatment facility to determine the extent of your injuries and pinpoint the necessary steps of rehabilitation that might be required.
If the injuries sustained in the accident are not severe or life threatening, it is important to gather necessary information about the accident for purposes of supporting your potential legal suit. Important information to gather includes:
Identification of all occupants: including names, phone numbers, addresses and even emails.
Photos of the Damage: photograph all damages, including both vehicle and surrounding property damage.
Photos of the Accident Scene: photograph any debris, skid marks and also the position of the vehicles involved in the collision; and
Information of Responding Officer(s) and Ambulance: Request any and all identifying information on the officer(s) and Ambulance that respond to the incident
Injured parties should also always contact an attorney for legal consultation and general information on how to proceed following an accident. In the event an insurance company contacts you regarding your injury claim, do not offer any recorded statements without first consulting with an attorney.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 . Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage on Florida car insurance policies that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The original purpose of PIP coverage was to make sure that anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. In Florida, all drivers are obligated to obtain a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage for medical bills and lost wages following an auto accident.
Due to rampant fraud and misappropriation of PIP coverage in Florida, insurance companies have lobbied to pass PIP insurance reform to limit the types of treatment available to crash victims covered by PIP, and limit the amount of coverage in order to avoid abuse and fraud.
The new PIP law, which took effect January 1, 2013, requires that persons injured in an accident must begin medical services and care within 14-days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits. The law also requires that injured persons obtain their initial medical treatment from specific medical entities. The initial treatment must be administered by the following:
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital
- Medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor or osteopath.
Additionally, the new law bans the use of PIP dollars to pay for massage or acupuncture treatments and will limit the payout for non-emergency treatment of accident-related injuries to $2,500.00. A widespread concern is that accident victims with serious injuries won’t be able to get the care they need if they sustain an injury such as a whiplash or herniated disc because these injuries may not qualify as an emergency.
Nonetheless, supporters of the new law insist that the reform will contribute to overall lower insurance premiums and provide much needed relief to Florida drivers.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!