If you’ve been injured in a car accident in South Florida, you must be very careful to protect your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation; but, if you make mistakes, you could easily end up without the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, many car accident victims don’t realize they are making mistakes. They don’t know that they need to be doing things differently; and, as a result, they don’t realize that they are putting their financial recovery in jeopardy.
Don’t Make These 10 Common Mistakes if You’ve Been Injured in a Collision
Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t make uninformed decisions, and don’t give the insurance companies an excuse to deny your claim. Avoid these 10 common mistakes to ensure that you have the best chance to recover the financial compensation you deserve:
1. Assuming (or Telling Yourself) You are Okay
The adrenaline rush that follows a traumatic car accident can mask the symptoms of potentially-serious injuries. As a result, even if you think you feel fine, you should not assume that you are okay.
Likewise, if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms, you should not tell yourself that you are fine. You need to take care of yourself, and waiting to seek help could create problems for both your physical and financial recovery. From broken bones to brain injuries, all types of accident-related injuries require prompt medical attention—and they can lead to substantial costs that you will need to recover.
2. Posting about the Accident on Social Media
Whether you are an avid social media user or you use Facebook or Instagram as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, you will likely be tempted to post something about the accident. Don’t do it. The insurance companies may be watching, and they may try to use your photos or comments about the accident against you.
3. Letting Whatever Happens Happen
When you have a claim after a car accident, you need to take control of the process. If you let whatever happens happen, you will not receive the financial compensation you deserve. The insurance companies are not on your side, and they will not resolve your claim with your best interests in mind.
To give yourself the best chance of recovering just compensation, you need to be proactive about protecting your legal rights. This starts with hiring an experienced South Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible.
4. Trusting Your Insurance Company
We’ve touched on a couple of issues with the insurance companies already. While it would be nice if you could trust your insurance company, this unfortunately is not the case.
Under Florida law, auto insurance companies have an obligation to handle all accident claims in good faith. However, this does not mean that your insurance company has to calculate your losses for you. Also, the insurance companies don’t always comply with the law. If you simply trust your insurance company to pay what you are owed, it is virtually guaranteed that you will receive less than you deserve.
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5. Assuming PIP is Your Only Option
The costs of a serious car accident can be substantial—far more than you can recover under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Fortunately, seeking PIP coverage might not be your only option.
While Florida is known as a “no fault” auto insurance state, it is still possible to pursue a fault-based insurance claim in many cases. If you suffered an injury that qualifies as “significant” or “permanent,” a lawyer may be able to help you secure additional auto insurance coverage outside of PIP.
6. Assuming Auto Insurance is Your Only Option
Just as you should not assume that PIP is your only option when it comes to auto insurance coverage, you should not assume that seeking auto insurance coverage is your only option when it comes to recovering your accident-related losses. If an issue with your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, or the road played a role in your crash, you may have a “third party” claim. There are other types of third party claims as well, and an experienced lawyer will be able to provide a thorough assessment of your legal rights.
7. Ignoring Your Doctor’s Advice
As time goes on, many car accident victims get complacent about their medical care. They cancel appointments, they fail to refill their prescriptions, and they do things against their doctors’ recommendations. However, when you have a car accident claim, it is extremely important to follow your doctor’s advice. Not only will this help ensure that you recover as fully and quickly as possible, but it will also prevent the insurance companies from using your complacency against you.
8. Overlooking Costs You are Entitled to Recover
If you have a claim outside of PIP, you are entitled to compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of your injuries (PIP provides coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and certain other out-of-pocket expenses only). To make sure you receive full compensation, you need to avoid overlooking costs you are entitled to recover.
9. Accepting a Settlement Too Soon
When you are struggling to deal with the costs of a car accident, any amount of money can help. However, you need to make sure you don’t accept a settlement too soon. Once you accept a settlement, your claim is over, and you can’t go back to the insurance companies and ask for more.
10. Waiting Too Long to Talk to a Lawyer
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident is waiting too long to talk to a lawyer. There are numerous ways a lawyer can help you—and this starts at the scene of the accident. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will become for a lawyer to help you, and the less of a chance you will have to recover the full financial compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Schedule a Free Consultation at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers
The team at Brian Guralnick Injury Lawyers Demand More® and so should you. If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call 561-202-6673 now or contact us online. Isn’t it time that you Demand More®?
You should not take any information in this blog as legal advice in any situation. If you need expertise for a specific issue of yours, contact a qualified Personal Injury attorney.