When you have been injured in a collision, the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. You may need the skills of an experienced personal injury lawyer due to the severity of your injuries, or because an insurance company refuses to settle the matter in good faith. Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose primary goal is to pay you as little as they can and if you don’t protect your rights with a qualified personal injury lawyer, you may not be able to make a claim or get paid for your injuries. Personal injury settlements are usually offered by insurance companies immediately following the injury, even while the injured party is still in the hospital. The injured person may accept settlements that are well below the true value of their injuries and that is why it is critical not to accept any settlements without contacting an attorney to discuss the amount of the settlement offered. In some instances, regardless of the nature of the injury or the amount of your medical bills and lost income, you may still want to hire a lawyer because an insurance company or government agency simply refuses to make a fair settlement offer.
Documentation of your injuries is an important step, which will help your case later and help prove the nature and extent of your injuries. By promptly reporting all of your injuries to a doctor or medical provider, and by photographing any marks, cuts, bruises or swelling — including any splints, casts, bandages or other devices – it will be much easier to convince an insurance company of your injuries. Visible injuries can heal rather quickly and do not look as serious when viewed later. Failure to seek immediate treatment can lead an insurance company to believe your injuries were not as serious, or even that you invented or exaggerated them after the accident.
Record a statement after you are injured by writing down everything you can about your accident, including details of your injuries and their effect on your daily life, your economic losses and lost opportunities. Keep a log of conversations you had, including topics, names, times and dates. These statements can be very useful down the road when you put together the important facts into a final demand for compensation. Notes to remind you of the details of what happened, and what you went through, are easier and more reliable than counting on your memory. It is also important not to give too much information to the insurance company before seeking a qualified lawyer or filing a written claim. A written demand for compensation should be sent to the insurance company before any informal interviews are conducted.
Return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible to document and preserve any evidence and conditions which may have caused or contributed to the accident. Conditions at the scene, such as slick spots on which you fell or a traffic light that wasn’t working and may have contributed to your injuries, are important pieces of evidence which can help prove your case. Photograph the scene and physical evidence from different angles and at the same time of day as your accident occurred.
Having a witness to an accident can be extremely valuable in making your case to an insurance company. Witnesses may be able to describe things about an accident that confirm what happened and may even be able to provide you with new information.
Selecting the right law firm to represent you in your personal injury claim can be one of the most important decisions you make. Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner has been representing collision victims, including motorcyclists, in Southwest Florida for more than 35 years. The firm represents only people who have been injured due to the negligence of other individuals and businesses. It does not represent insurance companies or big businesses.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, there is no cost for a visit to discuss your accident and your options. In fact, you pay us nothing unless we recover you money. Our highly effective case-management strategy of assembling the right talent and the right experience provides clients with a vast array of professional legal services.
From the time a file is first opened, your case may be aided by the work of attorneys, legal assistants, former insurance executives and police officers as well registered nurses, journalists and other experts.
Our clients, of course, are the most important members of our team and we make every attempt to maintain a close working relationship with them. Stressing the need for full and open communications with our clients and relying on their input at every stage of the case has helped make Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner one of the largest personal injury law firms in Southwest Florida.