Gainesville Car Accident Lawyer
Are you getting the compensation you deserve?
Should you be working with a Gainesville car accident law firm to maximize the value of your claim?
We've written this article to help you make that decision, plus answer the most common questions you might have. To make it easier for you to find exactly the information you want, you can use the "Quick Navigation" that follows to jump to the exact article content you are looking for.
If you think it would be wise to discuss your car accident with our lead attorney, please consider submitting a free online case evaluation. Doing so will save you the time of an intake call and get you in touch with our founder, Eric Kem, in the quickest way possible.
Is Making Your Car Accident Claim Stressing you Out?
If you’ve been seriously injured by another party in a car accident, you’ve probably experienced a few sleepless nights. Your vehicle is likely damaged, medical bills are piling up, and you may have missed work.
To make matters worse, soon you’ll start receiving calls from insurance companies or “investigators,” who are trained to trick you into saying something about your accident that can minimize the value of your auto claim.
With all these worries on your shoulders, you may be struggling to understand your rights and how best to maximize your car accident claim. That’s why the team at Eric Kem Injury Lawyers has put together this detailed guide.
Written by a Gainesville personal injury attorney, this page will cover everything you need to know about your car accident and the benefits of working with a law firm on your auto accident claim.
Florida Car Accident Statistics
Florida is home to the most dangerous highways in America, with just over 1,000 vehicle accident crashes in Florida each and every day.
When you combine the high-levels of commercial vehicles, such as large semi-trailer trucks, with tourist and retired-age drivers, and then combine that with heavy rain, morning fog, and ever-increasing traffic congestion, the sunshine state is ripe for more than its fair share of dangerous vehicle accidents.
In 2017, there were 380,000 car crashes in Florida, with 164,000 (43%) resulting in injury and 3,000 (<1%) involving a fatality. Of those fatal accidents in Florida, 50% involved drivers or passengers who failed to wear their seatbelt. Drunk driving is the leading cause of fatal accidents in the state.
Gainesville and Alachua County Car Accident Statistics
Here in Alachua County, approximately half of all accidents occur within Gainesville’s city limits, the county’s most populous city.
In 2017, Alachua County had 6,075 total vehicle accidents, which represents roughly 16 vehicle accidents each day. Approximately 75% of the accidents in the county resulted in injuries, and 1% of those accidents proved fatal.
In 2017, the city of Gainesville had 14 total accidents involving fatalities. This number is slightly deceiving as to the frequency of fatal accidents per incident, since many accidents in Gainesville involve commercial vehicles, and truck accidents often lead to multiple fatalities.
Local and Environmental Factors Contributing to Gainesville, FL Accidents
Gainesville and Alachua County have some unique local and environmental factors that contribute to the tally of accidents. These include the heavy rainfall we get throughout the year in Florida, especially in the summer months of June, July, August and September. Another factor is the thick morning fog we experience, which often restrict’s driver’s visibility. In addition, in Florida and Alachua County the population is growing at a fast rate, so there is ever-increasing traffic congestion for drivers to deal with.
More specifically, the high congestion of vehicular traffic along Interstate 75 in Alachua County and Gainesville is responsible for an increasing number of accidents in our county. As a major throughway for locals, tourists, and especially commercial vehicles (large trucks), Interstate 75 is ranked as the 4th most dangerous roadway in Florida.
Just over 10% of all accidents in Alachua County involved a large commercial truck. By nature, these accidents result in higher levels of injury and fatality than most vehicle accidents. This is due to the larger force of impact in truck accidents, in addition to their reduced ability to stop quickly in the event of incidents on the roadway. As a result, commercial vehicles are responsible for 15% of all fatalities
Florida Laws Impacting Your Car Accident
Florida law allows injured drivers and passengers, or their loved ones in the event of wrongful death, to file suit to recover damages from those found responsible for the car accident.
In order to make a successful claim against another party, you will need to prove they are legally responsible, which is called “liability” or “negligence.” It is not required, however, that you prove the other party intentionally caused the accident.
There are four required elements of a successful liability or negligence claim: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.
A qualified auto accident lawyer can assist you in building a case that demonstrates that the other party or parties were negligent. They will help you prove that the other drivers were driving in an unreasonable or unsafe manner. This establishes the two required elements of duty and breach. You will also have to prove that your injuries and damages were caused by the car accident rather than by something else. This will prove the final two elements of causation and damages.
Ultimately, your case for the other driver’s liability will have to convince an insurance company to settle or, if that doesn’t work, it will have to convince a jury or judge. You can win your liability case even if the police who investigate the scene claim that liability is in dispute.
Non-driver factors can also lead to a vehicle wreck. These might include things like sand or gravel on the road, poorly marked construction signs, badly designed guardrails and roads, and inoperable traffic lights. These are things which can create dangerous driving conditions leading to a wreck. Other non-driver factors would be defects in the parts of your car, like its airbags or tires. You are entitled to seek recovery for your injuries and damages from those responsible for these unsafe conditions.Then there are specific Florida car accident laws that also impact the circumstances of your claim.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
The most common law clients ask about is the Florida No-Fault Law, which requires that all vehicles registered in Florida carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection. This law means that in most cases a large amount of the first $10,000 of your medical treatment and lost wages will be paid by your own insurance company without any examination of who was at fault in causing the wreck. This law is complicated though, and requires that you seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident to preserve your benefits. It also will not pay for all your medical bills. It just pays 80% of your medical bills up to the $10,000 limit.
Additional Florida Traffic Laws that May Impact Your Claim
There are also a number of other Florida laws or statues which commonly affect who makes a claim and how they must do so. These include:
- Florida Seat Belt Law
- Florida Right of Way Law
- Florida Pedestrian Laws
- and Bodily Injury Liability Requirements in Florida
If you’re confused about how Florida’s legal or insurance requirements impact your ability to file a car accident claim, make sure to request a free case evaluation to discuss your case.
Beware, depending on the circumstances and nature of your accident or injuries, you may be required to act fast in order to meet Florida’s statute of limitation requirements.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Gainesville Can Help You Maximize Your Claim
Most people understand that the role of a qualified personal injury lawyer is to serve as your partner in obtaining a full-and-fair settlement for your auto accident.
They can also represent you in court in the rare event negotiations with insurance providers and responsible parties fail to result in a favorable agreement.
Yet the best lawyers don’t merely represent their clients in conversations with insurers or in court. They also work tirelessly to help you maximize the value of your auto accident claim by:
- Helping to determine or dispute liability by proving other parties were negligent, or that fault was improperly determined by police on the scene.
- Collecting proper evidence and witness statements, such as re-canvasing the scene of the accident for missed evidence, or interviewing witnesses to ensure your claim is solidly backed by evidence and testimony.
- Providing notice of representation to insurers so you can avoid having to provide recorded statements or be tricked into saying something that may limit the value of your claim.
- Providing medical guidance in the event you’re unaware of the best providers to see to ensure proper treatment and, more importantly, to be sure that all medical treatment is documented appropriately under Florida law.
- Developing a comprehensive demand package, which includes compensation for all injuries, property damage, lost work, pain and suffering, future required medical care and physical therapy, and even things like yardwork or child-care services you may need to contract while you recover from your injuries.
- Negotiating with insurers to ensure you receive a full-and-fair settlement based on the full value of your injuries and damages. In fact, clients who work with attorneys typically receive a settlement check 3x larger than when they try to go it alone, even after attorneys’ fees are deducted.
- Reducing medical bills when hospitals or other providers attempt to over-charge clients for the injuries.
- Managing your expectations, by communicating case updates to you regularly and providing you updated timelines of when you can expect to be paid.
- Consulting on when to litigate and when it’s in your best interests to settle with the at-fault party. Your attorney will communicate every settlement offer received and advise you when it’s best to settle or take your case to trial.
- Filing suit and preparing and representing your case all the way to a jury verdict in the rare event it’s deemed necessary.
The best attorney will do all the heavy lifting required to maximize your claim — so you can focus on your recovery.
What Is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?
One of the first questions clients typically is how much their case is worth. While it’s understandable that you would want to know exactly what damages you will receive, it’s impossible to come up with this number at the beginning of your case.
The value of damages you will receive has several parts. It is determined by the verifiable economic and non-economic damages that result from your accident. But it also requires consideration of how much insurance money is available and how much fault you had in causing the accident.
Knowing what damages are available for recovery is critical to maximizing the value of your vehicle accident claim. It will include things such as the value of:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment or mobility aids
- Ongoing therapy or future medical costs
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property and/or vehicle damage
- Required home modifications
- Compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement
- Household cleaning or gardening services
Additionally, if your injuries are permanent or serious, a qualified car attorney may be able to help you receive compensation for “pain & suffering” and “loss of enjoyment of life” as allowed under Florida Law.
To learn more, check out our article on how the average car accident settlement is determined, or better yet, contact our firm for a free case evaluation.
Choosing the Law Firm that’s Right for You
When selecting a lawyer to represent your vehicle accident claim, it’s imperative that you thoroughly vet your attorney to make sure they are the right fit for you.
Not only should you select an attorney who you enjoy speaking with and who is attentive to your needs, but you should also always ensure the law firm you select meets the following criteria:
- Experience successfully handling car accident cases in Gainesville.
- Has knowledge of local factors that impact your case, such as local courts and procedures, local jury verdicts, and road conditions or weather (eg. morning fog), which may have contributed to your accident.
- Has a proven record of obtaining six and seven-figure settlements on behalf of their clients.
- Understands the unique types of injuries you have sustained, and the best way to treat them and recover fair compensation.
- Demonstrates a willingness to explore all options to obtain compensation for you, including going to trial when necessary.
- Communicates clearly and regularly regarding developments of your case, in a simple language you can understand.
Most importantly, make sure the law firm you select is not a “case mill” who tries to sign every case that comes through their door and has non-attorney staff handling most aspects of the case.
You want to make sure your case gets the full attention required to produce a compelling demand package. And you want an attorney who will strive to get every last dollar you deserve so you can get your life back to normal.
At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, we strive to provide the highest-quality legal representation possible for our car accident clients. And that means we do things a little differently than most of our local competitors.
Keep reading to learn more about what makes us one of the best Gainesville accident injury law firms to represent your case.
Types of Injuries We Specialize In
The attorneys at Eric Kem Injury Lawyers are specialized in helping car accident victims with serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Injuries requiring surgery
- Injuries requiring emergency medical treatment
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic amputation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Scarring & permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
Don’t see your injury listed? Not to worry, you can provide the relevant details about your injury when you submit your case details for review.
Types of Accidents We Can Help You With
At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, our car crash attorneys specialize in helping clients who have sustained serious, life-altering injuries in a vehicle accident in Gainesville or greater Florida.
Most of our clients are Florida residents, but they also include visitors to the state who are injured while vacationing in Florida.
Specifically, our firm handles the following common types of vehicle accidents:
- Car Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Scooter Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents (Uber/Lyft)
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Gainesville Regional Public Transit Accidents
Additionally, our team is available to assist those who have sustained other types of accidents due to the negligence of another party, including:
No matter the type of accident you have sustained, our team will work diligently to understand your needs, gather all necessary evidence to create a rock-solid demand package for relevant parties, keep you informed of negotiations or offers received, and consult with you to determine when it’s in your best interests to settle or go to trial.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers we work on a contingency model, which means:
- Your initial case evaluation is free
- You pay nothing out of pocket
- We deduct our fee and your costs from your settlement or court award
Typically, our fee structure works as follows:
For Florida traffic accident cases, we use the Florida Bar recommended contingency fee agreement, which sets limits on contingency fees.
33 and ⅓% up to $1 million; 30% of amounts between $1 and $2 million; 20% of amounts exceeding $2 million.
After Filing Suit
40% up to $1 million; 30% of amounts between $1 and $2 million; 20% of amounts exceeding $2 million.
Costs would be deducted from your award and include expenses exclusive of our fees such as expert witnesses, postage, travel for depositions and hearings, and anything where we have to advance money on your behalf.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
In virtually 99% of car accident claims made by Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, there is no need to go to court. That is because we will work diligently to:
- Collect the necessary evidence from the scene or witnesses
- Help you document all verifiable damages
- Shield you from phone conversations with insurers whose goal is to put your claim in legal jeopardy
Additionally, we are highly selective about the clients we work with, which gives our team ample time and energy to create a detailed and airtight demand package, so that you receive a full-and-fair settlement in the most expeditious way possible.
We are experts at gathering the necessary evidence to demonstrate to insurers and at-fault parties exactly what your claim is worth should we go to court. More often than not, this compels negligent parties to negotiate with our team to avoid costly litigation and the negative press a trial might bring them.
In the event insurers or at-fault parties won’t budge, our team will typically file suit, which shows our seriousness in fighting for every last dollar your accident and injuries warrant.
And in the very rare event your case does need to go to trial, we will work tirelessly to build and represent your case. Rest assured, we always leave the decision of whether or not to go to court in your hands, as many simply prefer not to endure the time and stress of trial unless absolutely necessary.
What sets our attorneys apart from many of our competitors is our selectivity in working with clients. Because we choose not to represent frivolous claims or those who have sustained only very minor injuries, our team can give our select few clients our full attention and ensure them the best chance at a favorable outcome.
FREE CASE REVIEW
"Eric Kem was a Fantastic Lawyer...knowledgeable, patient as well as kind. He helped me understand the law, know my rights and not feel like an idiot for asking so many questions. I had a better outcome then I ever expected. I would highly recommend him!!!"
Crystal DeJesus, Gainesville Florida
Know Your Rights After a Florida Car Accident
Learn your rights after a car accident and maximize your car accident claim in FLORIDA.
Eric Kem Injury Lawyers
"We know how the insurance companies value cases, which gives our team the ability to create a detailed and airtight demand package. You receive a full-and-fair settlement in the fastest way possible."
What Makes Eric Kem Injury Lawyers Unique?
We know that selecting the right auto accident attorney to represent your claim is a very serious decision and that you have options. For that reason, it’s important you understand the factors that make working with the Kem Law Firm unique, and how that ultimately makes for a stress-free process, with the best possible chance of receiving a favorable settlement on your behalf.
Your Case Will Never Be Handed Off to Paralegals
As most of our clients will tell you, they select Eric Kem Injury Lawyers primarily because they appreciate getting to work directly with our founding attorney throughout the entire claim process.
Unlike many of our competitors, we never pass your case off to junior attorneys or paralegals once you’ve signed. Your main point of contact from day one until you receive your check will be our founder, Eric Kem.
Eric is a highly successful Gainesville personal injury attorney with a track record of obtaining six and seven-figure settlements for Florida residents.
Eric’s clients appreciate working with him because he takes the time to get to know each of them individually — he will seek to understand your unique needs and will consult with you every step along the way to ensure your case is represented how you desire. This ensures that your case doesn’t slip through the cracks by being passed around to multiple staff members, as often happens with larger firms.
10 More Reasons to Hire Us
In addition to the unparalleled access you’ll have to Eric, Eric Kem Injury Lawyers has instituted the following practices to make handling your case as smooth, efficient, and stress-free as possible:
1. We are not a “Case Mill.” Every law firm operates uniquely, and unfortunately many personal injury law firms simply try to sign every last client who walks through their door. While this strategy may help them maximize their annual revenue, it more often than not means serious cases do not receive the true attention they deserve. Unlike these other firms, Eric is committed to working on behalf of those who need his help the most: those who have been seriously injured and had their lives transformed because of the fault of another party. By being highly selective with whom he works with, Eric and his team never have to cut corners to send out as many demand letters as possible. By only taking serious cases, Eric and his team represent their clients to the full extent possible, which ensures you and your case receive the necessary time, effort and attention to maximize your claim. And at the end of the day, this means that you’ll walk home with more money in your pocket.
2. A quick and automated online intake process. There’s no need to play phone tag or wait days to schedule an intake interview when working with Eric Kem Injury Lawyers. Simply submit your case details online using our intelligent intake form, and in a few short minutes, Eric will receive your case details directly. Unlike other firms, there’s no need to discuss your case details with multiple support staff and then wait for an attorney to review your case, which may often take a week or more. This allows Eric and his team to work much faster than other firms and ensures we can collect relevant evidence at the scene of the accident before it’s lost, and/or re-interview witnesses before their memory fades. At the end of the day, this ensures Eric and his team have the necessary evidence to develop the most comprehensive demand package possible on your behalf.
3. Electronic document review, signing, and communications. At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, we pride ourselves in leveraging state-of-the-art technology to save you the time and hassle of office visits or keeping track of unnecessary paperwork. Should you have an interest in working directly with Eric, he will patiently review all documents such as contracts or settlement offers with you via online screen sharing tools. There’s never a need to come to our office for a sales pitch, sign documents, or receive updates about your case. And if it’s necessary to meet in person, but you can’t make it to our office, Eric can also travel to visit you, whether that’s in your home or at the hospital. This saves you countless hours traveling back-and-forth to meet with your attorney and prevents you from having to keep track of lots of paperwork. At the end of the day, this gives you more time to focus on your recovery, and freedom from worrying about scheduling meetings with your attorney when you should be 100% focused on your recovery.
4. Regular status updates and timelines via email, so you know how long your claim will take. You may have heard that it’s not uncommon for attorneys to make themselves available during your initial outreach, but then virtually disappear once you’ve signed. Rest assured, Eric will keep you regularly updated on the status of your case via email each and every step of the way. Eric also responds promptly and patiently to any questions or concerns you may have. Eric’s goal is to keep you informed on the status of your case from start to finish. By choosing Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, you will regularly receive updated timelines so you always know how your claim is developing and when you might be able to anticipate your check. This commitment to communication and regular updates will provide you much-needed peace of mind during a difficult time in your life.
5. Negotiate down medical costs. As you probably know, it’s not uncommon for medical providers today to try and take advantage of accident victims in their time of need by overcharging for routine medical care required for your recovery. But once you sign with Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, Eric will notify your medical providers that he represents you, and he will work diligently to ensure all care you receive is not only of the highest quality possible but also never billed above the fair-market rate. In the event the previous care you’ve already received has been over-billed, Eric will leverage his years of experience helping clients with similar injuries to negotiate down your costs, and at the end of the day, this means you walk home with more money in your pocket.
6. Quick communication and advice on any and all settlement offers. Eric will always notify you immediately of any standing settlement offers so that you have full control of how your claim is pursued and so that favorable settlement offer deadlines are never missed. Eric will advise you when it’s in your best interest to settle, continue negotiation, or file suit, as the circumstances warrant. But you always have the final decision as to whether to accept a settlement offer or continue negotiation or file suit. By working with Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, you’re in control of your case every step of the way. Your claim will never be handled by multiple attorneys or support staff, which causes the opportunity for miscommunication or important deadlines to be missed.
7. Proven expertise representing serious injuries to the full extent possible. Our clients have typically experienced life-changing injuries, and these cases simply demand more time, effort and experience to be favorably represented. At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, we’re 100% focused on helping only those car accident victims who need our help the most. Eric and his team never overextend themselves by pursuing every last frivolous claim that may walk through their door. By being highly selective about the clients we represent, we can be sure to dedicate the required time, energy and resources to helping the seriously injured receive the most favorable settlement possible. Unlike some other local law firms that typically have attorneys managing 80-100 cases per year, Eric and his team work diligently to represent just a handful of serious cases annually. At the end of the day, this means your settlement value is maximized, not just our law firm’s annual revenue.
8. Risk-free, 30-day guarantee. At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, Eric and his team want to ensure that you feel confident your case is being represented in the absolute best way possible, and we understand that reaching that level of trust may take a little time and effort on our part. That’s why we extend a risk-free, 30-day guarantee to all of our clients. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the level and quality of our services, we will allow you to break your contract with no-fee within the first 30 days, no questions asked.
9. An attorney who speaks your language. There’s nothing worse than working with an attorney who tries to obscure the facts of your case or over-complicates your life by speaking in unnecessary and confusing legalese. Rest assured, you won’t need to study up on the law when you work with Eric Kem Injury Lawyers. Eric and his team will always communicate with you in simple and plain English and will also take the time to make sure you fully understand what’s happening with your case each and every step of the way. By keeping things simple and answering your questions in a patient manner, you will not only be better informed about pertinent details of your case, but we will also save you a lot of time and stress trying to look up and understand complicated legal concepts.
10. Eric is more than your attorney, he’s your neighbor. When selecting a lawyer to represent you, it’s vital that your attorney understand you, your community, and reflect your values. Like many of his clients, Eric was born and raised in Florida, attended UF law school, and developed his competitive streak and commitment to winning playing both high-school and collegiate level tennis and soccer. What we’re getting at here is that Eric isn’t just an extremely competent and effective attorney, he’s also your neighbor and your friend. He not only understands what it means to be an active member of the Gainesville and greater Florida community, but he’s also as accessible and approachable as anyone you will meet. Unlike many attorneys, Eric never rushes his clients, makes you feel like his time is more valuable than yours, or speaks down to you. And that’s why clients of Eric Kem Injury Lawyers always feel welcome to call upon Eric long after their case is settled for advice or referrals on whatever legal issues they may face. At Eric Kem Injury Lawyers, you get a legal partner for life.
Act Now Before Insurance Companies Can Damage Your Claim
At the beginning of this guide, we wanted you to understand why it’s so important that you act quickly to secure legal representation in order to maximize your car accident claim when you’ve sustained serious injuries.
With each passing day, it becomes more and more difficult to recover the full value of your claim because:
- Your memory of events, and that of witnesses, will diminish
- You, your doctor, and other medical providers may fail to fully document the extent of your injuries as required by law
- Crucial evidence on the scene of the accident that police may have missed may be cleaned up, or simply wash away
- And most importantly, representatives from your insurance company and other at-fault parties will begin calling on you to trick you into saying something that minimizes your ability to obtain full-and-fair compensation
Remember, investigators and insurance companies, including your own, are in the business of maximizing their bottom line by paying accident victims the very least amount possible for your damages and injuries. And they’ll resort to a few dirty tricks to make that possible that we want you to be aware of now.
Tricks Insurance Companies Will Play to Minimize Your Claim
Here are just a few of the tactics insurance companies will try to use to prevent you from obtaining a full-and-fair settlement in the most expeditious way possible:
- Claim they’re making a “routine check-in call” and ask for your social security number, saying “it’s required by law”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Never, ever provide anyone who calls about your accident with your social security number, no matter how hard they try to pressure you into doing so. Your social security number can be used to obtain private information about your previous employment history, outstanding debts, or criminal history....and be leveraged against you in mediation or court to paint a picture of you as someone who is untrustworthy or unreliable.
- They’ll call to say you’ve lied about pertinent details of the accident, or have exaggerated the extent of your injuries. This tactic is deployed to put you on the defensive, to see if you might overreact or divulge details that are within your rights not to share. Remember, if you want to receive the most favorable settlement offer or jury reward possible, it’s imperative that all communication with investigators and insurance companies be conducted by an attorney who won’t overreact or share details that may damage your claim.
- They claim they’re making a “friendly call” to check to see if you’re feeling better, and then use whatever you say against you. Never discuss the status of your medical care with insurance providers without consulting an attorney. Better yet, let your attorney handle all of these conversations from the get-go. It may take your doctor and attorney significant time to uncover, understand, and fully document the extent of your injuries. Believe it or not, communicating something as simple as “you’re feeling much better” may prevent you from obtaining damages for any future or ongoing care that may be required for your full recovery.
- They will call to recommend you see their preferred medical provider, claiming they’re the very best available. Make sure you never take an insurer up on this offer. It’s sad to say, but many doctors are in bed with insurance companies, and they will collaborate with insurers to minimize the extent of your injuries, or entirely fail to document them, so you’re later unable to receive fair compensation. Make sure you only visit doctors you trust or have experience with. When necessary, Eric Kem Injury Lawyers can recommend specialists for your injuries who will work diligently with your attorney to make sure you receive not only the best possible care, but also that everything is documented appropriately under Florida law.
- Calling with a far-too-quick settlement offer, and asking you to sign quickly. Insurance companies know you are injured, stressed, and starting to see medical bills pile up that you probably can’t pay today. They also know it may take several months for you to understand the full extent of your injuries and economic damages, including ongoing therapy or added expenses, like getting someone to help you prepare meals or do your yardwork. That’s why they’re very likely to make a quick settlement offer. They’ll claim it’s the “best” or “final” offer that you will receive, with the hope of leveraging your stress to get you to sign away your rights to further compensation. Remember, if you’ve been seriously injured, it will take some time for medical providers to understand and document the full extent of your injuries and the cost of your care.
- Asking to record your conversation, claiming it’s “company policy” or “required by law”. Not surprisingly, these recorded statements will then be twisted or entirely taken out of context, to prevent you from maximizing your award. Never, ever provide any kind of recorded statement to any “investigators” or insurance representatives.
- Needlessly dragging out the claim process, so you feel financially pressured to accept a low-ball offer. If you fail to obtain quick legal representation, you can count on insurance companies to drag out the claim process as long as humanly possible. They’ll take weeks to answer your calls or acknowledge receipt of your documented expenses, all with the hope that you will buckle under the financial strain and take their low-ball offer. The very best thing you can do is consult with an attorney as soon as humanly possible after your accident, and let them notify all related parties that they will be handling your claim. Remember, with each passing day that you fail to obtain legal representation, the ability to obtain a full-and-fair settlement is diminished.