Serving the Areas of Ft. Lauderdale, Sunrise, and West Palm Beach
One misconception people have is if they’re driving without auto insurance – meaning they don’t have their own no fault benefits which are also known as PIP benefits– is that they can’t see a doctor for their pain because the bills won’t get paid. We can certainly help in those cases if the person doesn’t know any doctors that are willing to accept a letter of protection. A letter of protection is a legal document that we sign promising that when a case is settled, the doctors will be paid. That’s something we can do that is very helpful.
Another thing that happens after an accident is a person will have neck or back pain and headaches and will think to themselves, “I just had the accident yesterday; this pain is going to go away.” They fail to see a doctor within a short period of time after the accident. Time goes by and they still don’t see a doctor and they don’t see a lawyer. They let 14-days pass after the accident, and then they call a lawyer or a doctor. By then, they have given up $10,000 worth of benefits they were entitled to for medical care and/or lost wages under the no fault benefits or PIP portion of their own automobile insurance policy.
If that happens, our ability to get someone compensated for the full extent of damages they have is going to be quite difficult. It’s very hard to explain to a jury or an insurance carrier that the person thought the pain would go away and therefore ignored it. The insurance company is going to say to the jury, “If they were really in that much pain, they would have gone to a doctor.”
The longer someone waits to hire an attorney and to see a doctor, the more difficult it will be to settle their claim for a fair amount of money. Those misconceptions are some of the worst mistakes we hear about.
What Are Some Common Mistakes That Can Be Detrimental To A Person Seeking Compensation In An Auto-Accident Case?
One of the worst mistakes people make after an accident is talking to the other driver’s insurance company. This happens all the time. The other driver’s insurance company calls them up and says, “Listen, we really just want to find out what happened and if you don’t mind, we’re going to turn on this tape recorder and record the conversation, is that okay?” People who have had an accident hear a friendly voice and say, “Sure, no problem.” So, the insurance company asks questions, not only how the accident happened, but things like, “What’s hurting you, and have you ever had any accidents before?” Sometimes people forget about an accident they had 10 or 15 years ago or they say, “I only hurt my neck in that accident 10 or 15 years ago.” They might be asked, “What body parts hurt,” and the injured person might say, “Well, only my neck hurts,” and a little while later the person might find that their back hurts too.
When the claim is filed for neck and back pain, the insurance company is going to hold up that sworn statement and say, “Hey, you lied to us. You told us only your neck hurts, now you’re saying your neck and back hurt. Sorry, we’re only going to accept responsibility for your neck pain.” If you forgot to tell them about the accident you had ten years ago, they’re going to bring that up too and say you lied and will not want to pay any benefits at all.
Ultimately a lawsuit gets filed because the insurance company will not pay any money. This evidence will be taken in front of a jury and the jury will have to make a decision as to whether or not you were telling the truth then, or whether you’re telling the truth now. Sworn statements made after an accident to an insurance company you think is your friend are a problem. It can really hurt you.
The other thing that insurance companies like to do right after an accident is knock on your door and say, “Listen, we’ll offer you $500 to settle your claim.” Sometimes people say, “Okay, I’ll take the five hundred bucks” because the accident just happened and they feel their pain is no big deal. Low and behold, a few days later, that pain they thought was no big deal gets worse and worse and doesn’t go away. Because they accepted $500 to settle their claim, they’re done with it and can’t get any more money no matter how bad their problems are, no matter how many days of work they miss, no matter what’s needed in the future medically, because they have already accepted $500 and therefore their claim is over.
Those are just some of the many things that can go wrong. Allow David M. Benenfeld to help.
For more information on Misconceptions About Auto-Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (954) 677-0155 today.