Experienced Injury Attorney Serving Accident Victims in the Sunrise, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale Areas
Is it safe to drive in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a report on Florida Accidents, the answer is NO.
The Traffic Safety Report for 2005 was recently released, and the news is not good.
According to the report there were 3,543 car accident fatalities in Florida in 2005. That’s 19.9 deaths per 100,000 people in the state, which is well above the national average of 14.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
As the most populated sections in Florida, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties have accounted for the most accidents and fatalities. Miami-Dade had 335 deaths and Broward County had 263.
The one positive thing that you can say about these numbers is that they pale in comparison to the number of non-fatal injuries caused by car accidents in our state. According to a report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, our state had 252,902 car crashes in 2004, which caused over 227,192 non-fatal injuries. Admittedly, many of those injuries were minor, but keep in mind that paralysis, dismemberment, broken bones, or brain injuries are all considered “non-fatal.”
So if you have ever wondered why the insurance premiums here in South Florida are so high, it appears that the answers are in these numbers. But with so much daily, weekly and monthly revenue coming in from those premium checks, you would think that your insurance company would be able to quickly and efficiently handle an auto accident claim. If you’re paying some of the highest insurance premiums in the country then surely money isn’t an issue, right?
The truth is that insurance companies are not in the business of writing big checks. They have no problems with the cash flow coming in, but sending it out is a different story. They especially don’t like paying for extended hospital stays, severe injuries, or injuries that require long-term medical care due to car accidents and other injuries. And even though Florida has “No-Fault Laws” that require that your insurance company pays your claim regardless of whether or not the fault was yours, that’s still no guarantee that your insurance company will simply pay off your medical bills, property damage, or long-term care.
Common Insurance Company Negotiating Tactics
Insurance claims adjustors carry an invisible bag of tricks to every negotiating session – especially when the claimant is not represented by an attorney. Following are a few of the hundreds of tricks that are commonly used by insurance companies:
- The insurance company agrees to accept liability and you seek treatment. After you rack up large medical bills, they refuse to cover most of your expenses for this reason or that.
- The adjustor gives you an arbitrary deadline to accept a paltry settlement. This deadline is designed to deny you the time you need to calculate how much your claim is actually worth.
- They tell you that you don’t need a lawyer because they are “on your side.”
- They delay resolving your claim one step at a time, hoping to lull you into missing the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, your claim will become worthless.
- “How are you today?” “I’m fine.” “If you’re fine, then your injuries must not be as serious as you are claiming.” Be very, very careful what you say.
We are on the Same Side – I Don’t Make a Dime Unless You Do
When dealing with an insurance company, you face an inherent conflict of interest –they make money by accepting premiums, not by paying claims. With me, it’s just the opposite. I will not charge you a dime until and unless you receive compensation in the form of a settlement or a court decision. In other words, I only make money if you do. This puts us on the same side – and on the opposite side of the insurance company.
A Word from One of Our Clients
I had a wonderful experience with this office. It started when I had a car accident and the person left the scene. I contacted Mr. Benenfeld and he was great and helped me through everything. Always can count on him and his office. Did a great job for me and my family! Thank you for caring. I would not trust anyone else!
— Beatriz Forbes
Some of My Practice Areas
In addition to auto accident cases, I also frequently take the following kinds of cases:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Personal Injury
- Slip and Fall/Premises Liability
- Social Security Disability Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
- Trucking Accidents
- Wrongful Death
Don’t Settle for Mediocrity
Any lawyer who has passed the bar exam and been admitted to practice can start a firm and practice in almost any field of law he or she wishes, with or without any actual experience. Even many experienced lawyers operate “buffet” practices where they dabble in many different fields of law. My practice is devoted solely to personal injury and workers’ compensation law – and I always represent injured parties – never insurance companies.
The Time to Act is Now
David M. Benenfeld has been showered with awards and recognition from peers and clients. He maintains an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau and a “Superb” AVVO rating. In fact, he has won the AVVO Clients’ Choice Award for four consecutive years. He has also been admitted to the Million Dollar Advocate Forum along with fewer than one percent of all lawyers.
If you have been injured in a Florida auto accident, or if your loved one has been killed in such an accident, call David M. Benenfeld at 954-677-0155, or complete the online contact form so that we can schedule a free consultation.