Many people think that as long as they’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, or any other kind of accident, that they are automatically entitled to be compensated for their injuries. This is not always the case. There are many accident victims who are truly injured and in pain who, through their own choices, have made it extremely difficult – if not impossible – for them to recover for their injuries. Here are three things that we commonly see that can destroy the value of your personal injury claim.
1. Putting Off Going to the Doctor
Assuming liability is not an issue and that your injuries are related to your accident, all personal injuries claims are essentially valued the same way, and are largely based on answers to the following questions:
How serious are your injuries?
How much medical treatment have you had?
How often did you treat for your injuries?
Was the treatment you received reasonable?
The cost of your treatment?
Is future treatment warranted?
Are your injuries permanent?
How do your injuries impact your life?
Whether right or wrong, when evaluating a claim an insurance company will look for treatment that is consistent with the injury complained of. For example, if you are claiming to have suffered a serious back or neck injury as a result of a car crash, the insurance company is going to start its evaluation by looking at your conduct immediately after the crash (and shortly thereafter) to determine if it is consistent with someone who has sustained such an injury. Accordingly, if you’re injured yet put off going to the doctor in hopes that your injury will resolve, the insurance company will likely argue that your injury is very minor or not even related to the crash. The theory being that anyone injured so badly would surely have gone to the doctor right away.
2. Stopping Treatment when Further Treatment has been Recommended
This is something we unfortunately see quite often. In most cases (absent broken bones or catastrophic injuries), an accident victim will begin treating for their injuries conservatively – typically with chiropractic care and physical therapy. However, if the symptoms don’t subside over time with this treatment, a referral to a pain specialist will made before opting for the most invasive treatment, that being surgery. In most cases, the pain specialist will recommend injections or some other type of procedure to help alleviate the pain and other symptoms associated with the injury. This is where some people – those adverse to injections and surgery - opt instead to simply stop treating. This is a mistake!
Again, insurance companies look for consistency in treatment, and they also look closely to see whether you did everything your doctor(s) recommended. Unfortunately, for those who choose to stop treating, while they may continue to suffer in pain, the insurance company will significantly discount the value of their injuries again on theory that if you were truly injured and in pain, you would have followed your doctor’s recommendations. Prematurely stopping treatment will not only affect any pre-suit settlement opportunity, but it will also, more likely than not, adversely affect your case before a jury.
3. Posting to Social Media
We’ve written about this before. Posting anything about your accident or injuries online will likely come back to haunt you, whether you think your post was innocent or not. Insurance companies and their lawyers are masters at taking online postings out of context and using them against you in your case. Even the most innocent of postings, like of photo of you smiling with your children taken after a crash, will be construed by the insurance company as proof that your injury is minor, or that you’re not injured at all. Accordingly, it’s important that when you’ve been injured in an accident, that you simply refrain from posting to your social media until your case is over.
Get the Help and Guidance You Need After
Your Florida Personal Injury Accident
When you’ve been injured in an accident, it is also important that you consult with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys have extensive litigation experience and handle only personal injury claims. If you’ve suffered injuries in a Florida car accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin Personal Injury attorney now.