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As a Florida personal injury attorney with decades of experience, there is no end to the slip-ups and mistakes that I have seen people make in their personal injury cases; mistakes that have ultimately cost them literally, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.

As a person who has dedicated their life to the David and Goliath struggle of helping the little guys take on the mammoth insurance companies and their political lackeys, it can be heartbreaking to see people left in dire straits physically, mentally, emotionally and financially simply because they didn’t know what to do or made innocent errors for lack of knowledge and professional advice.

In the hope that I can save some of you from making just a few of the more common errors that I see, I would like to offer you a few bits of advice on things not to do, if you have been injured through the carelessness of someone else.

Believing an Insurance Adjuster

I have said this many times and yet I still hear these stories every day. So, I will say it one more time, at least. Insurance adjusters and the lawyers that back them up, do not have your best interest at heart. THEY WORK FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANIES.

Their job is to see that cases are settled at as little expense to their employers as possible. If they can settle a million dollar case for one hundred thousand, they will become heroes and probably receive a bonus if not a promotion for doing so.

Even in cases such as uninsured motorist claims, where you are dealing with your own insurance company, their main focus will be on their money and not on what is best for you.

Never trust anyone from the insurance companies. Hire a qualified personal injury attorney and listen to their advice.

Dropping a Case/ Accepting a Denial of Claim

This closely ties in with the advice above. Many times an insurance company will try to convince you that you really don’t have a case to pursue. They may tell you that your medical insurance will cover your expenses so you don’t have a claim or that their client didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t listen to them.

Even in cases where you had a preexisting condition that was aggravated by further injury, you probably have a case. Again, always seek the advice of a lawyer before listening to anything they have to say.


Not Researching Additional Insurance Coverage

In many cases, there is more coverage available than people realize. Employers may offer supplemental insurance that people are unaware of, you may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, there could even be bonding issues that come into play.

The point is that you have to know what to look for and where to find it. If not, you could be leaving big money lying on the table.


Making Too Low a Demand

Once it has been established what funds are available and from whom, it is imperative that maximum provable damages are sought. Whatever you demand in effect becomes the cap on the damages that you can expect to receive. You can always negotiate down but it is almost impossible to go up once you place a value on your case.


Not Employing Expert Witnesses Early

Most people would be surprised at the number of cases that turn on the testimony of an expert witness and the areas that some of these witnesses are asked to give an opinion on. Take a simple slip and fall on a set of stairs. Why would you need an expert to say the stairs were slick?

What if the stairs were slick because the wrong type paint was used on them and before you or your attorney has them inspected the owner realizes their mistake and repaints them with the proper sure grip materials? Your slam dunk case could become a fight to the death, in the courtroom, with the defendant’s lawyers claiming it was your clumsiness and not their client’s error, which is no longer provable, that caused your fall.

All of these mistakes can be boiled down to the single biggest error that people make with a personal injury claim; they don’t contact a qualified personal injury attorney soon enough.

With a claim, as with most things in life, time is of the essence. Upon hearing of a possible claim, insurance companies will be moving very quickly to find ways to minimize their exposure. The only way to combat this is to be sure you have legal representation that knows the law, understands the system and is willing to fight for your rights.

If you have suffered an injury through the fault of others, I strongly recommend you contact an attorney as soon as possible. The time you wait only helps the opposition.