Do I have a personal injury lawsuit? The four things you should know
After practicing personal injury law in Tallahassee for many years, I’ve seen many different types of cases. Every case is unique, and requires careful investigation, thorough preparation and dedicated attention. There are no shortcuts in personal injury law, no matter how long you’ve practiced or how many cases you’ve tried. From car accidents and truck accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, DUI accidents, and distracted driving to medical malpractice and birth injuries; every case has its own facts, set of circumstances, and injuries.
One thing, however, remains constant: many of our clients have no idea how a personal injury lawsuit works in Florida or Georgia. They come to us because they need help, hoping we can take the burden of fighting the insurance company (or corporation) off their shoulders— and that the personal injury attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks can help them get the justice they deserve.
And, while every case is different, there are a few things I tell every client, no matter their injury or type of claim. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, DUI accident, distracted driving or by medical practice, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. The stakes are too high, and the insurance companies too powerful, to try to go it alone.
- THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND
Let me say that again: the insurance company is not your friend. Neither is the insurance adjuster. They are in business to make money— and they do, lots of it. The insurance adjuster will act like they are concerned about you, that they want to “make it right” and take care of you, but their job is to pay you as little (or nothing) for your injury as possible.
Insurance companies don’t want you to talk to an attorney, because they know you will be more likely to get more money if you do. So don’t sign anything, don’t agree to anything, and don’t talk to anyone- past reporting the accident to your insurance company- until you have spoken with an attorney.
- DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The first rule of social media is this: Nothing, no matter your privacy settings, is private. You must assume that anything you put on social media is going to be found by opposing counsel, and twisted to put you in a bad light. As an example, it wouldn’t be a good thing to post pictures of yourself at your daughter’s graduation after you’ve been in a serious accident. Even if you were in tremendous pain and had to take pain medications (that didn’t reduce the pain level by much) to attend the happy day, an insurance company might try to use that picture to say you weren’t really injured. Even if you had to go to bed for a week afterwards because of the pain and exhaustion, an insurance company might show a jury a picture of you smiling and say, “See? He wasn’t really injured if he could go to this event and smile.”
Stay away from social media while you are involved in a claim and/or lawsuit. Stay off your friend’s social media, too.
- THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK (TO ANYONE)
Anyone can testify against you, including your own doctors and friends. That’s not being cynical; I’m just telling you like it is. Your words can be twisted by insurance attorneys until they have no resemblance to what you actually meant. Be thoughtful with your interactions with medical professionals. As the old saying goes: You can’t regret something you didn’t say.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT LAWYER FOR YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your Tallahassee personal injury attorney while your case is ongoing. You need to choose one who has experience, but you also need to choose an attorney who values your case, and who makes time for you. At Barrett, Fasig & Brooks, you will speak with an attorney who will help you determine if your claim is worth pursuing.
You also need to make sure your attorney has the resources to take your case to trial, if necessary. Personal injury attorneys are not paid unless you win your case, so that means they have to be able to front the costs of a trial- which are not insignificant. There are attorneys who just want to settle your case quickly and get on to the next one. You deserve a Tallahassee personal injury attorney who takes your case personally, because you are more than just a case number or file folder on someone’s over-stacked desk.
If you think you need an attorney, give us a call. We’ll talk over the details of your case and, if you have a claim, we’ll get started on getting justice for you and your loved ones.