Pinellas Park can be a dangerous place for all types of injury accidents. I have handled countless cases over my career from Pinellas Park and understand what it takes to help people and recover as much money as possible.
At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we specialize in car accidents from Pinellas Park. Our office is less than a 10 minute drive from the edge of the City. Because of our experience, I have compiled a list of tips that will help you with your injury claim.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
If you have a question about whether to go to the hospital, err on the side of caution and go. Northside Hospital or St. Pete General are good options and are convenient. If your injury does not rise to the level of requiring a hospital visit, then go to an Urgent Care or Walk-In clinic. The key is to get checked out immediately. Not only will this emergency medical treatment give you peace of mind, it will help the value of your personal injury case. Whether you sought emergency medical treatment is a key factor in how the insurance companies value a case.
Always Contact Pinellas Park Law Enforcement or Make an Incident Report
Sometimes people feel guilty about calling the police or they don’t want to wait. Because the accident occurred in Pinellas Park, either the Florida Highway Patrol or Pinellas Park PD will respond. It is important that the accident is investigated by law enforcement to determine liability, get the proper information, and secure witnesses. Having an accident report that finds fault with someone else is a big asset in your injury claim.
If your injury accident was not an auto accident, then make sure you file an incident report with the store or business. The incident report will put the store/business on notice and they will investigate the accident. It will help your claim if the accident was verified. You want to make it as easy as possible for the insurance company to offer you money. If the work has already been done to verify the accident before you ask for money, the better your chances at recovering.
Document the Scene
While at the scene of the accident, it is important to take pictures. If it was an auto accident, then make sure you photograph the cars and the scene. If the accident was a slip and fall, make sure that you take photographs on what caused you to fall. In addition to photos, you should obtain the names and phone numbers of all witnesses. You simply cannot rely on others to get this information and if the people leave, that information could be lost. Therefore, a little bit of proactive effort can go a long way to helping your personal injury claim.
Be Cautious When Dealing with Insurance Companies
While it is fine to report the accident to the insurance companies and get a claim number, never give a recorded statement without your lawyer present. Insurance companies will try to get as much information about your injuries at the outset. They will make a note of what you say. If you later state that your injuries were different, they will use that against you and offer less money. Therefore, you should never go into detail about your injuries or your medical treatment with an insurance company representative.
Now, you are required to report an auto accident to your own insurance company. Under the terms of your policy, you have an obligation to report it within a reasonable time and to cooperate with their investigation. You have no obligation to cooperate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Get Medical Treatment With a Specialist in Pinellas Park, FL
A common mistake that people make after an accident is to make an appointment with their family doctor or primary care physician in Pinellas Park for an auto accident. They are simply not set up to either bill insurance companies or to properly document the injuries in order to maximize value. The same goes for all types of injuries from accidents. It has been my observation that family doctors will give a patient an X-ray, tell them that they will be fine, and then send them off with a prescription for a muscle relaxer. Because many injuries from personal injury accidents in Pinellas Park are soft tissue, only an MRI can detect the seriousness of the injury. These doctors are notorious for not taking the extra steps and for poorly documenting their reports.
In order to get proper medical care while improving your personal injury claim, you should go to a Pinellas Park doctor who specializes in personal injury accidents. If you cannot find someone online, then you can ask your personal injury attorney for a referral.
Don’t Miss Appointments or Have Gaps in Treatment
While treating with your specialist, you need to make your appointments and avoid gaps in treatment. The insurance company is looking at your treatment to determine how badly you are injured. If you continually miss appointments or miss large periods of time, then they will discount your claim.
Follow Your Pinellas Park Doctor’s Advice
Your medical specialist will know the best plan of treatment for you. If you do not follow their recommendations, it will damage your claim. For example, if you stop treating before you are recommended to be done, your claim will be affected. If your doctor has recommended that you get an injection, but you never get it, your claim will be affected. Thus, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice and do not give the insurance company any opportunity to claim that you could have felt better if you had simply listened to your doctor.
Watch Your Medical Bills
Your Pinellas Park personal injury lawyer should be watching your medical bills, but a responsible client should be doing the same. If the insurance policy for the accident is only $10,000, then you don’t want to run up $20,000 in out of pocket bills, right? Therefore, you should always keep in mind that the medical bill tab should not be an indefinite one. As long as you periodically check on the bills and discuss it with your attorney, you should be fine, however.
Contact a Pinellas Park Personal Injury Attorney
Pinellas Park is a beautiful city filled with great people. But, because of its location in the center of Pinellas County and the amount of traffic and visitors coming through it on a daily basis, accidents happen.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident in Pinellas Park, we can help. It is no risk to hire our firm and our consultations are always free.