DECEMBER 29, 2013:
When a slip and fall or car accident occurs in Florida, a lawyer is not the only person that seeks to get intimately involved in an injured person’s case. In fact, the first call that someone injured in an accident receives is frequently from the insurance adjuster for the opposing party. While a simple phone call may seem harmless, that initial conversation can have long-term ramifications.
The mantra that I have those injured clients live by is trust nobody and do not speak with any adjuster that calls regarding your accident. And based upon my experience, these insurance companies are not calling injured clients just to see how they are feeling – there is always an ulterior motive behind the phone call.
For insurance companies, the investigation into a claim begins just moments following the accident. While I have never worked for an insurance company, my experience dictates that their number one priority is to diminish the value of a claim. The easiest way to accomplish this is by simply talking with non-lawyer represented injured claimants and obtaining admissions to belittle the claim. Despite the fact that the criminal Miranda Rights are obviously not required in personal injury cases in Florida, I strongly believe that all accident attorneys should impose the same rules for their clients.
However, in many cases, and I have found this to be especially true in slip and fall cases against Publix Supermarket, the insurance companies will contact clients even after their attorney has stated an appearance in the matter. Yet, when confronted, the adjuster pleads ignorance as if he or she had no clue that the client was represented. This is a pattern of events that occur far too frequently and in far too many cases to simply be a coincidence. I strongly believe that this is a strategic tactic employed by the claims department in an effort to diminish the value of a claim, or even achieve a quick settlement with a nominal offer outside the presence of the attorney.
Long story short, insurance companies are not your friends. Even though the adjusters may seemingly be sympathetic toward your injury and your hardship as a result, it is very important to keep in mind that their number one priority is not your health or to afford you adequate compensation for your loss. Their sole motive is to settle the claim as cost effective and quickly as possible. For personal injury cases, the injured party does not have the right to remain silent as a criminal defendant does when it comes to speaking with police. However, he or she does have the right to hang up the phone and not discuss the claim with an adjuster without an accident attorney present.
If you or someone you know was injured in a trip and fall or car accident, then contact our Aventura personal injury lawyers today.