Port St. Lucie Personal Injury
The aftermath of a serious injury is rife with stress, confusion, and difficult questions. How will I pay for my medical bills and lost income? Who is liable for my damages? Will I have to go to trial?
These are just a few questions you may have if you or a loved one was severely injured in an unexpected accident. The Port St. Lucie personal injury attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are here to provide the answers.
We will evaluate your case for free and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our injury lawyers have a reputation for tough settlement negotiations and tenacious litigation. We are compassionate with our clients yet relentless against those who have harmed them. Call us today at 561-299-3999 for a free consultation.Do I Have Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were injured due to another person’s reckless or negligent actions, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. For your claim to be successful, it must be shown that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and the breach contributed to your injury or loss.
Duty of care can be established in many different ways. For example, all drivers have a duty to behave in such a way that does not put other people at risk. They breach this duty when they break the speed limit, make illegal turns, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Business establishments have a duty to keep their premises in reasonably safe condition. They breach this duty when they leave a spilled liquid on the floor for a significant amount of time, or when they fail to warn customers about dangerous conditions.
If a person or company owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and the breach of duty contributed to your injury or loss, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. If the breach of duty resulted in your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
The Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyers at Donaldson & Weston will evaluate your case for free and provide comprehensive legal guidance. Immediately after your initial consultation, we will investigate your accident to gather the evidence needed to prove negligence, liability, and the value of your damages.
With many years of experience in legal practice, our injury attorneys have the knowledge and resources to fight for the compensation you deserve. We will help you avoid costly mistakes that could lead to a liability dispute and will make sure your claim includes all damages to which you may be entitled.Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny—or at Least Undervalue—Claims
At Donaldson & Weston, we are proud to handle all correspondence with insurance adjusters for our clients. Not only does this relieve a considerable amount of stress for them, but it also prevents the opposing party from using devious tactics to obtain a statement that can be used to dispute the claim.
At the end of the day, insurers and claimants have competing interests, and most providers are not above using manipulative strategies to deny or at least undervalue every case that comes their way. Such tactics include:
- Offering an Early Settlement: Insurers may have an obligation to investigate every claim thoroughly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they do. If someone files a claim that’s clearly valid, they may bypass the investigation entirely and offer an early settlement. This will allow them to save their resources and, if the claimant accepts, will prevent them from having to cover damages that arise after the settlement has been finalized.
- Delaying the Proceedings: Sometimes insurers drag out the proceedings intentionally. They might do this in the hopes that the claimant will eventually accept an unfair settlement just to alleviate the stress of having a pending case.
- Misrepresenting Recorded Statements: Insurance adjusters employ a wide array of strategies for getting claimants to make compromising statements. If an injured party doesn’t fall into the trap, the adjuster might still misrepresent the statements he or she did provide to deny or undervalue the claim.
- Contesting the Severity or Existence of Injuries: When building a personal injury claim, it’s essential to gather sufficient evidence of all resulting damages. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to recover compensation for them. Even with medical records and statements from specialists, there are certain injuries that insurance adjusters might still challenge. Fortunately, our Port St. Lucie personal injury attorneys have extensive experience pursuing compensation for all kinds of injuries, including those that are not necessarily visible or even obvious.
- Shifting Fault: Insurers do not have to pay out third-party claims if their policyholders are not actually liable for the damages. Even if their policyholders are liable, they do not have to pay out 100 percent of the damages if they can shift some portion of fault to another party—or to the claimant.
- Misleading Claimants Regarding the Total Coverage Available: Although there are exceptions, claimants usually won’t recover a payout that exceeds the policyholder’s total coverage. Therefore, insurers may mislead injured parties regarding the coverage available so they accept an unfair settlement because they believe it is the most they will be able to recover.
- Scanning Social Media Accounts: If you think recorded statements are all insurance adjusters have to use against claimants, think again. Since most people have at least one social media profile, scanning posts has become a standard part of the claims investigation. If the opposing party finds a single photo, status, or comment that contradicts something the injured party said, it could jeopardize the entire case. This is why it’s best to stay off social media while your case is pending.
If you or someone you love was injured due to another person’s reckless or negligent actions, contact Donaldson & Weston to discuss your case. Our injury lawyers will make sure you aren’t bullied into accepting an unfair settlement. Call 772-266-5555 or Contact Us Online to set up a free initial consultation.