When you are injured in a serious crash, it’s important not to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company until you have spoken with an injury attorney. Victims of major auto accidents may be entitled to a substantial amount of damages, and signing off too early could result in forfeiting money you’re owed.
According to a recent news report from CBS 12, a firefighter from Fort Lauderdale was seriously injured in a car crash in West Palm Beach, Florida. This serious car crash occurred on Northlake Boulevard near Coconut Avenue.
Authorities have said victim was driving his personal vehicle in the Palm Beach Gardens area, and was only a few miles away from his home. He was on his way home from a long shift at his fire station in Fort Lauderdale when he was allegedly rear-ended by another driver. The force of the collision was so significant that it caused his car to hit a tree and roll over.When first responders arrived at the scene of this horrific West Palm Beach car crash, they found victim in critical condition. Rescue workers were able to cut him out of the wreckage and free him from the crushed vehicle. At this point, they called in a Medevac helicopter and airlifted him to St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is a level-one trauma center in West Palm Beach capable of treating even the most severe trauma cases.
At the hospital, he was evaluated and determined to have several broken bones, a broken sternum (breast bone), broken facial bones, and various other injuries. However, it is the catastrophic injury to his cervical spine at discs C5 though C7 that has left him paralyzed. It is not yet known if he will recover some or all of his movement as he goes through rehabilitation.
As our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers can explain, following a serious car accident, there is a very good chance that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will attempt to contact the victim or the victim’s family. The person who is called may say they are trying to help, but in reality, they are a claims adjuster with a goal of settling the case with as little cost to the insurance company as possible. This person is not looking out for your best interests.
The reason they call so quickly after an accident is because they know that family is still likely to be in a state of shock. They also know that the family has probably not spoken to an experienced car accident lawyer, and they know that a victim many not know the full extent of his or her injuries.
They know the family will be concerned about money and will offer what is usually a very small settlement amount, which may even be a few hundred dollars, and an offer to pay emergency room bills. If you take this offer, you will be required to sign a general release of liability, and that means you will not be able to file a claim for any additional money with that car insurance company related to that particular accident. Even if your case was worth tens of thousands of dollars in pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other special damages, you are going to be limited to that first offer you accepted.
For this reason, you should never accept any offer from an insurance company before speaking with an experienced South Florida car accident attorney.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale firefighter critically hurt in crash in West Palm Beach, May 19, 2017, By Gary Detman, CBS 12
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