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When it comes to auto accidents, the aftermath is already stressful enough without the confusing myths and misconceptions about the claims process. These mistaken beliefs can significantly affect the decisions that you make, potentially leading to less favorable outcomes.

Let’s debunk some of the most common myths and clarify the truth to ensure that you are well-informed when you file your auto accident claims.

Myth 1: You Cannot Claim If You’re Not Injured Immediately

Reality: Symptoms of injuries from auto accidents may not appear right away. Conditions such as whiplash, concussions and soft tissue injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest. It’s essential to seek medical attention right after an accident, even if you initially feel fine. Medical records play a crucial role in substantiating your claims later on.

Myth 2: You Must Accept the First Settlement Offer from Insurance

Reality: Initial offers from insurance companies are often lower than what you might be entitled to. It’s a common practice for insurance adjusters to start negotiations with a low offer. You have the right to negotiate or reject this offer and counter with a more suitable amount based on your damages. Consulting with a legal professional can help you understand the full value of your claim.

Myth 3: Hiring a Lawyer Is Too Expensive

Reality: Most auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case or settle favorably outside of court. This arrangement aligns the attorney’s interests with yours and makes legal representation accessible without upfront fees.

Myth 4: Minor Accidents Don’t Require Reporting or Claims

Reality: Even if the damage seems minor, reporting the accident to your insurance company is crucial. Some injuries and vehicle damages aren’t apparent right away, and failing to report the accident can complicate potential claims. Additionally, some insurance policies mandate reporting any incident to maintain coverage, regardless of severity.

Myth 5: You Can File a Claim at Any Time

 Reality: There are statutory limits, known as statutes of limitations, which dictate how long you have to file a claim after an auto accident. This period can vary significantly between jurisdictions, typically ranging from one to three years. Florida’s statute of limitations used to give car accident victims four years to file a lawsuit, but now you must make a claim within two years. Filing after the deadline usually results in your claim being dismissed.

Myth 6: If You Feel Fine, There’s No Need to See a Doctor

Reality: Always consult a healthcare professional after an accident, even if you don’t have any immediate symptoms. Some serious injuries are not immediately apparent, and a medical examination can provide a health baseline, which is vital for legal and medical purposes should symptoms develop later.

Myth 7: The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Will Cover All Costs

Reality: While the at-fault driver’s insurance should ideally cover your expenses, settlement amounts can be limited by their policy limits. If your damages exceed these limits, you might not be fully compensated unless you have underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy.

Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Florida

Navigating the aftermath of an auto accident involves understanding your rights and the true nature of the claims process. By debunking these common myths, we aim to empower accident victims with accurate information to make informed decisions. For personalized advice and representation tailored to your specific situation, contact The Law Offices of Ron Sholes.


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