As any experienced Florida personal injury attorney can tell you, an insurance company will always put its interests before yours. This is something that you must keep in mind whenever the insurance company makes any request of you, regardless of how straightforward the request might initially seem. One strong example of this is the statement the insurance adjuster will likely ask you for right after you claim is submitted. Such a request is ostensible reasonable, as it is the insurance adjuster’s job to investigate your claim.
However, there are problems with giving such a statement that could put your attorney at a disadvantage when he attempts to negotiate your settlement. For instance, your statement will probably be taken orally, with the adjuster interviewing you and your answers being transcribed. At the conclusion of the interview, you will be asked for a signature verifying the truthfulness of the statement. However, this process is problematic. The adjuster will probably not willfully misrepresent your responses, but details can be lost or distorted as the adjuster paraphrases you. These distortions could serious errors that compromise your case and make the insured seem less liable for your injury than he actually is. Often, the claimant will not read the transcription very carefully, out of tiredness or naiveté. However, if you sign the statement when it contains distorted facts, your signature can be taken as proof that you read it carefully and found no mistakes.
These problems continue to exist even when an audio recording is taken. At first such a method seems objective and fair. However, the insurance company legally unable to use the audio itself as evidence, and will rarely spare the expense of having the audio transcribed. More likely, the adjuster will provide a written summary instead, and the same problems of distortion due to paraphrasing occur again.
This is part of why it is very important for personal injury claimants to seek the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney who can shield them from such pitfalls. Call today for a free initial consultation with experienced Florida personal injury lawyer John Fagan.
John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.
John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder.
In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home.
John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation.
John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.
Service to the Community
John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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