After you are injured in an auto accident, you likely know that you should call 911 to make sure the proper authorities and emergency medical personnel come to the scene of the accident. However, following that call, you may likely be concerned about the cost of your injuries and treatment and you might not know where to turn. Suddenly, your brain remembers familiar advice from television commercials - after calling 911, you should then call 411. This is referring to the 411-PAIN hotline that purports to help car accidents victims receive the medical care they need and up to $10,000 in compensation for their injuries. Since many victims do not know any personal injury lawyers off the tops of their heads, it may seem simple to pick up the phone and call.
The unfortunate truth is that many people do not receive favorable results from calling 411-PAIN, 1-800-ASK- GARY, and similar lawyer and medical referral services and others may actually end up in a worse position than they were just after the accident. In fact, many insurance advocates and even the Florida Bar have criticized these services and tried to restrict them.1 The following are only some of the many reasons why you should be skeptical of such referral services.
The Person You Talk to Likely Does Not Know the Law
The person who was hired to answer the phone certainly does not have a law degree and likely does not have any legal education or experience at all. This person will try to give you advice on the best way to proceed to receive compensation for your injuries, yet they may have little to no knowledge of your legal rights in that situation.
The $10,000 Promise is Not Arbitrary
These services choose the figure $10,000 based on the maximum benefits most people can get from their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policies, which are required by Florida law.2 However, they fail to address that every case is different and the compensation you will need may be much less or much more than that $10,000 figure that is advertised.
They have Their Own Network of Doctors
At first, having a network of medical professional at their disposal may seem like a good thing, especially if you do not have a primary physician of your own or do not know where to turn for specialized treatment of your injuries. However, the doctor who provides the specific type of treatment you need may not be in the network. For example, if you need surgery and they send you to an in-network chiropractor instead, your recovery may take significantly longer and may cost more.
Their Personal Injury Lawyers want You to File a Lawsuit
Many car accident victims are able to settle their cases without filing a legal claim. However, when 411-PAIN connects you with an attorney, they may push you to file a lawsuit. If you win a lawsuit, the attorney gets a portion of your settlement as a fee, but it will also generally drag out your case and your recovery may be significantly less than if you had pursued compensation through your insurance instead of filing an unnecessary claim.
Instead of 411-PAIN, Call a Knowledgeable and Trustworthy Auto Accident Law Firm
While promises of an easy $10,000 in your pocket may make it tempting to call referral programs such as 411-PAIN, like so many other things in life, you will likely find the promise is too good to be true. Instead of taking the risk of wasting your time and money on a large-scale referral system run by non-lawyers and repeatedly criticized by the Florida Bar, you should contact a skilled attorney who is committed to protecting the best interests of car accident victims.
At Dolman Law Group, consultations are always free and we do not collect any fees unless you get a favorable result in your claim. We will never push you into medical treatment you do not want or need and will always stand up for your rights to recovery. Please call our St. Petersburg car accident injury lawyers today at 727-222-6922 or fill out our online form for help today.