What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
After being injured in a car accident, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. For many people, the stress that comes with being injured and trying to deal with medical bills and the insurance companies can be paralyzing. It is important to remember that countless people have been through the process before, and there is help available to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. When you contact Searcy Dennis, a top Florida accident lawyer will ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken to give you your best chance at recovery.
Before you contact a lawyer, you can help your claim by following certain precautions after your accident. Below are some important steps that all car accident victims should try to take at the scene of the collision (assuming they are physically able to do so):
- Try to Stay Calm – Your first priority is to get immediate help. If you have a cell phone, dial 911. Or flag down a passing vehicle or pedestrian and ask them to call 911.
- Assess the Condition of Other Passengers in Your Car – After you have called for help, look around and try to determine if others are badly hurt. Tell your companions to stay calm and assure them that help is on the way. If you are in a position to provide first aid, do so. But, generally, it is dangerous to move anyone who may have a serious injury.
- Notate the Details of the Accident – If you can, make notes on the circumstances of the accident, such as the time, the place, and exactly what happened. Identify not only participants – the drivers of other vehicles, for example – but also witnesses who can corroborate your story. Be sure to get license plate numbers, names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
- Cooperate With Paramedics and Law Enforcement Officials – When EMS personnel arrive, do not assume that you were not injured; follow their instructions. When the highway patrol or police arrive, tell them the facts. Do not move your car or any other potential evidence.
- Seek Medical Attention – Go to the hospital, even if you think you feel fine. You need a physician to diagnose your medical condition, and your medical records will be key evidence in your claim for compensation.
- Notify Your Insurance Carrier – If you are in a car crash, insurance companies require you to file with them in a timely manner. But you are not required to accept any offers they make for reimbursement or settlement of potential accident claims.
- Avoid Talking to the Insurance Companies – While it is ok to report your claim (and we recommend that you do this at the scene of the accident), you should not provide any additional information to the insurance companies. Your legal team will handle this for you to ensure that you do not provide a damaging recorded statement or get pressured into accepting a low-value settlement.
- Avoid Discussing the Accident – In addition to avoiding the insurance companies, you should also avoid discussing the accident in general. You do not want your family members or neighbors to be asked to testify, and you do not want your social media posts to be used against you.
- Get a Copy of the Police Report – If you are to pursue any claim against the person at fault in your accident, you will need the police report to substantiate what happened.
- Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney – Choosing an attorney is a critical step, because you are putting your future, and your family’s future, in his or her hands. You want a firm you can trust to protect your interests and represent you aggressively as you seek the justice you and your family deserve.
- Rest and Recuperate – When seeking compensation after a car accident, it is imperative that you follow your doctor’s advice. Some insurance companies will monitor claimants to see if they are going to work or engaging in strenuous activity when they should be resting, and it is important that you attend all follow-up appointments and therapy sessions to help your recovery as much as possible.
- Keep a Journal – In addition to medical bills and lost income, your claim will also include compensation for non-financial losses. One of the best ways to document these losses is to keep a diary or journal. When do you feel pain each day? Was it worse today than yesterday? Did you have to miss a child’s game or a social event because you were too sore to go? These are all key details that can help maximize your financial recovery.
Seeking Compensation After a Motor Vehicle Collision with an Experienced Florida Accident Lawyer
If your life has been turned upside down by a car accident, or if you are facing the constant aggravation of trying to get answers from someone else’s insurance company, it is important that you speak with a Florida accident lawyer about your situation. You may be entitled to compensation – and, if you are like most people, you probably need that compensation to move on – but the reality is that most accident victims are unable to protect their legal rights on their own.
Why is this the case? Why is the process so much harder than it has to be? The answer is simple. For the insurance companies, protecting their profits is their sole priority. The insurance companies want to pay as little as possible, and they will go to great lengths to try to get accident victims to settle for less than they deserve.
At Searcy Denney, our Florida car accident attorneys help accident victims in Florida seek maximum compensation for their accident-related losses. We have recovered millions of dollars for drivers, passengers and their families – most often through negotiated settlements, but in many cases at trial. We are passionate about what we do, and all of our attorneys and legal professionals are committed to providing outstanding client service. We not only want to win your case, but we want to make sure you feel confident and informed every step of the way. Contact our West Palm Beach or Tallahassee office today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Florida accident lawyer!