In the moments after a motor vehicle crash, it can be difficult to gather your thoughts and understand what to do and not to do. Still, there are many seemingly small things you can say or do that could affect an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit that stems from the wreck.
Here are some of the key actions to take or to avoid if you ever find yourself in a Florida car crash:
- Do seek medical care promptly — You should visit a doctor, even if you don’t feel hurt right away. The adrenaline from the crash can mask the pain of your injuries. Under Florida’s rules for personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you need to be treated within 14 days in order to make an insurance claim. Going to the doctor also starts a paper trail of medical records that can be used should you need to seek compensation beyond what PIP insurance provides.
- Do gather evidence at the scene — If you are able, take photos and videos of the scene. Try to get pictures of the vehicles, the intersection and the surroundings. If there are witnesses, ask them for their names and contact information. Also, write down what you remember about the moments leading up to the wreck. Memories fade quickly, so writing them down is very valuable.
- Do call the police and get a copy of the accident report — Florida law doesn’t require you to call police if it’s just a fender-bender. But if you are in a crash with major property damage When the police come, they will generate a report, which is an essential document for insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. You or your lawyer should be sure to obtain a copy as soon as possible.
- Don’t apologize — Any admission of fault can be used against you. The insurance company could say that your apology to another party at the scene shows that you were negligent and that the car crash was your fault. This can lead to lower compensation amounts.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company — In the days or weeks after the wreck, the other driver’s insurer may call you. They might offer you some money, and it might sound good. But it’s very likely that whatever they are offering is lower than you deserve. Simply take down the information and say that you are consulting a lawyer who will get back to them.
- Do call an attorney — An experienced Tampa auto injury lawyer can handle your insurance claim and build a liability case if needed. Our firm often utilizes private investigators, engineers, traffic experts and other professionals to help piece together what really happened in a car crash.
Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. is a proven Tampa personal injury firm that has won millions of dollars for clients injured in Florida car crashes. Call 813-254-2637 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.