Auto accidents happen every day. Being prepared in case it happens to you is of the utmost importance. At the scene of a car accident, knowing what steps to take can feel overwhelming. Immediately after an accident occurs, make sure that you, your vehicles, and your passengers are safe and in a safe location. Next, follow these steps to get the most of your insurance claim.
Call the Police
Whether or not there are immediately apparent injuries, it is crucial to call police to the scene. While it may take time and the other driver may want to just exchange information and leave, having a record of the crash scene and circumstances taken immediately after the crash will be useful going forward in supporting your claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
Collect as Much Information as Possible
Collecting the appropriate information will make submitting your claim easier. Your insurance company will need full names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved – including passengers, pedestrians, and any other witnesses present during the accident. Aside from this, inquire about the insurance status of the other parties’ vehicle, determine who the registered owner of the vehicle is, and obtain the badge numbers of police officers at the scene. These details will help your case later on.
Capture Important Details
If you have a phone or camera readily available, take as many photos of the damaged vehicles and accident scene as possible. Important things to document include license plates, skid marks on the road, damaged vehicles, and debris from the collision. Also, take photographs of any nearby intersections, traffic lights, traffic signs, traffic control devices (like barricades), and any nearby construction that may have affected the crash or the vehicles involved in the crash. Further, if there are any apparent injuries, photograph those as well. The more photos that you can take, the better chance you will have to identify every potentially negligent party and to support your claims.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important that you see a doctor immediately if you have any ache, pain, or symptoms following a car accident. Oftentimes, our clients do not even know the extent of their injuries, and they wait to see a doctor until the pain is unbearable. This works against our clients in two ways: (1) the forces on your body when you are involved in a car crash are much more than those involved when you hurt yourself at home because of the weight and speed of the vehicles involved, so you may be more injured than you realize; and (2) you are only able to recover the full amount of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits if you see a doctor within 14 days.
You must get in to see a doctor immediately to assess your injuries and to begin to establish a record of your pain, symptoms, and injuries suffered in the accident. Hopefully, your pain will get better and your life can return to normal within a few days or weeks. However, if your injuries are worse than they seemed, you made the right move in proactively seeking injury treatment.
Additionally, to recover your full $10,000 in PIP benefits, you must see a doctor within 14 days of the accident. Your doctor must diagnose you with an emergency medical condition. If you wait and do not see the doctor, you may only be able to recover $2,500 in PIP benefits, or worse yet – no PIP benefits. We understand life is busy, and it can be difficult to find the time to see a doctor. But you will be thankful that you did when we are pursuing a claim on your behalf.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Getting in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after an auto accident is critical. We can help guide you through the process and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, letting you focus on getting better. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start our investigation to gather all the insurance information and evidence necessary to maximize the value of your claim. The insurance company starts their work immediately – you should too.
Additionally, there is a limited time to file lawsuits in Florida. The law varies depending on the type of case, but the sooner we can get to work, the better chance we have of getting the best recovery possible. And if the insurance company does not treat you fairly and we have to file a lawsuit, we will not be behind in getting your case ready for litigation and trial.
While being in an auto accident can be a tough situation to navigate, keeping calm and level headed is one of the best things you can do. Do not let the at-fault driver’s attorneys or insurance company take advantage of you. Work with an experienced personal injury attorney to obtain the justice you deserve.
If you are an injury victim seeking justice, contact the experienced team at Matthews Injury Law by calling 813-530-1000 or 941-877-5800. Marc Matthews and his team are committed to enforcing personal injury justice and have the extensive verdict history to prove that commitment.