Auto accidents happen every day. But that doesn’t make them any less challenging to deal with. Whether you were in a car accident recently, or you want to be prepared in case one happens to you, these FAQs answered by our car accident attorneys will help guide you through the proper steps to take to be safe and get the maximum settlement—and justice—you deserve.
What should I do first after a car accident?
Immediately after an accident occurs, make sure that you, your passengers, and, if possible, your vehicle are moved to a safe location away from moving cars. The shoulder of the road is usually a safe location to wait. Don’t stand in the road or anyplace where traffic can hit you.
Should I call the police after an accident?
Whether or not there are apparent injuries, you should always call the police to the scene of a car accident. Do not let another driver persuade you to exchange information and leave it at that. Wait for the police to create an official record of the crash scene and circumstances. This will prove useful in supporting your claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
What information should I take down after an accident?
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 make submitting your claim easier.
How can I document a car accident?
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. 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.
When should I seek medical attention after an accident?
It is important that you see a doctor immediately if you have any ache, pain, or symptoms following a car accident. Oftentimes, accident victims do not even know the extent of their injuries, and they wait to see a doctor until the pain is unbearable. If you plan to pursue damages, waiting to see a doctor can work against your case 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.
To help your case, see a doctor immediately to assess your injuries and establish a record of your pain, symptoms, and damages 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. Understandably, 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 your attorney is pursuing a claim on your behalf.
Should I contact a personal injury attorney after an accident?
Getting in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after an auto accident will 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 a car accident attorney, the faster they can start an investigation to gather all the insurance information and evidence necessary to maximize the value of your claim.
Additionally, there is a limited time to file lawsuits in Florida. The law varies depending on the type of case, but the sooner your attorney can get to work, the better chance you have of getting the best recovery possible. And if the insurance company does not treat you fairly and you have to file a lawsuit, your attorney will get your case ready for litigation and trial.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Case
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 to request a free consultation. Marc Matthews and his team are committed to enforcing personal injury justice and have the extensive verdict history to prove that.