Nearly 400,000 traffic crashes happen every year in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. There’s a significant chance that you may be involved in one. You should be prepared by having a plan and knowing what to do after a car accident. However, even if you miss one of these steps, you may still be able to recover compensation with the help of a car accident lawyer.
Attorney David I. Fuchs has helped countless victims like you after car wrecks. He knows how to file car insurance claims and isn’t afraid of taking these companies to court if necessary.
You should take specific steps after a car accident, whether you are the at-fault driver or the crash victim. Following these steps is key to getting compensation after a crash.
Always call the police and, if needed, request an ambulance. The responding officer will complete a car accident report, a primary piece of evidence used in any personal injury claim. The officer may also issue a citation to the at-fault party that can be used to prove liability.
After a crash, one of the most common questions is: Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident? The answer is always “yes.” You need to establish the severity of your injuries and get treatment to ensure your condition is not life-threatening. Even if you don’t think you are injured, you need to see a doctor to determine if there are hidden conditions like whiplash. Some of these injuries may show up hours or days after your accident.
You need as much evidence as possible to determine what caused the car accident. If you are transported by ambulance or too injured to document the accident scene yourself, do your best to find someone else to collect information for you.
Whoever is collecting information should obtain the following:
After you have made sure no one has life-threatening injuries and documented the scene of the accident, you should move your vehicle out of the way of traffic. If your vehicle is drivable, pull it to the side of the road or into a nearby parking lot. If it cannot be operated safely, call a tow truck. Wait to move the vehicles until after the police respond and diagram the accident on the official report.
There will be tasks you’ll need to do in the days and weeks following a car accident, which can become stressful and overwhelming quickly. You can relieve some of that stress by working with a car accident lawyer who will handle the complex parts of your claim for you.
Make sure you follow up with your primary care physician and any specialists that have been recommended to continue your treatment for injuries sustained in the car accident. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy multiple times per week or advanced diagnostic testing.
You should always comply with your doctor’s orders. Suppose you fail to get appropriate medical treatment. In that case, the insurance company may claim that you are not mitigating damages related to your injuries or not as severely injured as you asserted. Continuing medical treatment will increase the value of your settlement because it serves as proof that you were severely injured.
You should document the progression of your injuries and pain from the time of the accident until the moment you get a settlement or jury verdict. You should include information about how the injuries affect your life and the level of discomfort it causes you. You can keep a journal similar to this template. You can also use your journal as a reminder of your appointments and treating physicians, which you will have to share with your car accident lawyer and the insurance companies.
You will need to continue collecting evidence weeks and months after the crash. This information will support your claim and help calculate your compensation.
Some steps you should take include:
In most cases, your lawyer will take many of these steps on your behalf. This information will be essential in determining how much your case is worth and ensuring you get the maximum compensation possible.
If your car is not drivable after the crash, you will likely need a rental car. In the best care scenario, your own car insurance will be able to provide you with a rental car. However, this expense can be compensated through a car accident settlement as well. You should work with your attorney to find the resources you need to ensure you have a vehicle after the crash.
Property damage is typically covered by liability insurance or collision coverage. The at-fault party may be personally responsible for any damages over what insurance will cover. You should find a certified mechanic and body repair shop to perform quality work on your vehicle so that it is safe to drive again.
Insurance companies may contact you after the car accident. Don’t talk to them until you’ve had a legal consultation with a car accident lawyer. The insurance companies will use anything and everything you say to avoid liability.
You should let your car accident lawyer handle any necessary communication with the insurance adjusters.
While some of the actions you should take after a car accident seem to be common sense, you will likely be confused and shaken up after the crash. Try to keep the following in mind:
Car accidents cause more than just physical injuries. They result in a lot of confusion, mental and emotional damage. Instead of dealing with all the hassles on your own, you should work with an experienced lawyer who can handle the hard parts for you.
Attorney David I. Fuchs compassionately represents clients who need help navigating the complex Florida legal system. He understands that you need resources to meet your needs. He is available to answer any of your questions about what to do after a car accident.
In addition to a free consultation, we’ll help cover the cost of your car repairs and provide you with a rental at no cost to you. We’ll put a hold on your medical bills to stop them from piling up on the kitchen table. And most importantly, we’ll find those at fault for your car accident injury and make them pay for the damages lost. Call a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer today to maximize the potential of your case.