Each day, millions of people hit the road in South Florida. While most drive safely and do not experience any issues, an unfortunate number are also victims of auto accidents. Whether the result of bad luck, weather, or criminal neglect, car crashes can have significant legal consequences. Following a car crash, consider these several important steps to take – and many more to avoid landing in deeper trouble. If you were involved in a car crash, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of David I. Fuchs for a free consultation.
Not all injuries are immediately visible after an accident. One of the most common invisible injuries, for example, is head trauma such as concussions. Head injuries do not always leave clear marks, and many symptoms take time to develop.
After an accident, get medical attention immediately. While you may be tempted to skip the hospital trip, this can have severe consequences for your health. Doctors know what to do after a car crash, and they can determine whether you are safe after suffering injury.
Keep in mind that receiving prompt medical care is important if you wish to file charges, as this will factor into your eligible damages when it comes time to settle.
Even if the accident was a minor bump, do not flee the scene, even if you are not at fault. Leaving the accident without exchanging information and speaking to the police qualifies as a hit and run – a major criminal offense that will have significant legal consequences.
Always provide the other motorist with your insurance and contact information, and stay on site until you are able to speak with police.
When you do speak with the police, the other driver, or your insurance company, never admit fault for an incident. Doing so will immediately forfeit any damages you may have claimed, and has a major impact on your insurance policy and legal situation. Admitting fault is essentially signing a confession for any injuries that may occur.
Many drivers try to hide their accidents in the belief that it will raise their insurance premiums. Florida statute, however, prevents insurance companies from raising your premiums or canceling your policy without just cause. Unless you are at fault, or partially liable, for an accident, your premiums cannot legally increase.
What’s more is that hiding an accident from your insurance provider is grounds for immediate cancellation of your policy. Regardless of the situation, you must report an incident to the insurance company so that they may prepare for any claims.
While speaking with the insurance company, however, do not agree to any insurance statements they offer. This constitutes a legal agreement that may affect your final settlement value. Agreeing to an insurance statement effectively sets in stone the insurance company’s valuation of the incident. Do not accept any valuation without consulting a lawyer.
An experienced car accident attorney knows how to navigate the damage claims process and can advocate for you should you or the other driver decide to press charges. A lawyer will also be able to advise you on speaking with your insurance company to avoid entrapment in an unfavorable agreement.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, the team at the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs can help. Combining years of experience in Fort Lauderdale personal injury law, we will be your number one advocate in understanding your legal responsibilities and damage claims. Contact us today for your free consultation.