What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident
Statistics indicate you will be in a motor vehicle accident at least once in your lifetime. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether you will be in an accident, which makes it difficult for us to know how to prevent them. With Florida's busy highways and byways constantly crowded with pedestrians and drivers, it is no wonder why so many accidents occur within our state each year. The odds associated with these accidents predict that your involvement in a crash will be due to someone else’s negligence. With this in mind, it is important to ask yourselves the following: if and when you are involved in automobile accident, are you ready? Are you equipped with general knowledge about what to do in a car crash? Do you know what to do to preserve the evidence in your case before it is lost? To help you answer these questions, we have put together a comprehensive list of vital steps to take if you are involved in an accident, which are:
- Call 911! While this piece of advice may seem rather elementary, there are many people who fail to call for help when their accident occurs, leading to significant legal challenges down the road. To illustrate, if a person is involved in an accident but doesn't think they are hurt, but later finds out that they are, this could cost them their ability to recover damages against the alleged wrongdoer. Without a police report and other critical documentation, it may be difficult to establish causation and liability in your case. Calling 911 will ensure that you are treated immediately and, that evidence in your case is properly documented and preserved.
- Take pictures/video of the accident. With nearly every type of phone having video and photograph technology, be sure to video record/photograph your automobile and the accident scene. If you are hurt, also record your injuries. If you cannot take pictures right away, do so at your earliest convenience following the accident.
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Responders to the accident scene (such as paramedics, police officers and fire fighters) will ask if you want to go to a hospital. Say yes, even if you think your injuries are minor. Seeing a doctor straightaway to have your injuries properly diagnosed and treated is important for your health, safety and also, your personal injury action. Without effective and immediate treatment, you may continue to needlessly suffer from your injuries and be unable to hold those legally accountable for your injuries.
- Identify all parties involved. An easy way to do this is to take photographs of the other cars who were involved in your accident. Make sure you note the number on the license plate, the driver’s name, and the passengers of the other vehicles, if possible.
- Call your insurance company. You need to inform your insurance representative that you were in an accident and receive a claim number. Write your claim number down immediately. Do not wait to contact your agent, as this could cost you your ability to receive compensation for your injuries. Delays are one of the main reasons why individuals are denied benefits. Don't take this unnecessary risk – call your insurance company right away.
- Consult with your attorney before giving recorded statements. Do not feel pressured to provide recorded statements to anyone (including your insurance company) without having your attorney present. Recorded statements are often used against you in court and could hinder your ability to receive a fair settlement.
- Don’t forget follow-up visits. Take care of yourself and follow up with your doctor regularly if you were hurt. Anyone that has been in an accident will tell you that it may take a while for you to realize the extent of your injuries. If you are in pain, call your physician and avoid missing appointments. Keep in mind that by failing to take this crucial step, opposing counsel or your insurance company may try to argue that you are not as injured as your lawsuit alleges.
The accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone & Urbano, P.A. have over 100 years of collective legal experience in successfully recovering compensation for their clients who have suffered personal injuries and the loss of loved ones. Our highly skilled auto accident attorneys have been named “Superlawyers,” a title that denotes them as some of the leading lawyers in America. Our lawyers have earned a rating of “AV” by Martindale Hubbell and have been voted “South Florida’s Top Rated Lawyers” by the Miami Herald. Call Greenberg Stone & Urbano, P.A. today to schedule your free consultation. One of our dedicated lawyers will investigate and evaluate your potential personal injury claim. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.