Involvement in a serious accident is almost always is a traumatic event. Victims are often in shock, confused, and uncertain about what to do next. You, however, may protect your legal rights after an injury-causing car crash.
If You Can, Stay at the Scene and Exchange Information With Others
If your injuries do not require immediate medical attention, stay at the scene of the accident and exchange information with the other people involved. Do not apologize or explain “why” the accident happened, because this may hurt your ability to recover compensation for your losses. Get essential facts like the other drivers’ insurance information, names, addresses, and license plate numbers. If you suspect another driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, make sure that police respond to the scene of the accident.
Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
After an accident, always see a physician and request a thorough medical evaluation. Be upfront about your injuries and do not hesitate to discuss any pain or discomfort you experience. This step is important both for getting your injuries treated and also to create a medical record. A medical record can more easily establish your damages to an insurance company—or a court.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer from the Other Driver or His or Her Insurance Company
If the other driver or an insurance company offers you a settlement, you may feel tempted to simply take it and move on. This is generally a bad idea, however, as you may not recognize the full extent of your losses as bills continue to come in for weeks or even months after your accident—and once you accept a settlement, you will find obtaining additional damages nearly impossible. As a result, you should wait until you have discussed your situation with an experienced lawyer before accepting a settlement from anyone.
Retain a Lawyer to Represent You
Finally, as an accident victim, retain a lawyer to represent you as soon as you can. A lawyer will help you determine the full value of your claim, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, gather documentation in support of your claim, and, if necessary, represent you in court. By retaining an attorney, you can focus on the most important thing after a car accident—your emotional and physical well-being.
Call the Florida Law Group Today to Speak with a Tampa Car Accident Attorney
As a car accident victim, understand that your rights will not protect themselves and that insurance companies will take every opportunity they have to deny your claim. Fortunately, the experienced lawyers of the Florida Law Group are here to help. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (813) 463-8880 or send us an email through our online contact form.