What to Do After a Car Accident
At the end of the day, you can never truly prepare for a collision. Accidents are unexpected by nature, and the whirlwind of getting injured can quickly overtake you. That’s why it’s so important to understand what to do after a car accident.
Here, Meldon Law has listed some considerations that could bolster your health and legal rights after a crash. Of course, if you want to discuss your particular situation and what you should do next, you can call us at (352) 373-8000. Our car accident lawyers offer free case reviews.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If possible, you should:
Check for Injuries
Your health and well-being are top priorities. So, you should check yourself for any injuries and call 911 if you need urgent medical attention. Don’t assume that any of your injuries are minor and don’t require assistance. For instance, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may initially have a headache. Yet, in the days and weeks to follow, you could struggle with coordination, remembering certain details, and living your daily life.
The sooner you connect with a doctor, the sooner they can render much-needed treatment.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
If the accident caused injuries or death, Florida law requires that the driver report the accident to law enforcement. It may feel daunting to report the incident to the police, but this is in your best interest. The police report can serve as vital evidence in your case, and it can include information like:
- The time, date, and location of the incident
- The contact information of those involved
- Details about fault, liability, and the injuries
Exchange Insurance and Contact Information With the Involved Parties
After a collision, you must share your insurance and contact information with the involved parties. If you don’t, the other party could accuse you of fleeing the accident scene. This could paint your case in a bad light and complicate your path to damages.
Take photos of the cars’ positions before they’re moved. Walk around each vehicle involved in the accident and take pictures of all damage. Look at the broader scene and take photos of the streets each vehicle traveled, with particular attention paid to skid marks, broken glass, and roadside debris.
If given permission, take photos of everyone’s injuries and note the name of each person you’re photographing. The more information you have to support your case, the better.
Create a Personal Account of the Accident
Your personal testimony carries more weight than you think. So, as soon as you can, write down what happened before, during, and after the collision. Your lawyer may also suggest that you keep a journal documenting your post-accident medical care and quality of life. They could use this information to support the cost of your pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages.
Get Eyewitness Statements
Eyewitnesses can include people involved in the accident or bystanders who saw what happened. Talk to the other drivers, passengers, and anyone willing to give a statement. Be sure to ask for their name, contact information, and a description of what they saw.
If you can’t get this information at the accident scene, don’t worry. A car accident lawyer from our firm can interview witnesses to the incident and use their testimonies to bolster your claim.
Partake in a Free Case Review With an Injury Lawyer
Handling the aftermath of a car crash is not routine for many people. Speaking with an attorney experienced with Florida laws relating to car accidents and personal injury may help you avoid any pitfalls that could hurt your case. During your free case review, you can also learn about the benefits of partnering with an injury lawyer and what that could mean for your legal options.
What to Avoid After a Car Accident
Car crashes are scary. Even a fender bender can leave you frazzled. But, just as there are steps you should take after an accident, there are also things you should not do because they may negatively affect your case.
If possible, you should avoid:
Sharing Information About the Accident
After an accident, the insurance company may ask for a recorded statement. Don’t give one. This does not benefit you and, if anything, could hurt your case. Additionally, as tempting as it may seem, don’t share information about your case on social media. Nobody, except for you and your legal team, needs to know about your case’s details. By giving more information than what’s necessary, you risk giving the other party “ammo” to discredit your claim.
Skipping Medical Visits
Injuries may not make themselves known for hours or days after an accident. For your health and the practical necessity of creating a paper trail for insurance, visit a healthcare provider shortly after the accident.
If you are injured, keep all of your recommended medical appointments. The insurance company may fight paying for benefits if you skip medical visits, as this could create doubt surrounding your condition’s severity.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
A fair settlement acknowledges the accident’s effect on your past, present, and future quality of life. It also accounts for each of your injury-related financial losses, along with your pain and suffering. Yet, some insurance companies have little motivation to offer fair settlements. So, the liable insurer may throw out a low initial settlement, hoping to get the matter over with as cheaply as possible.
A lawyer can evaluate all settlement offers and advise you to take one that meets your needs. You don’t want to accept compensation and release the other party from liability, only to learn that a settlement doesn’t fully meet your needs.
Contact Meldon Law After Your Car Accident
Begin your free case evaluation today at (352) 373-8000. Our car accident attorneys won’t back down in the fight for justice and fair compensation.