Car accidents happen on a daily basis, and while many of them never get reported, a great number of them do. However, many people who are involved in a car accident make basic mistakes that can end up harming them in the long run when it comes to their accident claim.
Here are some of the most common mistakes accident victims make following a car accident:
- Don’t say or sign anything to any insurance company until you call me: Failing to contact an experienced Orlando auto accident attorney can be a serious mistake that can hurt your chances of getting full compensation for all of your injuries and property damage. It is always recommended that the individual at least meet with an attorney for a free consultation, to discuss the facts of the accident and to get a good idea of what his or her rights are in the situation.
- Failing to Get Proper Medical Attention: Sure, the driver may believe that he or she is perfectly fine after a car accident, and this belief could very well be true.However, when an accident happens, our bodies are often in a stage of shock or “fight or flight,” and it is possible that someone may not actually feel an injury or realize that he or she is injured until well after the fact. Many times, injuries may not even manifest until weeks after an accident occurs, especially when these injuries are internal. The problem arises when the insurance company disputes a claim that is submitted later for an injury, saying that the person was not actually injured at the time of the accident and that if he or she actually was injured, he or she would have sought immediate medical attention. A good rule of thumb is to seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Florida drivers have only 14 days to seek initial medical attention to receive insurance benefits after an auto accident.Even if the results end up being that the person is perfectly fine, it will go a long way if an injury later appears.
- Not Contacting the Police: Another major mistake people who are involved in a car accident do is not contact the police. However, in the State of Florida, those involved in an accident are required to contact the police, no matter how small the accident may have been. In fact, individuals who have been involved in a crash where someone is hurt or there appears to be at least $500 in damage, must contact local law enforcement. Individuals involved in a car accident may try to avoid contacting the police, whatever their motivations may be. However, that police report is important and can be used as evidence for a later claim or personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies rely heavily on the opinions of law enforcement who are trained to assess the damage, collect the statements of all who may have witnessed the crash and put it into a report. By not contacting the police, the drivers may be harming themselves in the long run.
- Not Obtaining the Necessary Information: In addition to contacting the police, it is of extreme importance that the people involved in the car accident exchange information with each other, including the full names of the drivers involved, driver’s license numbers, telephone numbers and addresses, as well as car insurance information. It is also important that the people involved write down the name of the make and model of the cars involved, as well as their license plate numbers. It is important that the drivers get the names and contact information for witnesses who saw the accident. It can help to have additional people back up a story making it more than just a ‘he said-she said’ dispute between the drivers themselves. Not having this information will not only make it hard to prove a case, it can make it impossible for one driver to pursue a claim when the other driver cannot be located after the fact.
- Use your cell phone to take photos: Take a cell phone photo of the other driver’s license plate number and their identification and insurance information. It can also help the driver if he or she takes pictures of the scene of the accident, including both vehicles and any injuries sustained, for the purpose of documenting damages.
- Telling the Insurance Company Too Much: Insurance agents and adjusters are trained to get information out of the victims of car accidents and will oftentimes get people to admit things they would not normally admit to following a car accident. You should never give any formal, recorded statements to the adjuster without speaking with an attorney first.
- Report Distracted Driving to the Police: If you suspect the other driver was on his or her cell phone prior to the crash, tell the investigating police officer.
- Posting Too Much Online: In this day and age, pretty much everyone is on some form of social media. Many people will post their entire lives online, including making statements regarding a car accident. It is always recommended that a car accident victim not post anything related to the car accident, including photos or any details of what happened. Your activities following the car accident, even though they might seem minor, is considered to be discoverable and could be used against that person in a personal injury case.
The Benenati Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its injury clients and car accident victims. In Orlando and throughout Central Florida victims injured in accidents or through negligence need only hit the 7s to reach the personal injury offices of the Benenati Law Firm. Our oath to you is handling your case from start to finish effectively, competently, and aggressively. Allow us the opportunity to give you the personal attention you deserve in your case. You pay us nothing unless we win your case. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at 407-777-7777 for a free legal consultation. Abogado Hispano con experiencia en juicios sirviendo las necesidades legales de la comunidad de la Florida.