It can often be difficult to know exactly what to do when you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault. Aside from the potential for physical trauma, there are also emotional, financial, and legal implications. You are encouraged to contact a car accident lawyer in Florida, but there are a number of things you should do in addition as you seek to compensate for loss and injury, and protect your rights.
Protecting Your Rights and Staying Safe
After an accident, you must protect yourself from further harm, while also ensuring that you are prepared for your insurance claim and any legal action you may need to take. Pull over to a safe spot, put on your hazard lights and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If there is a need for medical attention, or you simply are unsure, regardless, call 911 immediately. Some injuries may not show symptoms until days after the accident, so even you do not see the need to call emergency services, again, seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is ‘better to be safe than sorry.’
Next, take photographs – and videos, if you can – of the scene and the damage to your vehicle. You should also have visual evidence showing the surrounding area, the positions of the vehicles involved and the license plates of the involved vehicles. With smart phones, we no longer have the excuse of saying you did not have a camera or video camera at the time. If you do not have a smart phone, you are encouraged to at least purchase a disposable camera and keep it in your glove box. Exchange insurance details with the other drivers, but be very careful not to say anything that may be construed as admitting responsibility for the accident. Simply exchange details and leave the scene. You should also get the details of any eyewitnesses on the scene. Report the accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible.
When To Contact A Car Accident Lawyer
Many people think that a car accident lawyer should be contacted only as a last resort. Untrue. The usual procedure is to get the emergency medical care first. When it comes time to contact insurance companies, that is when you should consider retaining an accident lawyer to assist with the process so that you do not say something that can and will be used against you by the insurance company. So, in fact, when you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, it is a better idea to contact your car accident attorney first. The reason for this is that insurance companies seldom have
your best interests at heart. They may offer you a lower settlement, which you may be tempted to accept. They may also often be unwilling to negotiate an equitable settlement. You could also say something during your report that could impact your chances of collecting the damages you deserve.
If you get a car accident law firm involved from the start, the lawyers can increase your chances of concluding the case successfully by:
- Decisively determining liability
- Evaluating your case, enabling you to know better a range of how much you should be asking for.
- Collecting evidence
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Representing you in court, if necessary.
Automobile Accident / Bodily Injury Liability Third-Party Cases
We have been handling claims of this type for nearly three decades. We are looking for someone who is injured but is not at fault in an automobile collision. Our slogan when we started was “Injured, not your fault? Call Sokoloff & Weinstein, P.A.” All these years later, that still rings true. We handle liability claims against at-fault drivers/vehicle owner(s)’ bodily injury liability insurance coverage. We typically look for someone other than someone listed as “Driver/Vehicle #1” in a Florida Traffic Crash Report. Given a relatively recent change in the law, it is critical that an injury victim treats medically within 14 days of a crash so as not to waive valuable insurance benefits on their own coverage/policies.
- Victims of Drunk Driving/Substance Abuse/Drugs
- Victims of Distracted Drivers/Motorists
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage-First Party Insurance Claims
- Trucking Accidents (or those hurt by someone with commercial policies)
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Victims
- Catastrophic Injuries
Had an accident? Get a car accident lawyer on your side. Use our Auto Accident Form to help gather all of the necessary information for you to both report the accident and possibly file a future claim.