Car accidents are often confusing and shocking. You are most likely overwhelmed, but it is vital to think clearly. The actions you take and statements you make at the accident scene may impact your case in the coming weeks and months. While sustaining an injury because of a negligent driver does entitle you to pursue a claim, you must avoid these six mistakes after an Orlando car accident. Making just one of these mistakes may jeopardize even the strongest of claims.
One common mistake crash victims make is not hiring a car accident attorney. Florida’s personal injury laws are complex, and one misinterpretation of the law might cost your entire settlement. Don’t risk your financial future. Instead, contact an injury attorney today. They can launch an investigation into your case, collect evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies.
Not Calling Law Enforcement after an Accident
You must report a car crash to the police in Florida. However, the amount of time you have to report the accident depends on various factors. Accident victims must immediately inform police officers of the incident if any of the following occurred:
- Someone involved in the accident died or was injured
- One party left the accident scene before providing information
- One or both vehicles are inoperable after the crash and need a tow truck to remove them
- A commercial vehicle was involved in the accident
If none of the above occurred, you must report the accident within 10 days. However, we always recommend calling the police regardless. They can help collect the necessary evidence, interview witnesses, and possibly determine the accident’s cause. All of this information may be helpful to you when filing an insurance claim.
Failing to Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Evidence is essential in any legal case. Photos of the crash scene can provide valuable evidence and details about the accident to insurance representatives or a jury if your case goes to trial. When taking photos, you want to take a full picture of the road, street signs, traffic signals, vehicles involved in the collision, and the surrounding area. Weather and road conditions may also be helpful.
Furthermore, taking photos of your injuries will prove their extent. Insurers will likely argue your injuries resulted from an accident unrelated to the car crash, so having a time-stamped photo of your injuries may help. Property damage is another aspect you must photograph. Take up close and wide shot photos of the damage to both vehicles. There is no such thing as too many photos of a car crash, so take as many as possible.
Not Exchanging Information with the Other Driver
You must exchange information with the other driver following a car accident. You will need their name, phone number, insurance company name, and policy information. This information will be vital for filing an insurance claim. Have your phone ready to take a photo of their license plate if they flee the accident scene.
Admitting Fault for the Crash
Regardless of whether you think you are responsible for the crash, the only way to determine who caused the accident is to conduct a thorough investigation. Do not apologize, accept blame, or admit fault. You do not know all the facts surrounding the accident and admitting fault may ruin your chances of obtaining compensation.
Not Seeking Medical Attention Following a Car Crash
You should always seek medical attention after an accident. While you might feel fine or show no physical injuries, a doctor can perform a full diagnostic to ensure you have no internal damages. Additionally, some injuries do not show symptoms right away, and a doctor may catch them. If you wait to see a physician until after injuries appear, insurers will argue they resulted from a different accident unrelated to the car crash. Insurers may also argue that your injuries were not as severe as you claim because you did not see a doctor.
Accepting a Quick Settlement Offer
You likely have costs associated with vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost income piling up following a car accident. Insurance companies know you are stressed and take advantage of that, which means they will likely try to get you to accept a settlement as quickly as possible. That way, your case closes before you even know the full extent of your injuries and damages. When you accept a settlement offer without considering future medical expenses and all the funds needed to cover accident-related expenses, you risk having to pay out of pocket. Before you accept any offer from an insurer, have your attorney review it.
Orlando Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you sustained injuries from a car accident in Orlando because of another driver’s negligence, contact Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, PA. Our team of top-rated attorneys has more than 100 years of combined experience holding negligent parties accountable for their actions, and our results speak for themselves. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 843-7060 or complete our online contact form.