In the moments right after an accident, you may be overwhelmed, upset, and even a little dazed.
But what you do, and don’t do at that time could be critical to building a personal injury claim later. After years of representing accident victims, we know what common mistakes can hurt an injury case, and how to avoid them.
Here are ten major mistakes to look out for:
Not Calling The Police
The biggest reason to call the police is to exchange information. Police called to the scene of an accident typically work to find out how and why the incident occurred. They often create a record of facts by speaking with drivers and witnesses, issuing tickets, and writing an accident report. Tampa Police no longer write full crash reports every time either and this is not necessary, but the driver’s exchange of information is important.
This kind of evidence could be essential to an injury case. Regardless of what other drivers say, it might be in your best interest to call the police, but it is not necessary. You can just exchange contact information and insurance information. We recommend filing a claim with the at-fault insurance at the scene because sometimes the other side provides wrong or false information.
Saying “Sorry” Or “It’s My Fault”
Apologizing after an accident may seem like the right thing to do, but it could work against you. Comments that you make about the accident at the scene could be used later as evidence–so be cautious about your words.
Not Gathering Evidence
Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Anyone needing medical attention after an accident should priority. After that, try to document on-site details of the accident, using your smartphone or camera.
Some helpful evidence that you can collect yourself includes:
- the visual damage
- the scene and time of day
- other drivers’ insurance and license information
- witness information
- visible injuries
Going to Hospital When Not Necessary
Going to the hospital is not necessary after a car accident. Urgent Care or seeing another qualified physician is sufficient treatment to stop the 14-day window and it significantly cheaper (think $500 for Urgent Care and $15,000 for the Emergency Room). Florida, victims who are injured in a car accident have a 14-day window to seek medical attention to secure PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage. Waiting until after the 14 days to see the doctor could cause your insurance claim to be denied.
Being Naive About Insurance Providers
No matter how friendly the other drivers’ insurance company is, their interests likely do not include helping you with your claim. To avoid issues, it may be best to leave it to your lawyer to speak with them.
Waiting Too Long To File A Claim
Florida has a Statute of Limitations, which puts a time limit on your right to file suit for personal injury. Once that limit has expired, you can no longer file a claim for that accident.
Generally speaking, it’s best to get your accident case moving as soon as possible to stay ahead of this deadline. Every case is different, so if you have questions about hiring a lawyer, an experienced personal injury attorney should be able to help.
Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
Posting Or Sharing About An Accident
In today’s world, it may be tempting to post details or pictures of an accident or your injuries. But the information that you post or share on the internet could be considered later in an investigation. Try to resist posting anything accident-related until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
Assuming A Lawyer Cannot Help
Working alone to get compensated for accident-related injuries can be overwhelming for anyone. A personal injury lawyer could help you through the legal process, even for the smallest of accidents.
Not Asking Questions
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help in many ways, including addressing your questions in the time after an auto accident. As a client, don’t be afraid to mention if there is something you are confused about or would like to understand better.
Tampa Personal Injury Attorney | Auto Accident Injury Lawyer
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Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer | Martin J Hernandez, Esq.
If you have been injured in any kind of accident, your personal injury lawyer with the law firm of Martin J. Hernandez will guide you every step of the way. Call or Text us now at 813-755-9500
Martin J. Hernandez Firm’s lawyers handle personal injury cases throughout the entire Tampa, Temple Terrace, South Tampa & West Tampa area. Areas we service include Carrollwood, Northdale, Town ‘n’ Country, Brandon, Plant City, Seffner, Dover, Valrico, Riverview, West Tampa, West Chase, Hyde Park, Culbreath, West Shore, Palma Ceia, Gulfview, 33635, 33615, 33634, 33626, 33625, 33508, 33509, 33510, 33511,33568, 33569, 33578, 33579 & all of Hillsborough County and the state of Florida.