If you have been involved in a car accident, you know how traumatic the experience really is. It is very common, especially if the accident involves serious injuries, not to focus your attention on protecting your legal rights at the time the accident occurred. Many common mistakes are made by innocent victims when it comes to documenting the accident they were involved in. Below are common mistakes that can be made and it is important to follow these simple steps in securing evidence and improving your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries.
Common Car Accident Mistakes
- Not Contacting the Police: Sometimes even the smallest fender bender can produce serious neck and back injuries days after the crash occurs. If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault, you must contact the police and file a report. This assures you that if a medical and/or property damage claim has to be filed, it can be with important information documenting the car crash. A police report actually brings a 3rd party, non-biased perspective, documenting the cause of the car accident and in most cases asserting blame. The report can also protect you from any false claims made by the other driver.
- Not Swapping Insurance Information: In the event that both parties agree no real damage was done, it is always a good idea to exchange insurance information. This way if a claim needs to be filed there is some documentation that an accident took place. Many times, the symptoms of an injury occur several days after the accident took place. If you plan on filling a claim with your insurance company or you decide to seek a legal remedy, you will need the following information from all other parties involved in the accident: Name, Address, Phone Number, Insurance Information, License Number, License Plate Number, Make and Model of vehicle, date, place and time of the accident.
- Not Taking Pictures of the Accident: Documentation of the accident is essential in establishing fault and pictures taken at the time the accident occurred, in most cases, tells the complete story. Photos need to capture the scene of the accident, any road conditions that might have been present, severity of the crash, placement of the vehicles, etc. This accounting of the accident will only help to support your claims.
- Not Calling Your Insurance Company: It is very important to let your own insurance company know that an accident occurred. Failing to properly report an accident to your insurance company can inhibit your ability to recover property damages and payments that may be associated with any injuries you may have sustained.
- Not Receiving Medical Treatment: Florida law states that you have 14 days from the date the accident occurred to receive medical treatment to secure potential payment of all of your no-fault benefits. It is important for you to seek medical attention immediately after being injured in an accident. Even if you do not feel any pain at first, it is always a good idea to get checked out as soon as possible from a qualified medical professional. Sometimes your body may be in shock from the crash and the symptoms of pain may not be felt until later on. Also, a licensed medical professional will document, treat and diagnose your injuries, which can be used when pursuing an auto accident
- Trusting Your Insurance Company: Trust should always be given first to your medical and legal professionals involved in your case. Insurance companies are a for-profit business, which means they will protect their interests before they protect yours. It is important for you to review your insurance policy, and never make statements to or sign any documents presented by an insurance adjuster until a legal representative has had a chance to review them.
- Never Assume Guilt: When discussing the accident with the police or any other driver, never make statements or assume you were the cause of the accident. These claims will be documented and may be used against you. Also, you may think you were at fault, when in all actuality you were not the cause of the accident but an innocent victim of someone else’s careless mistake.
- Not Pursuing a Claim Until It Is Too Late: All states have statutes of limitation on injury claims that can be filed and on damages that are sought. It is very important if you are involved in an accident that you remember, “Doctor First, Lawyer Second”. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and help you decide the best course of action when filing a claim.
- Not Knowing Your Rights: When you get injured in an accident, it is important to get legal representation to make sure your rights are protected. The American Bar Association has stated that injured victims who hire an attorney to protect their rights get 3 times the value of their case than those injured who do not have legal representation. Additionally, most injured victims do not know they can pursue damages for loss of property, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and where spouses and dependents are involved, additional compensation. A car accident attorney can help you pursue fair and just compensation for your injuries from the negligent party and the insurance company.
- Not Contacting an Attorney: Probably one of the most important decisions one can make, when injured in an accident, is to immediately seek legal advice from a qualified personal injury trial attorney. That decision should not be based on advertising alone but on the experience, qualifications and results that attorney has demonstrated. We handle every type of injury claim from automobile, motorcycle, and truck accidents to medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims. An experienced injury lawyer like Will Kurtz will explain your legal rights, help you collect the evidence to support your case, establish the value of your case and go to work for you to secure the compensation you deserve. Will has been dealing with insurance companies for many years and understands how insurance companies work and how to maximize your compensation.
St Augustine Car Accident Lawyer
Will Kurtz has been protecting the rights of St Augustine Car Accident victims and their families for years. If you have been injured in an automobile accident that was not your fault, it is important to get legal representation to protect your rights. Will and his team know how difficult it can be to get your life back together after being injured in an accident, and we are here to help. Will is committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of William W. Kurtz Jr., P.A. today for your free consultation at 904.674.3390.