Top 8 Common Mistakes Car Accident Victims Can Make

City skyline through the windshield of car

Getting into a car accident in Florida may be extremely traumatic, not just for the moment but for weeks to come. It is not uncommon for car accident victims to say or do things post-accident that can potentially compromise their claims later, and make it trickier when it comes to recovering compensation.

It is perhaps a good idea to educate yourself on the right course of action when involved in a car accident. What are some suggested steps you should do and what mistakes you should try to avoid, so they don’t inconvenience or disadvantage you in the future. Some of these are basic, but you will be surprised at how many people become confused in the trauma surrounding a car accident.

1. Not Carrying Insurance

In Florida, having the required Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Policy will cover a percentage of medical bills and lost wages. Comprehensive/Collision Insurance will cover the property damage to your vehicle. In addition, carrying Uninsured Motorist insurance (UM) can be very useful in complementing liability insurance, especially if the at-fault party is either not insured or if they are underinsured.

2. Saying too much

In the wake of a car accident, you might be feeling a whole range of emotions. People are often disoriented, scared, confused, and possibly even injured, and that can make them say or do something that might potentially have a negative effect on their claim. Many people get out of the car and speak to the other driver or victims. While there is nothing technically wrong with it, you must choose your words wisely. It is advisable to keep the interaction limited. It is basic human decency to ask if the other person is okay, but there is no need to divulge any other information. Limit your interaction to the exchange of insurance and contact information.

3. Failing to Get Medical Assistance

As ridiculous as this sounds, many people choose not to go to the hospital or a doctor for a medical examination after an accident. They might think they have no significant injuries or might figure they will just rest at home to avoid getting hospital bills. While this can compromise on your health and safety, it can potentially even put your life at risk if there are any internal injuries. If you were involved in an accident and wish to pursue a claim, it is important to undergo a medical examination. Contact 911, go to a local emergency room, urgent care facility or to your own doctor right away to ensure that you receive prompt medical attention for your injuries. This will serve as documentation of your injuries and medical expenses.

The presence of a medical report following an accident validates the claim of your injuries and details its severity and subsequent treatment.

4. Representing Yourself - Pro Se

While you have every legal right to proceed with a claim or lawsuit on your own without the help of a lawyer, it is not advisable. Without the legal guidance, you may possibly end up recovering only a fraction of the compensation you deserve.

A lawyer can help advise you through the process of your claim, gather necessary documentation, consult with experts, communicate with the insurance companies, calculate your compensation for damages and represent your interests throughout the settlement process.

5. Failing To Cooperate With your Lawyer

It is imperative that you cooperate with your lawyer during this time. Do as the lawyer asks you to do; they are only looking out for your best interests. Follow their advice and provide them as much detail, evidence, and material as they need. You must also be entirely honest with your lawyer, so they can devise the best strategy for defending your claim.

6. Not Gathering Enough Information

While the police will do their work in investigating the site of the accident, you can also collect some on your own to aid your claim. Take pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident, of the road signs in the surrounding areas, and of your own injuries. You could also talk to people present at the accident scene and take eye-witness contact information and statements to fortify your claim. You can also keep a regular diary of the injuries you sustained to present to the court to show how it made you suffer. Keep copies of all medical records, expenses and documentation of lost wages.

7. Giving Recorded Statements to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company

The at-fault party’s insurer may try to get in touch with you and ask you for a recorded statement regarding the accident. You are in no way bound to give any sort of statement to the liable party’s insurance companies, and it is advised that you decline the request or take explicit permission from your lawyer before talking to insurance agencies.

8. Hiding or Manipulating the Truth

You might think you are protecting yourself by lying about or hiding the details of the accident, but you may be, in fact, digging a deeper hole for yourself. No matter how small the detail, do not lie or hide anything. You could jeopardize your entire claim because of a small lie. Be honest in divulging the details of the car accident with your attorney.

Get Started with a Free Consultation at Frankl & Kominsky

We offer free a personal injury consultation and case evaluation to those injured in auto, truck, motorcycle and car accidents. Our firm is available 24-7 and can be reached by phone, chat, video, and text. We can advise you as to your legal options and offer guidance on how to proceed. Our seasoned team of personal injury lawyers has years of experience under their belts, have served thousands of clients to their satisfaction, and recovered millions of dollars in compensation. Our lawyers strive to do everything in their power to get you the settlement you deserve.

At Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers, quality client service is prized above all else. We are available at all times to help you through your injury claim. To make things easier for the clients, we also offer a contingency fee basis, which enables our clients to approach and hire a lawyer without worrying about a heavy upfront payment.

Our lawyers understand that being involved in a car accident and pursuing a claim is emotionally challenging. Let us help you represent your interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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