Protecting Yourself In A Car Accident Claim
A car accident can occur in the blink of an eye. Even if you are not at fault for the accident, you could be left having to deal with the financial costs associated with your injuries, while also facing the burden of having to repair or replace your vehicle. Protect yourself in these situations by following a few simple tips designed to protect your rights in car accident claims.
What You Need To Do Immediately After An Accident
In the aftermath of a car accident, it is natural to feel stunned and unsure of what to do, but the actions you take could impact your claim in the days and months to come. The Florida Motor Vehicle Code requires all drivers to do the following in the event of accidents involving injuries or property damages:
- Stop immediately at the accident scene;
- Pull off to the side, if possible, to avoid blocking traffic;
- Notify law enforcement;
- Exchange your driver’s license and vehicle registration numbers and insurance information with other drivers.
At the scene, you should make note of any witnesses to the accident and have the police record their contact information. Use your cellphone to take photos of the damage to your vehicle, both inside and out, the accident scene, and any injuries you suffer. Get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you suspect your injuries are minor. Head, back, and neck injuries, muscle strains and sprains, and internal bleeding can all pose life threatening complications if not treated right away. Finally, be sure and notify your insurance company that the accident occurred. Failing to do any of the above could impact your rights in an insurance claim.
In the Weeks After Your Accident
Once your claim has been reported to the insurance company, an insurance investigator will be assigned to your case. What you do in the days and weeks after your accident can have a significant influence on whether your claim is denied or approved. To protect yourself, be sure and do the following:
- If you did not get a copy of the accident report at the scene, contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and request one.
- Follow all of your doctor’s instructions for follow up care and attend all appointments. Follow all recommendations on work and activity restrictions, even if you are feeling better.
- Avoid discussing your case at work or with friends and loved ones.
- The first place insurance investigators often look for information is on social media. Consider disabling all accounts until your case is resolved.
- Avoid making any statements to your insurance representative or signing any documents until you have had a chance to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
It is important to realize that insurance companies have a financial motive to undervalue or deny your claim, and any statements you make can be used against you for these purposes. Call or contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III today, to discuss how we can help ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.