Knowing the ramifications of being in an accident before it happens can be advantageous in the event this ever occurs.
The steps of filing a claim and what happens afterwards, especially if you should have to solicit a car accident attorney could make a huge difference on how your car accident case is settled.
Here are 8 ways to maximize your personal injury case to get the best outcome:
It’s important to have accurate information to provide a realistic version of accounts. Having this information can leverage your claim in a major way. Make sure to do the following:
- Take pictures of the scene and original locations of the accident.
- Take pictures of any injuries.
- Take pictures of the vehicles involved. This includes damages, VIN numbers, license plates and interior and exterior shots.
- Get witness information. Full names, addresses, phone numbers. Take a picture of their license if you can. If you can manage to get a recorded statement for your phone, do so.
- Get a picture of the other driver’s license if possible.
Investigating Police Officer
Always get a police officer to come to the scene, investigate how the accident occurred, and take a report, no matter how minor the impact. This can help you in the event you need to prove how the accident happened. If they don’t show up, go to the station and make a counter report or you can make a report online with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (www.flhsmv.gov)
In addition to taking initial photos, always attempt to take your car to your personal mechanic for your own estimate. Often, an insurance company’s estimate will be on the low end and you can use your own estimate to negotiate with the insurance adjuster.
- Take your own photos of the damage to your vehicle. You may not have access to photos taken by anyone else.
- Do not throw away any damaged parts. This could help proving your medical claim.
- Know your insurance coverage limits and exclusions.
- When making a claim in Florida, you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. You have no such duty to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Do not give the opposing insurance company any recorded statements, either my telephone or in person, without your attorney present.
- Get examined by a licensed physician.
- Tell them everything that is bothering you – do not leave anything out.
- Tell them what happened to the car and show them pictures. Your doctor may find injuries based on how the car looks that have not started to give you problems yet.
- Take all medications prescribed and follow all instructions from your doctor.
- Make every effort to not miss any doctor appointments.
- If you need to see a medical specialist, make sure you do so. Serious injuries can go untreated if you do not see the right type of physician.
Car Accident Attorney
- Choose a car accident attorney that has a documented history and successful verdicts & settlements with auto accident cases.
- Attempting to settle your auto accident case on your own may not recover all the medical benefits and lost wages to which you are entitled.
- Always solicit the advice of an attorney.
- Keep a diary of how your injuries have affected you. A calendar is a good tool on which to also keep track of your doctors’ appointments.
- Document all pain. Try to quantify on a scale of 1-10 and report to your doctor.
- If it is a new pain, make sure to fully document the injury and when you told your physician.
Knowledge of the Applicable Florida Law
- Know the limits of what you are entitled to recover from the at-fault driver under Florida law.
- Make sure you know when the statute of limitations runs out for filing a claim or lawsuit.
- Consult an attorney to make sure you follow all the correct steps.
When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
Being proactive after an auto accident could be the difference between getting the settlement you deserve to pay for your medical bills and lost wages and repairing/replacing your vehicle or suffering with injuries for the rest of your life. The Hancock Law Firm has represented victims of auto accidents and their families for over 26 years and recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements before trial.
Injured in a car accident and confused about what to do?
Call 813-915-1110 for your free, no obligation telephone conversation with attorney Mike Hancock. Or reach us by email. Phones answered 24/7. If we don’t recover money for you, you don’t pay us.