Whether you were involved in a car accident or you are acting on behalf of a family member who was injured, you may not know what to do or what to expect after car accident. Who pays the medical bills? What if you can’t work? What if the injuries are permanent? What about your wrecked car? What do you say to the insurance agent? We offer the information below to help you understand and protect your rights.
First Steps After an Accident
- Always call 911 if anyone is injured or appears dazed or distressed.
- Do not move the vehicles until police arrive, except for traffic safety reasons.
- Get contact, identification and insurance information from the other driver.
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses.
- Do not discuss the accident with others at the scene.
- Take photos of the crash scene, the vehicles and visible injuries.
- Obtain the police report and note any incorrect information.
See a doctor – All occupants of your vehicle should seek medical treatment, with a family physician if not the emergency room. This is important, not only for medical documentation of minor injuries, but to make sure there is not a more serious underlying injury. Even “fender bender” accidents frequently result in fractures, soft tissue damage and brain injuries that are not immediately revealed. Tell the doctor of any soreness, muscle spasms, pain, loss of sensation, headache, dizziness or other lasting symptoms.
Your family doctor may not be qualified to assess or treat all injuries. You may have delayed symptoms or persistent pain days or weeks after the accident. Our personal injury attorneys can refer you to the best physicians in Tampa or your area for your particular type of injury.
Don’t make any statements – You will likely be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. Do not give any written or recorded statement to their insurance adjuster or your own insurance agent before speaking with an attorney. The insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible or deny your claim entirely. Insurance adjusters are trained to fish for information and ask questions in a certain way that shifts the blame back on you.
Learn your rights and ask questions – Mike Hancock has represented personal injury victims since 1996 and before that, he worked for the insurance industry for eight years. He can knowledgeably intervene to talk to the insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf to make sure that your medical bills and other damages are covered.
Need a Car Accident Attorney in Tampa Bay?
Auto accident lawyer Mike Hancock has obtained verdicts and settlements of more than $1 million in motor vehicle accidents, but we welcome any case, big or small. Call him for your free, confidential consultation at 813-915-1110. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also reach us by e-mail.