After A Car Crash
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. Tell the doctor of any soreness, muscle spasms, pain, loss of sensation, headache, dizziness or other lasting symptoms.
- Call a lawyer- 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.
Even “fender bender” accidents frequently result in fractures, soft tissue damage and brain injuries that are not immediately revealed due to a rush of adrenaline after the accident.
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.
What Not to do After a Car Accident
Over the years, Attorney Mike Hancock has formulated exactly what clients should do to help build their case after a car wreck. He also knows what clients should NEVER do after a car crash, whether it is the fault of someone else or their fault. These things could all potentially harm your case if you did not cause the accident.
- DO NOT Leave the Scene: It might be common sense to most, but we see it time and time again. never leave the scene of an accident.
- NEVER Claim Responsibility: After an accident, even if it wasn’t your fault, many people feel compelled to say “I’m sorry”. When there may be comparative fault (fault on both sides) this could immensely harm your case. Wait for the police to show up and be honest and give them the facts of what happened but do not admit fault. The only information that should be exchanged with the other driver is your name, vehicle, make model, year, color, and VIN, and your auto insurance company information and contact.
- DO NOT Sign Anything Unofficial: Only sign documents given to you by the police, a doctor or your own insurer. Again, only say facts, never opinion. Documents that are official, make sure you read thoroughly before signing, and if you don’t agree with it, DO NOT sign it.
- NEVER Get Visibly Angry: Try your hardest not to wear your heart on your sleeve. Even if you are mad and want to get angry, don’t let the others involved see, as being angry will only make things worse. Stay calm and show respect to everyone around you, even if they are not doing the same for you. Listen to the police’s instructions and their thoughts on the accident.
- DO NOT Talk to the Other Party’s Insurance Company: The other party’s insurer wants you to settle as quickly as possible, as to get you to accept the lowest offer. They will try to act friendly and ask you to record a statement, and then use that against you to settle. Don’t make any statements. 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.
- DO NOT wait to get legal advice. Getting an attorney might seem like a big step, but we are here form the beginning to answer any questions you might have, for free. You should not have to pay for legal advice and we offer free consultations with Mike Hancock, who has been a successful personal injury attorney for over 30 years. We have settled millions of dollars worth of cases, but we only get paid if we win your case. Call us today at 813.915.1110
By not doing these things after a car crash you are protecting your rights. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we will be able to negotiate with the insurance company and make sure you are getting the compensation you truly deserve.
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.