If you have been injured in a car crash, do not make these mistakes! The Florida car accident attorneys at Wolfson & Leon have helped accident victims since 1963. They have offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach and are standing by to answer your questions. Call today for your free consultation at 305-285-1115.
Car Accident Mistakes and Missteps
After checking to make sure that you are ok, you should immediately call the police. Often people will not want to call the police if they do not think that the crash is too bad. If another person is involved in the crash, people think they can just exchange contact and insurance information.
However, this is a big mistake. Calling the police will help provide actual documentation of the incident. Insurance companies love police reports because it provides them with an official document that they can rely on. Moreover, having a police report can stop anyone from changing their stories, which unfortunately happens far more than people think. Lastly, the police know which questions to ask. Despite what they say, people do not always have insurance, or they give out fake contact information. The police will know what questions to ask and make sure that people are telling the truth.
When you get the police report, it is imperative that you read it over! Police are human and can make mistakes. Do not let those mistakes hurt your case. Insurance companies will pounce on anything they can. Review the report, and if it contains any errors, be sure to get them fixed.
A second vital mistake that people make after a car crash is that they do not take pictures of the scene! Always, always, always take pictures of the crash scene. Pictures are some of the best forms of evidence to help prove your case. If you follow the first tip and called the police after the crash, then you will have some time before the police arrive. Be sure to not only take pictures of the cars, but also of the surrounding area. Take pictures of the road in general, the lights and intersection. Are there any skid marks or potholes? Is there anything that obstructed your view? Make sure to get the pictures from various angles and viewpoints.
If you notice that you have any injuries, make sure to take pictures of those injuries. It is important not to assume that the police will do this. Most likely the will not. It will be incumbent upon you to gather as much evidence as possible.
After taking the pictures, make sure to keep them! It can take a long time for the insurance company to complete their investigation. During that time, you can either lose or severely damage your phone. One of the best ways to keep your pictures is to back them up on the cloud. This ensures that they cannot be lost or damaged. You could also email your pictures to yourself. Many email companies such as Gmail have unlimited storage space and will not erase your emails. Do what you can to ensure that your pictures are not lost.
After you have taken as many pictures as you can and the cops have written a report, make sure you go to a doctor. Do not wait to get medical treatment! This is a terrible mistake. Insurance companies will use any little thing they can to devalue your claim. Remember, they do not want to give you any money. If you wait to receive treatment, the insurance companies will use that to try to deny you your fair compensation.
When you go to the doctor, make sure that you tell the doctor all the aches and pains that you have. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed. Often people involved in crashes will develop aches and pains days or even weeks later. This is completely normal. It takes time for the adrenaline to subside and for inflammation to fully set in. Or, sometimes you are more concerned with one badly damaged body part and not another slightly less injured body part.
Again, insurance companies will try use any discrepancy to not give you your fair share. Therefore, it is important to go to the doctor as soon as possible and tell the doctor all your issues. It may be helpful to sit down and make a list. If you develop any issues in the days and weeks after the crash, make sure to go back to the doctor as soon possible.
A fourth mistake that people make after a crash is that they get treatment from doctors that are inexperienced with car accidents. Most people will just automatically use their primary care doctor. However, people may be shocked to learn that their doctor does not actually handle accident cases, and actively turns people away.
This is done for a couple reasons. First, insurance companies can be an absolute pain to deal with, and doctors hate billing them. Second, those involved in car accidents often have serious soft tissue injuries.
“Soft tissue” injury is an incredibly broad term. Unfortunately, due to T.V. shows, many think that anyone claiming a soft tissue injury is a fraud. That is because these injuries are often very hard to quantify and address. However, they are very real. Such injuries include sprained ankles, torn ligaments, torn tendons, and herniated disks. Many times, these injuries require serious surgeries.
It is important to go to a doctor that specializes in soft tissue injuries. Those doctors know what to look for, how to treat the injuries, and how to report them to your insurance company.
A fifth mistake that people often make after being involved in a car crash is that they speak with the other driver’s insurance company. You should always tell the truth, but insurance companies will often try to twist what you tell them and use it against you.
The worst mistake that you can do is try to settle a case yourself. Insurance companies will most likely try to tell you that the process will be simple and that you do not need an attorney. Sometimes this is the case, but most of the time the insurance companies will actively try to make the process difficult.
You need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how the insurance companies work. Attorneys know what evidence works and how to use it. Call an attorney to see what your options are. You do not need to hire one right away. You can evaluate your options before you sign an agreement.
Wolfson & Leon – Your Florida Car Accident Lawyers
At Wolfson & Leon, our Florida car accident lawyers have provided complete personal injury legal representation for injured victims for more than 55 years. We have offices in Fort Myers, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and serve people throughout Florida communities including but not limited to Orlando, Naples, Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and the Florida Keys. Call us any time at 305-285-1115 and let us answer your questions so that you can pursue the compensation that you deserve.