People who are injured in Broward County car accidents frequently do not know what to do. While drivers in Florida are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, it likely won’t be enough to cover the cost of your injuries if they are severe. When an accident was caused by someone else, however, you might be entitled to pursue compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault driver. The Broward County car accident lawyers at Lane & Glassman can review what happened and help you to understand your rights and options. Here is some information about what to do following Florida car accidents.
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has published a list of things to do following a car accident that you can find here. Here is a checklist of what you should do following your collision:
You are required to call the police immediately if anyone was injured or killed in your car accident. After you call, wait at the scene for the police to arrive. Even if no one was injured, you must still report your accident if it appears to have resulted in property damage of $500 or more. Reporting your accident to the police can also help to resolve disputes over liability and help to document your property damage and the fact that your injuries were caused by your accident.
If you can, try to document as much evidence at the scene of your accident as possible. Documenting evidence from the accident scene can help you to strengthen your claim. Using your smartphone, take photographs of the damage to both vehicles, their positions, the weather conditions, tire skid marks, road conditions, and other important details.
If there were any witnesses, ask for their names and contact information. If you can, ask the witnesses to write down what they saw and sign and date their statements. You can also ask witnesses for permission to record their statements with your phone if you don’t have anything to write with, but make sure you have their permission and that they clearly state their names and contact information on the recording.
Ask the responding officers for their badge numbers and names, and write them down. Ask how to get a copy of the police report. It might not be ready for a few days, but when it is, make sure to get a copy.
Even if you are unsure about whether you have been injured, you should see a doctor immediately after a car wreck. Some injuries do not show symptoms immediately but still require treatment. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident can help to prevent your injuries from worsening and also help to show the insurance company that your injuries were caused by the wreck instead of by something else.
Take pictures of any visible injuries. After you get medical care, you should also write down everything you remember from your accident. Include as much detail as possible, but do not speculate or guess about things you are unsure of.
Keep a log of your injuries and how they affect you during your daily life. Make sure to write down all of the treatments your injuries required you to undergo, and save copies of all of your medical bills.
Keep the following types of documentation:
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that try to minimize how much they might have to pay on claims. This makes it critical for you to be careful when you are dealing with an insurance company.
Since you have a contract with your own insurance company, you are likely bound to explain what happened to your insurer. Notify the company as soon as possible after your accident. Unnecessary delays might affect your claim. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and might need to make a claim under that policy, your company might try to reduce your claim. You will still have to tell your company about what happened and about your injuries. Talk to Lane & Glassman for advice before you agree to give your insurance company a recorded statement, however. Be truthful, but avoid making statements that minimize your injuries or admit blame for your accident.
You do not have a contractual duty to speak to the other driver’s insurer since you do not have an insurance policy with that company. Don’t speak with the other insurance company until after you’ve spoken with an attorney and have been advised to do so. Anything you say to the other motorist’s insurance company will be used to defend against your claim. Never agree to give the other driver’s insurance company a recorded statement.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you should speak to an experienced attorney at Lane & Glassman as soon as possible. Evidence can be lost with the passage of time, and if you wait too long, it will be much more difficult to prove your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation at 954.874.3631.