Driving in Florida can be a relaxing experience. Unfortunately, you can also become the victim of an accident on some highways, such as the notorious Interstate 95 freeway. In such situations, understanding Florida car accident laws gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome.
7 Common Mistakes That Florida Car Accident Victims Make
Although you might be disoriented immediately after a car accident, it’s important to stay as alert as possible. Any mistakes you make at the scene might cost you heavily in future legal procedures. The biggest mistakes to avoid after an accident are:
- Failing to Collect Crucial Information
You already know how important it is to exchange names and insurance information after an accident. Try to be as detailed as possible when gathering relevant facts. These include license plate numbers, passenger names and contact details, and make and models of the vehicles involved.
Try your best to collect contact information from other drivers and road users who witnessed the accident. You should also take as many photos and videos of the scene as you can, clearly showing all involved vehicles from different angles.
- Failing to Call the Police
Always inform the police about an accident, no matter how minor it appears at the time. They file largely objective reports which are useful in both insurance claims and personal injury cases.
Failure to call them prevents crucial evidence from being collected. This might negatively affect any future legal and insurance claims you file. According to Florida car accident laws, you must report an accident if:
- It results in death and/or injury.
- It’s a hit and run.
- Caused by a driver who’s under the influence.
- It causes $500 or more in property damage.
- Admitting Responsibility
Although you might be shaken after an accident, never apologize or admit fault. This could be used against you in subsequent legal proceedings. Even an innocent expression of remorse could be interpreted as accepting liability for an accident. Try to be as cooperative as possible, while only sticking to the facts
- Failure to Inform Your Insurance Company
Your insurer should be informed as soon as possible after an accident. Most of them have strict time limits concerning filing claims. The more you delay, the higher the chance that your claim will be devalued.
- Failing to See a Doctor
You might walk away from an accident without any physical injuries, but it’s important to confirm with a doctor. Some internal injuries might become complicated later and cost you a fortune in treatment.
If you don’t get a medical checkup immediately, your insurance claim might be affected. The opposition might claim you weren’t seriously hurt and offer you a lower amount than you’re entitled to.
- Discussing the Event with Family, Friends, and Acquaintances
It’s normal for your friends and loved ones to be concerned about you after an accident. While narrating what happened, be careful to avoid sharing information that might incriminate you. They may later be called as witnesses and hurt your case. Your attorney is the only person you can freely talk to about the accident and its aftermath.
- Not Calling an Attorney
Other than the police and insurance company representative, calling an attorney should be a top priority. Since they understand Florida car accident laws, they are best placed to guide you on your next move.
A competent lawyer will advise you on exactly what to do and say so as not to incriminate yourself. They’ll also guide you on how to approach your insurance company. While your insurance agent will also advise you after an accident, they ultimately serve the company’s interests.
Because your attorney has your best interests at heart, he or she should provide superior guidance. You should never attempt to represent yourself or hire a general attorney on a matter as serious as a car accident. You might do so with the aim of saving costs but lose a huge chunk in potential damages.
Avoid attorneys who insist on sending you to a doctor for treatment. Some unethical lawyers have such arrangements with equally unethical doctors. This will not necessarily guarantee you the best possible treatment. Your attorney should only have an interest in medical records that directly affect your claim.
Benefits of Hiring a Specialist Attorney for a Florida Auto Accident Lawsuit
Hiring an attorney is not enough. If your lawsuit is to succeed, you must hire one who thoroughly understands Florida car accident laws. Specialist attorneys know the exact laws that concern your case, so they can better argue in your favor. They also know all the relevant procedures for filing a lawsuit. Other benefits of hiring a car accident attorney are:
- They’re Better at Handling Insurance Companies
When handling your insurance claim, adjusters try to get the best deal for the company. That means they look for every opportunity to either devalue or dismiss your claim altogether.
They might accuse you of causing the accident, having pre-existing medical conditions, or claim your injuries aren’t serious enough. Since your car accident lawyer is conversant with all these tricks, they’ll drive a harder bargain with your insurer.
- They’ll Monitor Your Medical Progress
Insurance companies are notorious for referring accident victims to their preferred medical specialists. They then use the reports filed by those doctors as a basis for accepting, devaluing or denying your claim.
Such doctors can easily be swayed to write reports that are in the company’s best interests. Your attorney will ensure the medical examination is professional and objective.
- Superior Evidence Gathering Skills
The photos, video, names and other details you gather at the accident scene are important. To further bolster your claim or lawsuit, a qualified car accident lawyer will go a step further. They can use their vast network to access crucial evidence that you’d have a hard time getting. These include traffic camera footage, police reports, witness statements, and medical records.
- They Have Your Best Interests at Heart
Other than using Florida car accident laws to help you, a specialist lawyer is better in other ways. When your insurance company asks for authorization of employment and medical records, they could be given more documents than necessary.
Some of this information could be used to undermine your claim. Your car accident attorney knows exactly which documents should be forwarded to your insurer.
With a skilled car accident specialist on your side, you’re more likely to prove the other driver’s negligence. They’ll also use their expertise to determine the value of your claim more accurately.
Why Hire Crawford Law Firm to Help You with Your Pensacola Car Accident?
Are you looking for an attorney with an in-depth understanding of Florida car accident laws? Look no further than Crawford Law. Unlike other lawyers who readily jump at the opportunity to settle, we prefer taking our cases to trial. Our experience and expertise with Florida accident trials are simply unmatched.
This proves our dedication to fighting for your rights since trials take longer and require more commitment. We’re also known for our aggressive but approachable nature. Although we’re tough in the courtroom, we take the time to listen to and understand your concerns.
Crawford Law will help you put a traumatic accident behind you by vigorously fighting for damages on your behalf. Contact us today at (850) 432-7726 for more details.