After a car accident, panic can cause you to make costly mistakes that can have steep penalties. Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a crash can mean the difference between compensation for your injuries and potential criminal charges.
At Menendez Trial Attorneys, our qualified legal experts have nearly a century of combined experience. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney from our team can help you understand your rights, determine how much compensation you should claim, and compile a case.
While you may know some of the things you should do after a car accident, it’s arguably more important to know what you shouldn’t do. Following these tips can help protect your rights and facilitate a more convenient process, whether you go to court or not.
Arguing with Others on the Scene
Sometimes, the other driver will make a statement about the crash that you disagree with or know to be untrue. If that happens, don’t argue with them, and don’t get aggressive.
Instead, recount the accident as you experienced it to the law enforcement officers and medical professionals on the scene. Arguing will not solve the immediate problem or allow officials to do their jobs.
Cooperating with first responders will let you and the other driver get any medical attention you need and exchange information quickly. Wait until you have calmed down and talk to one of our personal injury lawyers about your compensation options and creating your case.
Refusing Medical Treatment
Even if you don’t believe you have sustained an injury due to the accident, get medical attention. Adrenaline can override your pain response, and some injuries don’t appear until days after the accident.
Refusing medical treatment can also impact your case. When you claim that you don’t need medical attention, you give the insurance company and the court reason to believe you could have prevented a more severe injury by seeking treatment sooner. If you delay your treatment for too long, the insurance company may even claim that you were never injured.
A medical evaluation immediately after the accident will be invaluable if you end up needing to submit a personal injury claim.
Failing to Notify the Insurance Company
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that after an accident involving more than one party, the drivers involved must file a claim with their own insurance company. Any damages beyond what that insurance covers can also only be pursued in court if certain conditions apply regarding the accident’s severity.
Given this, you must notify your insurance company of your accident within 24 hours and let them know you sustained an injury in the crash. Failure to call your insurance company may violate your policy and result in further consequences.
They might deny your claim or could even cancel your policy.
Not Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
After an accident, you need help building a case and organizing your information. Lawyers who specialize in car accidents have training in these areas, and they can explain your legal rights and options.
A lawyer can also recommend the best course of action and help you make an informed decision about your next steps. They can protect your rights, represent you in court, and guide you through your case. Before you give your insurance company a statement, you should contact an attorney to ensure you don’t jeopardize your claim
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Sometimes, people act on impulse and flee the scene of an accident, fearing they might get in trouble. However, this response can create more problems than if you stayed and called the authorities.
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in the United States. You could face charges for a misdemeanor or a felony, especially if the accident resulted in injuries. The authorities may also declare the accident a hit and run if you leave without stopping first.
Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can range from a revoked license and fines to incarceration, depending on the circumstances of the crash. The law also dictates certain instances where you may leave the scene, such as a dangerous situation. For example, if the accident occurs in a high crime area or was caused by a disaster, like a fire, you may leave the site and call for help from a safe distance.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Menendez Trial Attorneys
If you were involved in a car accident, you need a catastrophic injury attorney to help with your case. We serve South Florida, including Miami-Dade County, and have the experience you’ll need to seek compensation after a car accident.
Call Menendez Trial Attorneys today at 305-445-6500 to schedule a consultation.
Blog Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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