After a scary car wreck sends your car sideways, you’ll want to take immediate steps to build your auto accident claim. When you’re not at fault, you could be suffering from damages that result in drastic financial changes in your life. From medical bills to expensive property damage, you may be straddled with many fees. You can follow these five auto accident tips to help protect you after you were badly hurt.
Ensure Your Safety and the Safety of Others
The first and foremost thing to do after an auto accident is to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Move your car to a safe location if possible and turn on your hazard lights. Call 911 so that the dispatch team sends an ambulance and the police to your location. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call for emergency services if necessary. If you are not seriously injured, check on the occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident.
Exchange Information with Other Drivers
After ensuring your safety and the safety of others, exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident. This includes names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, insurance information, and the make and model of the cars involved. Avoid discussing the accident in detail with other drivers or admitting fault.
Document the Accident Scene
Document the accident scene by taking photos of the damage to your car, other cars, and any property that was damaged in the accident. Take photos of the road conditions, traffic signals, and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident. Also, make a note of the date and time of the accident, the weather conditions, and the direction and speed of the cars involved.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Provide them with all the information you have collected, including the other driver’s information and the photos of the accident scene. Be honest and straightforward with your insurance company, but do not admit fault or offer any opinions about the cause of the accident.
Consult With an Auto Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in the accident or if the damage to your car is significant, consider consulting with an auto accident attorney. A lawyer can help you navigate through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. An attorney can also help you determine the value of your claim and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
How Can an Auto Accident Attorney Help Me?
An auto insurance attorney can provide several services to help you with legal issues related to auto insurance. Your attorney will deliver the following:
Insurance Claim Disputes
An auto insurance attorney can help you negotiate with your insurance company if they are denying your claim or offering an unfair settlement.
Our legal team can investigate the details of an accident to determine liability and establish a strong case for compensation.
Insurance Policy Review
Your car accident lawyer can review your insurance policy and ensure that it provides adequate coverage and protection for your needs.
Negotiating Using Mediation and Arbitration
Auto insurance attorneys can represent you in alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to settle a claim without going to court.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
A dedicated attorney can help you take legal action against your insurance company if they are acting in bad faith by denying your claim, delaying payment, or acting in an unfair manner.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claims
Our law firm can help you file a claim with your insurance company if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Litigation and Appeals
An auto insurance attorney can represent you in court if you need to sue your insurance company for damages or if the other party has sued you.
Damages You Can Claim for Your Auto Accident
In Florida, damages that can be claimed in an auto accident may include:
This includes all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the injuries sustained in the auto accident, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees, and rehabilitation costs.
If the accident caused you to miss work or made you unable to work for a period of time, you can claim the income you would have earned during that time.
Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle or other personal property that was damaged in the accident.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the responsible party’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless.
What If Someone Passes Away During the Auto Accident?
Wrongful death damages can be claimed after a catastrophic auto accident, and this includes the following:
Funeral and Burial Expenses
The cost of funeral and burial expenses can be claimed, including costs related to caskets, grave plots, headstones, and other related expenses.
Any medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death may be claimed, such as hospital bills, medications, surgeries, and other treatments.
Loss of Income and Support
This includes the loss of the deceased person’s future earnings and support for their dependents, including their spouse and children.
Loss of Services
Loss of services refers to the value of the services that the deceased person provided to their family, such as childcare, household chores, and other domestic duties.
Pain and Suffering
The victim’s pain and suffering before their death may be considered, as well as the emotional pain and suffering of their surviving family members.
Loss of Companionship
There may also be the loss of the companionship, guidance, and support of the deceased person. These damages can be claimed by their surviving family members.
Learn More About Your Auto Accident
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that provides up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, if the accident resulted in serious or permanent injuries, you may be able to pursue additional damages from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Speak to car accident attorney Scott J Senft today for a free consultation.