When you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, the law gives you the right to seek damages for the losses caused by your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the actions you take immediately following your accident could have a real impact on the amount of compensation you will be able to collect for your damages.
In order to prove your case and recover the maximum amount of compensation to which you are owed, here are several mistakes to avoid after a car accident:
1. Leaving the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the scene is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident. Not only will it make it hard to prove your injuries were caused by the accident, it’s also against the law. If you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, you could be arrested and receive up to five years in prison and pay a $5,000 fine.
2. Not Getting the Other Driver’s Information
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident you should always share certain information with each other driver(s) involved in the accident. This information should include:
- Driver’s license number
- Telephone number or other contact information
- Insurance information
- Make and model of vehicle
- License plate number
Without this information, you may be unable to file a claim.
3. Not Gathering Accident Scene Evidence
If you are able, you should gather as much evidence at the accident scene as possible. This should include photographs of the vehicles involved in the wreck, the accident scene, and any road or weather conditions that could have played a part in the accident, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
You should also get a copy of the police report filed by the officer investigating the accident. The more evidence you have supporting your case, the better.
4. Admitting Fault in the Accident
Remember, any statement you make at the accident scene can be introduced into evidence later. Avoid admitting any fault until you know all the facts about the accident. Admitting even some fault in the accident could seriously hurt your claim.
5. Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you were hurt in the accident, you should still get checked out by a doctor. Some types of injuries, such as whiplash, may not manifest themselves until after days an accident.
Be sure to keep all your medical records. These records will help establish a dollar amount for your injuries.
6. Accepting an Unfair Settlement from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Don’t agree to any settlement with an insurance without speaking to an attorney first. Insurance companies try to settle for as little as possible — the amount they offer may seem generous, but does it pay the total cost of the damages you sustained in the accident?
7. Not Hiring an Attorney
The first thing you should do after seeking medical treatment for your accident related injuries is to contact a personal injury attorney. They’ll be able to deal with the insurance company while you recover from your accident and negotiate to get you the best settlement possible.
Most personal injury attorneys handle their cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs to you and only collect their fee after they’ve secured your settlement.
Injured in a Car Accident? Get Help Fighting for Maximum Compensation
Don’t make the kind of mistakes that could cost you big after an auto accident. If you’ve been injured in a car accident or other mishap that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to thousands of dollars more than the insurance company is offering. Before you speak to an insurance company, speak to nationally recognized Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney Lisa Levine.
For more than 35 years, Lisa Levine has been representing clients in Broward County and throughout Florida who have been injured through the careless and negligent acts of others. Her experience, expertise and dedication to protecting her clients’ rights has resulted in millions of dollars in settlements for her clients.
Contact the offices of Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer Lisa Levine to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.