While it is extremely important to know what to do after an auto accident, there are some crucial mistakes you want to avoid. Making these mistakes could hurt the value of your damages claim. Speaking with a licensed lawyer about your situation could help you learn your legal rights and avoid some of these mistakes.
The Boynton Beach car accident lawyers at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have over 40 years of combined legal experience. We offer a free initial evaluation of your car accident claim and charge nothing unless you settle or win your case. Your information is always kept private and there is no obligation to hire us for legal representation. Therefore, there are no risks in discussing the details of your case with us during this meeting.
Read below to learn some errors car accident victims commonly make, along with some helpful steps you could take to avoid them. Taking note of these helpful tips could help ensure your legal rights are protected so you can pursue the fair amount of compensation you may deserve.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Crash
When injuries and property damage are the result of a car accident, it could end up costing you thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and costly vehicle repairs unless you take certain precautions. Avoiding these mistakes after a crash could increase your chances to obtaining the financial compensation you may need to cover these costs:
- Not contacting the proper authorities – The first thing you should do after a serious car accident is get to a safe place, call 9-1-1 to notify the police about the crash, and report any injuries. The sooner you call the proper authorities, the faster you can receive medical treatment, which can save lives. Having a copy of the police report can help validate your injury or property damage claim with the insurance company.
- Avoiding immediate medical care – Sometimes you may not feel any significant pain or discomfort immediately following an accident. The symptoms from your injuries can sometimes be masked from the adrenaline rush that can overtake your body after an unexpected collision. Serious injuries such as whiplash could take several days or weeks before you begin feeling symptoms. If you avoid seeking medical care immediately after the accident, the insurance company may deny your claim and say that your injury could have been caused by something other than what you claim.
- Failing to collect evidence – To win fair compensation in a car accident claim you need evidence that clearly exhibits your injuries and how they were sustained. Taking pictures of your injuries and any damage to your vehicle is highly recommended. If there were any video cameras present, your lawyer may be able to obtain a copy of real-time footage to help prove your claim.
- Not recording witness information – Witness statements could be used to further strengthen your auto accident claim. If you are able to, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident as it unfolded. Ask for permission to record a video statement with your phone or have your lawyer interview a credible witness on your behalf.
- Leaving the scene of an accident – If you were involved in some type of vehicle collision, it is important to wait and make sure there are no significant injuries or property damage which exceed $500. If someone is injured, it is your legal obligation to help the victim as best as you can while contacting the proper authorities for further assistance. If you decide to leave without sharing your information with the police or others involved in the crash, you could be charged with a serious felony in what is known as a hit-and-run or leaving the scene of an accident.
- Admitting fault for the crash – While it is important to notify your auto insurance company of the crash, you should keep the conversation minimal until you speak to a qualified lawyer. Only provide the basic information such as when and where the injury occurred and whether there were any injuries or property damage. Never admit fault or provide a recorded statement without speaking with your lawyer first. Even if you believe you may share some responsibility for causing the accident, you could still be eligible for partial compensation.
- Accepting a quick settlement – Sometimes the insurance company may contact you with a quick settlement offer that may be well below what your claim is really worth. Insurance adjusters are trained to find ways to lower the value of car crash claims, otherwise they would not be profitable. Never accept a low-ball offer or sign anything you are unsure of without speaking to a licensed attorney about the accident.
- Posting on social media – Although you may be tempted to post on social media to update others and let them know about the accident and your injuries, you could be costing yourself significant compensation. For example, if you suffered a leg injury in the crash and are seen online, running around and telling people you are fine, the insurance company could use this against you and lower your potential compensation amount, saying that your injuries are not that severe.
- Filing your claim too late – The Florida statute of limitations for car accident claims allows most injury victims to file a claim within four years from the date of the accident. If you wait until it is too late, your case could be barred by the court and you will be disqualified from pursuing financial compensation. Since some cases may need to be filed sooner, it is important to speak to a licensed attorney to learn the correct due date for your claim.
- Trying to handle the case on your own – Most car crash victims who hire legal representation usually recover significantly more compensation compared to those who try to handle the case on their own. Having an experienced lawyer handle your claim means your legal rights to pursue compensation are protected. If your claim has merit, your lawyer can help perform a thorough investigation of the accident scene, accurately calculate your damages, and aggressively negotiate with insurers to pursue the fair amount of compensation you may deserve.
Reach Out to a Qualified Attorney Today
If you or someone you know was involved in a car crash, we recommend taking these steps to avoid hurting the value of your claim. If your claim is valid, you could recover funds to pay for medical bills, lost wages from missing work, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
Allow the qualified attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers guide you through the legal process. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our legal professionals today. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also instantly chat with one of our online representatives on our website.
Avoid legal mistakes that may hurt the value of your car accident claim and let the professionals at our firm point you in the right direction. Our accomplished attorneys have handled cases throughout Florida, including the Boynton Beach area.
Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a free evaluation of your car accident claim. Ph: (855) 800-8000.