As a local Venice car accident lawyer, I can offer some basic advice on what to do in the event you have been involved in a car accident.
What should you do? Local Venice Car accident lawyer advises to get checked out by a physician as soon after a collision as possible
You were just involved in your first car accident in Florida. Perhaps, you felt pain at the scene and accepted a ride to the ER by ambulance. Or, maybe you believed that you could shake it off at first and waited until the next day to make an appointment with your family doctor. Fortunately, it seems that the injuries are not life threatening. The odd thing, however, is that as time goes on, you feel the aches and pains from the collision worsening. As a result, you start to become concerned about how this accident might affect you in the future. You question: “Am I going to feel like this for the rest of my life?” Not only are you left feeling the ongoing pain, but you also now have to deal with the insurance adjusters who are calling and requesting a statement from you. How should you best protect yourself?
As a car accident and injury lawyer in Venice, FL who represents car accident victims in Venice, Englewood, Sarasota and surrounding communities, I am often asked what should be done after an auto accident occurs. The most obvious answer is: get medical attention if you are experiencing any pain whatsoever and obtain a thorough evaluation by a doctor as soon as possible following the crash — even if you believe that the crash and your injuries are relatively minor. Why is this important? Serious injuries may develop from what you thought initially was something insignificant. Pain is the body’s way of communicating that something is out of place or not right. You do owe it to yourself to be examined by a physician. If you hit your head and experience any of the following symptoms — dizziness, blurred vision, pressure, vertigo, nausea — these warning signs should especially not be ignored. Most doctors will conduct a CT scan in order to rule out the possibility of intracranial bleeding if these symptoms exist. Choosing to ignore these symptoms could prove fatal.
Obtaining medical documentation of your injuries can prevent problems if your injuries are determined to be more serious later on or progress to where you need surgery following a car acicdent
It is also important to medically document your injuries so that they may be properly linked to the responsible cause — the car accident. You might hope and assume that an insurance company would have your best interests at heart; they do not. From the moment an insurer learns that an auto accident has occurred, the insurance company will begin to look for ways to avoid having to pay the claim or to limit the amount that is paid. This means that if you have not sought treatment and documented your injuries with the medical evidence, through a qualified physician, the insurance company will dispute your injuries and try to minimize their liability for damages. Therefore, when going to the doctor, you should be very specific and detailed in describing your injuries and complaints of pain so that your doctor may fully and accurately describe your condition in your chart. This chart and your physician’s opinions will become the medical evidence necessary to support your insurance claim. Be sure to describe your symptoms accurately and honestly and do not exaggerate complaints of pain. Follow your physician’s advice and do not miss any appointments for therapy sessions.
Do not forget to report the car accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible
Legally, you must promptly report the accident to your own insurance company, and you should do so as soon as your immediate need for medical treatment is addressed. If the insurance representative requests a recorded statement from you, let them know that you intend to obtain a lawyer and would like to have that attorney present. Sometime following the car accident, you are likely to receive a call from the insurance company that represents the party at fault driver. You are under no obligation to provide information to the defendant’s insurance company and should NOT do so outside the presence of your lawyer. Likewise, you should tell them that you plan to hire an injury lawyer and will ask that attorney to contact them. Be sure to ask that insurance adjuster for the claim number, the name of their insured, and a contact telephone number.
Who pays for the damage to the car following a car accident in Florida?
Depending on coverages available under the various insurance policies at issue in the case, your property damage claim will be addressed and ultimately paid by either the at fault driver’s carrier or your own. If your own insurer pays the claim, they will have a right to pursue the other driver’s insurance carrier for reimbursement of what they paid. While many attorneys direct an injured party to handle and negotiate their own property damage claim; upon request, I personally negotiate these claims for my clients and do so without charge provided they have hired me to handle their personal injury case.
Once you have hired an injury lawyer to handle your case, he or she should handle the process of establishing the claim and putting all relevant parties on notice. Florida lawyers who handle these claims have an ethical duty to keep their clients aware of their progress. You also have the right to make the decision as to whether to accept a settlement offer. A knowledgeable car accident injury lawyer will give you the benefit of his or her training, education, and experience so that the road you travel toward physical and financial recovery from a car accident is made as simple and smooth as possible.
Have questions concerning a car accident in Florida? Call Jim at (941) 485-7600
If you have been involved in an automobile, motorcycle or trucking accident, have questions concerning your insurance coverage or want to know what to do after a car accident, please feel free to call me, James Keim, Attorney at Law, for a free, confidential consultation at (941) 485-7600. As a Venice car accident lawyer, I can assist you as you seek to get your bills paid and lost wages recovered. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis; you pay no fees or costs unless I am successful in making a recovery on your behalf. Attorney fees and costs are simply deducted from the recovery that is made at the end of the case.