If you are involved in a car accident, it can be a traumatic and overwhelming situation. This is especially the case if you have suffered a serious injury.
In these situations, a smart move is to get in touch with a car accident lawyer from Fetterman & Associates, PA. It’s easy to make mistakes that will impact your settlement offer, and an accident attorney can help you avoid doing this.
Learning the most common mistakes after a Florida car accident can also help you avoid making them. Keep reading to learn what these are.
Failing to Call the Police
If you are involved in an accident in Florida, it is required that you contact the police if any of the following occur:
- The death of someone
- Serious injuries
- Vehicle or property damage of at least $500
Also, if you don’t contact the police, there will be no official accident report. This may impact your ability to prove liability in the accident and recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Even if you don’t believe the accident was very serious, it’s best to contact the police and have them at the scene to create an accident report.
Your auto accident attorney can also use this report when working to secure a settlement from the at-fault party.
Talking to the Insurance Company
In some situations, after a serious accident, the insurance company that represents the at-fault party may try to contact you. Usually, this isn’t done in good faith. While the insurance adjuster who contacts you may seem like they care about your health and well-being, this isn’t the case. When they call you, it’s to gather the information that may help them reduce your settlement.
Insurance adjusters often take your statement or words out of context to use against you. It’s best to avoid speaking with insurance companies until you have talked to a car accident attorney. This will help you avoid becoming a victim of this tactic.
After a car accident, wanting to resolve the situation as quickly as possible is natural. One way you may try to do this is by apologizing for the situation. You want to help make yourself and the others involved feel better by saying “I’m sorry” or some other statement that shows you are remorseful for what happened.
Unfortunately, if you apologize, it can work against you if you file a car accident claim. In fact, this simple “I’m sorry” can be used as an admission of guilt for the accident. There are other ways you may harm your potential accident claim, too, which is why it is best to say as little as possible to other people at the accident scene.
It’s also smart to hire a car wreck attorney as soon after the accident as you can. They can handle the talking and conversations on your behalf.
Not Gathering Necessary Evidence
You can help get your car accident claim off to a good start by gathering as much evidence as possible while you are at the scene. This may not be possible in situations where you experienced a serious injury. Also, medical treatment needs to be your top priority if you were injured. After seeking medical care, you should take steps to gather evidence that will help you with your accident claim.
If your injuries are not too serious, take photos of the scene with the camera on your phone. You should also take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, and your injuries. Gathering evidence at the site of the accident will give your injury attorney a good starting point when they investigate the accident to help with your claim.
Accepting a Settlement Offer too Quickly
Usually, the first settlement offer you receive is not the best one. This may even be true with the second and third offers made by the insurance company.
While it is tempting to want to resolve your case and situation as fast as you can, you are much more likely to receive a fair settlement if the other party or side believes that you are serious when it comes to pursuing your accident claim.
When you take the time to build your case, it’s possible to convince the other side that you deserve more for the accident settlement. Your attorney will help with negotiations and provide advice and guidance regarding when you should accept an offer that is made to you for the claim.
Not Filing Your Accident Claim in a Timely Manner
In Florida, there is a time limit on how long you have to file a car accident claim, which is called the statute of limitations. This time period is just four years. While that may seem like a long time, when you are trying to deal with the aftermath of an accident and recover from your injuries, this time can get away from you. If a family member died because of a car accident, you have just two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Hire an Accident Injury Lawyer to Help with Your Claim
If you are injured in a car accident, hiring an accredited accident injury lawyer is essential to protect your rights and help you recover the full amount of compensation you deserve. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, our legal team is ready to help with your case.
We will conduct a full investigation to determine what happened and to ensure that liability is proven. We will also negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to help you recover the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. To get started, contact our office and schedule a free initial consultation.