Since Florida changed the legal principle for allowing car accident victims to seek damages, Miami car accident lawyers encounter many situations when they cannot help a potential client. Some car accident mistakes may hurt cases where the plaintiff had a solid claim.

For this reason, it is important to know exactly what you should avoid doing after a crash.

1. Do Not Forget to Report the Accident to the Police

The comparative negligence principle which is now applicable to personal injury cases makes it more important than ever to follow all the traffic rules. One very important rule is the obligation to report any accident that causes bodily injury or property damage exceeding $500.

If you do not comply with this rule, you already have made a big mistake, which an insurance adjuster will not fail to exploit. Also, you lose one of the most valuable pieces of evidence – the police report. This report contains the trained officers’ findings, which will help your lawyer prove the other driver’s negligence.

2. Do Not Take Money From the Other Driver

In some cases, the other driver will offer to settle the accident privately, without involving the insurance company. They will make a rough estimate of your car damage and even offer something extra for the ER visit to receive first medical aid.

You must never agree to this arrangement or take any money from the driver. Your total damages may turn out to be ten times larger than their offer (if not more). And when you decide to file a claim, having previously accepted money will be used to present you as a greedy person looking for a quick payout.

3. Do Not Leave the Accident Scene Before Taking Photos

Although the police report contains many details about the accident, you should not rely solely on it. Remember, under the new legal principle, you, as the plaintiff, have the burden of proof.

Thus, you should use your phone camera to take photos of:

  • The position of both vehicles after the crash
  • The damage to your car
  • Your injuries
  • Skid marks, potholes, or other signs of poor condition of the road.

do not accept money from the other driver after a car crash

Your Miami car accident attorney will need these photos to build your case. In some instances, they will hire accident reconstruction specialists, who will use the photos to create a video presentation of how the accident happened.

4. Do Not Postpone Going to the Hospital

Besides the other driver’s fault, you must also prove your damages in an insurance claim. And one of the biggest car accident mistakes you can make is to delay seeking medical care. Even if you believe that you only suffered a few scratches, you should still go to the nearest ER or hospital.

First of all, your life may be in danger, because severe injuries such as internal bleeding, traumatic brain injury, or organ damage are not visible. Secondly, your lawyer will need to prove the cause of your injuries – the car accident.

But if you waited one day or more before seeing a doctor, an insurance adjuster can cast doubt on your claim. Who can tell you did not get injured in a separate incident, and now try to blame their client? This argument is very difficult to disprove.

5. Do Not Negotiate With the Adjuster Without an Attorney

Finally, remember that now you are not dealing with your own insurance company anymore. Even they would not have been very generous and understanding in approving your claim. But when you are dealing with the other driver’s insurer, things become even more difficult.

The insurance adjuster will do everything in their power to convince you that you do not have the right to file a claim or to make you accept a lowball offer. Even if you refuse them on both counts, they will keep asking questions, trying to make you admit fault or contradict yourself.

The best approach is to tell the adjuster that your lawyer will contact them to file your claim, send your letter of demand, and start negotiations.

Talk to a Miami Car Accident Lawyer to Avoid Making Mistakes

The best way of avoiding many pitfalls in your car accident case is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your crash. A skilled Miami car accident lawyer will analyze your case and represent you on a contingency fee basis if you have a solid claim.

Since we offer each new client a free case review, you have nothing to lose, so call us today at (786) 686-2857!

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You can rely on our experience to help you through each step of the claims process.