After a car accident, everything is confusing, as you reel from the shock and the pain. However, as a Coral Gables car accident lawyer knows, the things you do or fail to do after a crash can hurt your chances of filing a claim and getting compensation.
Here are the most important dos and don’ts after a car crash.
Do: Report the Accident to the Police
All Florida drivers must report a car accident resulting in bodily injury and/or at least $500 in property damage. Failing to do so may prevent you from filing a claim. You could also be charged with hit and run if the other driver decides to report the crash later.
Don’t: Leave the Scene Before the Police Investigate
After reporting the collision, stay at the scene to allow the police officers to ask you questions and examine both vehicles. The exception to this rule is when your injuries are life-threatening. In this case, saving your life takes priority over everything else and you will be taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital.
Do: Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Injured drivers will file a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Thus, it is essential to make sure that you and the other driver exchange contact details and information about your respective insurance policies.
If the other driver refuses to give you the information, do not worry. They are obliged to provide this information to the police officers who investigate the crash.
Don’t: Accept Money From the Other Driver
The at-fault driver may try to convince you not to report the accident and file a claim, saying that they will personally pay for your damages. They may even offer to drive you to the nearest ER.
However, in the first moments after the Coral Gable car accident, you are in no position to evaluate your damages. Thus, you may believe that you got a fair amount of money from the driver. In fact, it represents just a fraction of your actual damages.
Do: Get a Copy of the Police Report
The officers who investigate the crash scene will prepare an official report, which will be available after a few weeks. You should request a copy online and bring it to your free case review with a Coral Gables car crash attorney.
The report contains very valuable information, such as:
- The other driver’s contact and insurance information
- Description of the damages to both vehicles
- Observations regarding the circumstances of the crash
- Eyewitnesses’ names and contact details.
If you were too hurt to be able to take photos of the accident scene, the details in the accident report represent the only type of evidence a lawyer can rely on to prove your claim.
Don’t: Delay Seeking Medical Attention
Many people claim that they feel just fine after an accident. However, they just experience the effects of adrenaline, which numbs the pain for some hours. Later on, you will feel ill and go to the hospital.
However, enough time has passed after the car accident to cast doubt on the source of your injuries. An insurance adjuster will say that you suffered another type of accident, in a different place and now try to get the insurance company to pay for your medical care and lost wages.
Let a Skilled Coral Gables Car Accident Lawyer Advise You
After a car crash, you are confused and in pain and unaware that certain things you do or fail to do could hurt your chances to get compensation. This is why you should get in touch with an experienced Coral Gables car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the collision.
The attorney will help you do everything by the book and maximize your chances of getting fair compensation for your damages. We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at (786) 686-2857!