Monday, 21 March 2016

What Steps Should I Take To Protect My Legal Rights After A Florida Car Accident?

Automobile accidents can be traumatic events. In the wake of an accident, it is only natural that those involved may be disoriented and unsure of how to act or what to do. However, how you act following an accident can significantly impact your ability to recover for your losses. In order to preserve your legal right to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses, there are some steps you can take in the hours and days after the collision.

Seek medical attention – If emergency personnel suggest that you be transported in an ambulance, you should follow their advice as you may have sustained serious injuries. Even if you do not need an ambulance, it is always important to undergo a medical evaluation as soon as you can after the car accident. Many injuries have symptoms that arise over time and are not immediately recognizable. Having a doctor perform tests can help to diagnose any injuries so that you receive the treatment you need. In addition, medical records can serve as proof of your diagnosis and can tie your injuries to your auto accident.

Take notes and photos – If you are physically able to stay at the scene, you should make notes of the names and contact information for anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses. You should also either make notes or take photos of the weather and road conditions, the damage to the vehicles, and any other seemingly noteworthy circumstances. These notes and pictures may not only refresh your memory of the accident but can serve as important evidence should a legal case be necessary.

Follow the instructions of all medical professionals – If your doctor recommends that you rest and take medication, you should rest and take the medication. If they suggest physical therapy, you should attend therapy sessions. If you fail to follow medical instructions of your doctor, it may be argued that your injuries were not as serious as you claim. Arguments may also be made that your injury would have healed faster and caused fewer challenges for you had you followed medical recommendations.

Keep a journal – It is often difficult to remember how much pain or impairment you experienced on a particular day due to your injuries. For this reason, it can be helpful to keep an ongoing journal to not only record any medical care, equipment, or supplies you required but also to keep track of how your injury and pain level affected your psychological well-being and physical capabilities.

Be careful when speaking with insurance companies – Because Florida has no-fault insurance laws, you will have to go through your own insurance company first to try to get compensation for your accident-related losses. While you may believe that you can trust your insurance company to cover all of your losses—after all, you pay premiums every month—this is not always the case. Like any other business, insurance companies want to protect their bottom line, so they often seek ways to deny claims. Saying to your claim adjuster that you “feel fine” may seem like an off-hand, meaningless exchange, however, the adjuster may use such comments to limit your recovery. In addition, many insurance settlements are well below the full value of your claim. If you accept an initial settlement and then realize it is not sufficient, you lose the right to then ask for more compensation.

Discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Orlando

After an auto accident, you should always consult with a skilled automobile injury attorney who can protect your legal rights. An attorney should always review all insurance offers before you accept them and can negotiate for a higher settlement if needed. An attorney can also identify when a legal claim is necessary and appropriate for a full financial attempt at recovery.

Note: Above is a simplification and a brief overview provided for informational purposes only. There are additional considerations and exceptions that could be applicable to your specific circumstances. You should not rely on any information provided here and should seek an experienced and caring litigation attorney as soon as possible before making any decisions.

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