April 19, 2017
If you are involved in a car accident in Miami, you and other people may have suffered injuries, and the atmosphere may be very chaotic and confusing. It is always best to remain calm in the midst of what can be a scary situation. Becoming upset will only serve to exacerbate matters. However, it is important to take certain steps prior to contacting a personal injury attorney.
1. Remain at the scene: Always remain at the scene of the accident. If you leave, and someone has suffered severe injuries or was killed, you could face criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver.
2. Check on all motorists and passengers: Prior to determining any property damage, make certain that everyone involved in the accident is fine. Seek medical attention for anyone who requires it. If an individual has lost consciousness, or experiences neck or back pain, do not move them until a health professional who is qualified to provide treatment arrives. You should move the person only in the event of impending danger.
3. Get off the road: Prior to exchanging information with other motorists and passengers after a crash, it is important to seek safety as soon as possible. If your car suffered a minor fender bender, there is no need to leave the vehicles on the road. If at all possible, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, but if you are unable to move your car without causing more damage, then do not make any such attempt.
Notify the authorities
Request that a police report be filed in cases where officers arrive at the scene, and ask for the names and badge numbers of the officers as well as the police report number. Request a copy of the accident report from the police. In the event the motorists disagree about who was at fault for the accident, the officer’s viewpoint could be helpful. The police report will also contain the officer’s information in case the officer is required to testify. Neither the other motorists nor the police will require your Social Security number. Therefore, do not provide it.
CALL THE POLICE
Report the accident, even if you think you don't need to
GET A REPORT
Request that police fill out an official report on scene
Get names and badge numbers of all parties involved
Ask for a copy of the accident report for your own records
Trade information with other motorists and passengers
Obtain information from all motorists involved, including their names, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, their insurance carriers and insurance policy numbers. Also ask for the make, model and year of the cars involved. In addition, ask for the names, addresses and phone numbers of the passengers.
While communicating with other motorists, make an attempt to be polite and helpful. However, refrain from making any apologies for anything at the scene.
For instance, if you say, “I’m sorry I drove through the red light!” you may be considered to have admitted liability for the accident.
Right after an accident, it may not be apparent who was at fault or who was more culpable. Make a concerted effort to refrain from making any admissions of guilt.
Document, document, document
Communicate with witnesses
Speak with any witnesses to the accident, and ask them about what they observed. If at all possible, try to obtain their names, phone numbers and/or addresses. Ask people who reside or work in the area if they have ever witnessed other accidents in the same location.
As soon as possible following the accident, take photographs of any damage that your vehicle sustained. Photographs will assist your insurance adjuster in determining the amount of compensation you should receive for the damage to your vehicle, and can be helpful in a court proceeding. Photographs of your car prior to, and after, the accident can provide a comparison, and reveal the actual extent of the damage.
Insurance companies are committed to making sure premiums flow in and minimal damages are paid out. If you talk to yours or the other motorists’ insurance company before consulting with a car accident attorney, you could jeopardize your case. They may use recorded conversations against you or use your own words to justify paying a smaller amount. Even if its your insurance company, they are not necessarily on your side.
Make a notation of any health care professionals from whom you have received treatment, including physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors. In addition, take note of every medical provider who gave you a referral to other caregivers. Furthermore, maintain a detailed list of the treatments you received and the medications you took. In order to prove the amount of your medical expenses at a later date, it would be helpful to ask for duplicates of all medical reports and bills.
While medical expenses are comparatively easy to record, it is more difficult to prove pain and suffering. Keep a record of the ways in which your injuries have affected your life on a daily basis. Be sure to include any days you missed from work, and compile a list of any routine activities in which you can no longer participate. Also, provide a description of the ways your injuries have impacted your family life.
Be suspicious of early settlement offers
If an insurance company makes an early settlement offer, exercise caution prior to accepting the offer. Make certain that all of your physical injuries have been treated, and be aware that some injuries remain latent for several days, weeks or months until they become apparent in the form of discomfort or pain. Get an experienced personal injury lawyer involved before discussing any settlement offers.
After a serious accident you need to know your rights and how to enforce them. As an injury victim, you have the right to:
You have the right to choose your own doctors for treatment.
You have the right to seek a full and fair settlement from your or a third-party insurance company
You have the right to appeal the insurance company’s decision
You have the right to negotiate your settlement in and out of court
You have the right to seek compensation for all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and suffering
Know when to consult an attorney
If anyone suffered injuries in the accident, it is best to consult a lawyer immediately. An attorney can assist you in maximizing the amount of compensation you will recover in the event you are injured, or provide you with representation if you are determined to be at fault.
The personal injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik are only compensated if you are. No award. No Fee.
A statute of limitations exists for filing a personal injury claim in Florida after an auto accident.
If you are considering filing a car accident injury lawsuit in Florida, you should be aware of the laws of the state that could have an impact on your case. In Florida, the statute of limitations, or amount of time you have to file a civil lawsuit against the person or entity that caused your injury is four years from the date of the accident. If you are filing a lawsuit against a city, county or state government, you have three years from the date of the accident.
No fee unless your case is successful
We work hard to provide quality representation and personal service to our clients, and will fight for your right to recover the benefits you deserve. Call our offices or fill out our form to schedule your free initial consultation today!
April 19, 2017
April 12, 2017