Many of our personal injury clients are introduced to us after the unthinkable has happened. They’ve been in an accident and are injured. Things they always took for granted – driving to work each day, sitting comfortably at a computer, playing with their children when they get home – are suddenly in question. As we dive into their cases to see how we can help, we often come across an innocent action on their part or another party’s that could have a major affect on their case.
- They accept a check from an insurance company for property damage.
- They fail to mention a previous accident or injury to our attorneys.
- They don’t seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, and instead try to “work through the pain.”
It’s important to realize that every action you take at an accident scene and afterward can be important to your case. Before acting, stop to ask yourself how your actions might be construed by insurers, medical professionals and the legal system. And if you have questions, contact an attorney immediately.
See a list of Do’s and Don’ts for accident victims in the state of Florida.
Our firm handles many successful motor-vehicle personal injury cases each year and, as a result, satisfied clients often refer us to others who have been in an accident. These people are usually surprised when we tell them they may not need an attorney. After all, the media is full of hundreds of “Injured? Call us TODAY!” advertisements that make getting an attorney seem like a natural first step when the unexpected happens.
The truth? If the accident is not your fault and there are no resulting injuries, you may be able to resolve your case without an attorney’s assistance. There are a number of steps to take at the accident site that may help you to pursue a claim on your own. Find out what to do by downloading this report.
And of course, there are situations when you should contact an attorney. In our state, Florida No Fault does not allow recovery for injuries unless the victim 1) suffers the loss of a bodily function, significant scarring or disfigurement, or sustains a permanent injury, or 2) suffers medical losses or lost wages beyond what PIP will pay. If you fall into one of these categories or think that you may with time, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer, preferably before you make a statement to an insurance company. That attorney can explain your rights, what may adversely affect your case, make sure you get prompt medical treatment and preserve any evidence necessary to prove the extent of your losses.