Personal Injury Q&A
Getting into an accident can be an incredibly stressful and emotional time. As experienced and understanding attorneys, we help guide you through the process so that you can focus on healing your injuries while we take care of the legal complexities of your case. Read below for answers to some common questions about this process.
What do I do after an accident?
Regardless of the type of damage to your car, or the fact you may not feel injured at the time, you MUST call the police and report the accident. It is not enough to switch contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Two common problems can arise, 1) the info the other person gives you is false and/or outdated; 2) pain/symptoms may develop a few days after the accident. Next, you must gather information. Take photos of the scene, damage to both vehicles, and any visible injuries on your body. Ask to see the other driver's ID and auto insurance card and write it down. Then, report the accident to your auto insurance company. Click here for insurance company claim reporting information.
Most importantly, DO NOT talk to the other driver's insurance company and call an attorney immediately!
What happens to my car?
First, both insurance companies conduct an investigation to determine who is at fault. They will need to take a recorded statment from you as part of their investigation. We strongly advise for this statement to be taken in front of your attorney. Then, your vehicle must be taken to get a property damages estimate. If the other vehicle is determined to be "at-fault," they will be responsible for paying for your property damage. If you are determined to be "at-fault," you will likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance will pay for your property damage. However, this all depends on the type of insurance policy available to you and the other driver. We highly recommend hiring an attorney to help figure out the type of policy you have in place and to assist in this process.
What do I do if I'm hurt?
In Florida, you must be evaluated by a medical doctor within 14 days of your accident in order for you to get full Personal Injury Protection Benefits. So, you must go see a doctor right away. You can check into your local emergency room or see your primary care doctor.
I was in an accident, but I think I feel okay. Should I still talk to an attorney?
When an accident occurs, it causes the people inside the vehicle to be jolted around and your neck and back are thrown backward and forward in a whip-like motion. This tears and or stretches the soft tissues of your body. Soft tissue refers to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support and connect your bones.
Soft tissue injuries are very common after an accident and they warrant compensation. Examples of soft tissue injuries are muscle sprain/strains, ligament and nerve damage, bulging disks, herniated disks, and whiplash. If left untreated, these injuries can develop into serious and painful conditions which can lead to a lifetime of back and neck pain.
It is important that you sign up for a consultation with an attorney after every accident.
Why should I hire an attorney for this process?
Insurance companies don't play fair and will try to settle your case for the lowest amount possible. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the complexities of personal injury and insurance law. In addition, injury victims usually do not have the financial ability to hire professional investigators and experts necessary to develop a strong personal injury case. Lastly, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover for expenses that you may not have anticipated like future medical treatment, wage loss, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
I am having pain and/or symptoms, but my accident was a while ago - what are my options?
In Florida, you have 4 years from the date of the accident to pursue a personal injury claim. You should contact and attorney immediately and schedule a consultation to discuss the particular facts of your case.