Road accidents could be terrifying, to say the least. Victims can suffer from indescribable trauma at the time of the crash. What’s worse is the aftermath. Firstly, their minds and bodies are already in shock because of the crash. On top of that, they have to go through investigations, medical treatments, insurance claims, etc. In short, what could seem as a full-proof recipe of a nightmare.
It’s difficult to think straight in such disruptive situations. You may likely be confused about what to say or do. Unfortunately, your words and actions are even more crucial in these times. Why? Because car accidents are legal matters. If you are not careful, you might face fines or losses worth hundreds of dollars.
We have compiled a list of the most common mistakes a person can make after a car accident in Florida. Whether you are at fault or not, avoid making the following mistakes:
- Leaving the Accident Scene
After being in a car accident in Florida, the number one mistake you can make is leaving the crash site. It is not only immoral, but also treated as a felony.
Trying to avoid all legal responsibilities by fleeing from the scene is never a good idea. The police can identify and convict you by collecting evidence, resulting in severe consequences of breaking the law.
A person who leaves the site after causing property damage could serve 60 days in county jail and/or pay a fine of $500. Similarly, a person who leaves the site after causing injury could serve 5 years in prison and/or pay $5,000 in fines.
- Not Exchanging Information
The chaos after a car accident might leave you flustered. However, do not forget to exchange relevant information. Knowing the name and insurance information of the other party is a must to file a compensation claim. Other necessary information include license, license number, make and models of vehicles, and the contact information of driver and passengers.
The other party might try to flee the scene because they are at-fault, do not have insurance, or are involved in other legal complications. Therefore, you must try to stay alert as much as possible following an incident. If you can, take a photo of their license plate with your phone in case they try to flee the scene.
- Not Contacting the Police
Call the police immediately to prevent the other party from making false claims. Police can help you collect crucial evidence and find out the root cause of the accident. Additionally, their reports describe the accident objectively, making them a vital piece of evidence for insurance and personal injury claims. The at-fault party may try to convince you not to call the police. Do not listen to them because it will weaken your case to a great extent.
- Not Collecting Witness Statements and Other Evidence
Collecting solid evidence from the accident site is helpful to your case, but the most critical evidence in personal injury claims is witness statements.
When the witnesses testify on your behalf, the other party cannot deny being at-fault during the crash. Therefore, you should try to collect the witnesses’ names and phone numbers. If you can and they agree, it is even better to video-record or write down their statements.
When the other party drives away, a photo of their license plate can also be great proof for your personal injury case. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take photos of the vehicle driving away or write down the license plate number.
- Not Seeking Medical Help
One of the biggest mistakes people make after a car accident in Florida is taking their injuries lightly. Even if you feel fine, you should immediately be checked by a doctor. This is because internal injuries such as concussions, whiplash, and spine damage take time to show their effects.
Most importantly, seeking medical attention is about your health, but it also serves for other purposes. The doctor’s report is an essential document for your personal injury claims. It shows that you have suffered due to the accident and thus, deserve to be compensated for it. If you skip seeing the doctor, the other party could claim that your injuries are minor or were not caused by the accident.
- Not Hiring an Expert Lawyer
Most people receive much less compensation than they deserve. Some don’t receive anything at all. This is because they fail to seek legal help at the right time. Boynton Beach Car Accident Lawyers can study your case, collect the necessary evidence, negotiate, advise you, and help you seek fair compensation for your injuries.
- Accepting Your Mistake
In a car accident, there are three possible scenarios:
- You are at fault
- The other party is at fault
- Both the parties are at fault
Whichever the case, you should not speak to anyone about the accident before meeting with a lawyer. Even a simple apology said out of politeness can turn the outcomes of the case against you. You may doubt that the whole accident was your fault, but you cannot be sure about all the facts. Every word you say at the accident scene holds importance.
Although your mind may go into overdrive after a car accident, you should try to keep calm. Every word and action can determine the outcome of your case.
If you make the mistakes mentioned above, it may result in less to no compensation at all. In fact, you may even have to pay for your medical bills and car repairs personally for these avoidable mistakes.
Want to know more about car accidents in Florida? Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers. Their team of skilled and experienced attorneys have years of helping accident victims seek the compensation they legally merit.