According to the Florida Department for Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), in 2019, there were about 401,863 traffic crashes statewide, resulting in nearly 254,821 injuries and 3,179 fatalities. Being involved in a car accident can be a painful and emotional experience. When you are hurt in a negligent auto accident, you are within your rights to seek fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
The moments immediately following a traffic collision can be confusing. However, it is possible to inadvertently hurt your case or your ability to recover damages by what you do or what you do not do. At Tonya Stewart Law, I’m committed to providing experienced legal services and strong representation to victims of auto accidents and their loved ones. As an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, I can fight compassionately to protect your rights and help recover rightful compensation for your injuries. I’m proud to serve clients throughout Lakeland, Lake Wales, Davenport, Winter Haven, and Haines City, Florida.
Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
The period following a car accident can be overwhelming. With heightened emotions and the prevalence of misleading information, it is easier to make irreversible mistakes, especially without proper guidance or representation. Here are some common mistakes to avoid after a car accident:
Not Seeking Medical Help Right Away
The first thing to do after an accident is to seek immediate medical help. Call 911 to get medical treatment for injuries to yourself or other victims. Even if you don’t feel the full extent of your injuries immediately, seeking medical assistance from your doctor is crucial to assess your condition and avoid possible complications. Injuries do not always manifest themselves right away and may not exhibit symptoms. It’s always recommended that you allow a medical professional to determine the extent of your injuries and document it in a medical report.
Not Calling the Police to the Scene of the Accident
Pursuant to Florida Statutes section 316.065,
“The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of another person, or damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500 shall immediately give notice of the crash to the local police department.”
A violation of this shall be punishable by fines and a possible jail sentence.
Always get a copy of the police report to help in the process of recovering claims from the insurance company or filing a lawsuit.
When you admit fault after a car accident, you are putting yourself at risk of having a personal injury lawsuit filed against you. Cooperate with the police to give accurate details of what occurred but never admit guilt or say anything to incriminate yourself. Let an official investigation determine fault.
Not Taking the Time to Gather Evidence/Pictures
Seeking compensation for your injuries and damages requires as much evidence as possible. Therefore, ensure that you obtain relevant information and required pieces of evidence, including the other driver’s information, license number, insurance policy, police report, accident scene photos, and witness statements. Also, you should document your personal account of the crash, gather medical reports, medical expenses, medical treatments, and doctor’s appointments.
Waiting Too Long to File a Claim/Lawsuit
Another mistake to avoid is waiting too long to file an injury claim or lawsuit. If you wait too long and eventually exceed the statute of limitations, you may be barred from bringing forth your case or recovering damages. Moreover, the longer you wait, the easier the possibility of forgetting the necessary details or losing important documents.
Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
Giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster before consulting with your attorney is not advisable. The claims adjuster may use your statement against you, use your statement to reduce your compensation, or ask contradictory questions to create inconsistency.
Accepting the First Offer from the Insurance Company
Some insurance providers use bad faith tactics such as lowballing or offering significantly low first settlement offers. When offered considerably less money than the true worth of your injury claim, you should never accept it.
Not Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with an insurance company after an auto accident can be very frustrating. An experienced car accident attorney can help you file personal injury claims or negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider. Having an attorney on your side is crucial to improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your injury claims.
Hiring an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney
A car accident caused by another person’s negligence can affect you financially, physically, and emotionally. However, you don’t have to go through it alone. Hiring a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney is crucial to protect your rights and to avoid costly mistakes when pursuing fair compensation for your injuries.
Tonya Stewart Law is dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation in auto accident and personal injury matters. As your legal counsel, I will:
- Fight compassionately to protect your rights and represent your best interests
- Review the details of your case and conduct a detailed, private investigation
- Gather all relevant information, necessary evidence, and required documentation
- Prove fault and establish liability
- Determine and estimate case-value
- Handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company
- File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary, and hold the responsible party liable
Contact Tonya Stewart Law to schedule a free one-on-one case assessment with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. I will offer you the detailed legal guidance, support, and compassionate representation you need to pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages. I’m proud to serve clients throughout Lakeland, Lake Wales, Davenport, Haines City, and Winter Haven, Florida.