According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 22,196 traffic accidents in the City of Miami in 2021. In the same year, there were 62,530 crashes in all of Miami-Dade County. These crashes result in very serious injuries and in the worst of cases, wrongful death.
If you or someone you love has been hurt, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. There are important steps you should take after a crash, but there are also things you should avoid doing. Below, one of our Miami car accident lawyers explains what these are.
Leave the Scene
You may panic after a crash and consider leaving the scene. Or, you may have sustained serious injuries and want to visit an emergency room or see your doctor. While this is important to do, you should remain at the scene at least to exchange information with any other driver involved, report the crash to police, and to take pictures, if possible. If you leave the scene, you may be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident, which could result in high fines and even jail time.
Underestimate the Severity of Your Injuries
Not all injuries are apparent right away. For example, whiplash and concussions are two common types of injuries that do not show symptoms right away. You may think that you were not injured in an accident, and decide not to seek medical treatment. This is a mistake.
Not only could failing to obtain medical treatment cause your injuries to become worse, but it could also hurt your claim with the insurance company. Insurers want to protect their profits, which means not paying the full settlement you deserve. If you were not treated by a doctor after the accident, the insurer will claim you were not hurt and so, you do not deserve compensation.
It is human nature to apologize after an accident, but this could also drastically hurt any future claim you file. Even stating that you were sorry the crash happened at all can be taken out of context. The insurance company will twist your words, saying that you apologized and so, you are clearly at fault. After an accident, you should try to say as little as possible to police and any other motorists. Stick to only the facts that happened and do not try to guess about how the crash occurred or any other details.
Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Again, the insurance company will use many tricks and strategies to reduce or deny your claim so they do not have to pay the settlement you deserve.
If you speak to them, they will take your words out of context and they may even record your statements so they can also use them against you. The insurer may ask you to sign a medical release so they can access your medical records. They do this so they can look for pre-existing conditions to blame your injuries on, instead of the crash. Even if you do have pre-existing injuries, if the accident exacerbated them, you still have the right to claim compensation.
You should never speak to the other driver’s insurance company directly. Instead, direct all communication to your Miami car accident lawyer. A lawyer will know the strategies insurance companies use and will not be intimidated by them. An attorney can also negotiate with the insurer to make sure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Fail to Notify Your Own Insurance Company
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means you must first go through your own insurance company to claim compensation, regardless of who was at fault. For this reason, it is important that you notify your own insurance company of the crash, preferably within 24 hours. Additionally, if you fail to report the accident to your insurance company, they may cancel your policy altogether.
Fail to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Miami
While you can claim compensation after an accident, you should never do it on your own. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami car accident lawyers can negotiate with the insurers on your behalf and take care of the legal aspects of your claim so you receive the maximum settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 305-371-2692 or connect with us online to schedule a free review of your case with one of our experienced attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.