If you have been involved in a car accident, then you are likely to be stressed out and unsure of what to do next. While a mild fender bender may seem simple at first, it can turn quickly turn into quite an ordeal, depending on the circumstances of the incident. If you or a family member are the victims of a car accident, then you could be entitled to receive compensation. As an example, although based in Miami car accident lawyers such as those found at Dante Law Firm, could shed some light on your case and what options you may have, regardless of if you are based in South Florida or not.
Here are some tips with which to learn how to navigate car accidents, and what you should do following a collision.
Contact the police and/or first responders.
Immediately after any car accident (regardless of whether it is a fender bender or a full-on car crash,) and if you are able to do so, check on the others involved to see if they need emergency medical attention. Call 9-1-1 to report the accident so that the police can come out to investigate and file a report on the scene. You will need their report later on if you decide to file a claim.
Take photos of the scene and collect witness information.
You will want to document the scene of the car accident as well as any damage to both yours and the other driver’s car. These photos could be invaluable later if you do decide to file a lawsuit. Additionally, it can beneficial to collect the contact information of any witnesses who had seen the accident happen. Their account can back up your version of events, should this be called into question or contradicted later.
Seek out medical attention even if you feel fine.
While the car accident may have been just a mild collision, the fact is that there could still be underlying injuries that you wouldn’t notice right away. For example, you may not feel whiplash symptoms until a day or so after the incident. You could also have a serious injury such as internal bleeding that requires urgent medical attention, even though you feel fine. Visit your doctor so that there is an official record of your injuries.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer.
The aftermath of any car accident can be difficult to handle on your own. The other driver’s insurance company could be unreasonable to negotiate with, and/or offer you an initial settlement that is way too low to cover your medical bills, property damage, and other costs of the motor vehicle crash. A car accident attorney can step in, take over the negotiations, and work to get you a fair settlement that accurately compensates for what happened to you. They will also guide you on the types of financial compensation that you could potentially recover, which may include medical costs, loss in wages, personal property damage, or any non-economic damages or punitive damages.
Different parts of the United States have specific rules that apply in finding responsibility for car accidents. For example, in order to recover any compensation in the state of Florida, you (or your car accident attorney) have to prove the other driver’s negligence. That driver had a duty to you to operate their vehicle correctly, and if they hit you from behind, then they were either not paying attention, following too closely or may even have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Florida follows comparative negligence, which means that if you are assigned any fault in the accident, your total award will be reduced by that percentage. In other words, if you were responsible for 40% of the fault and your settlement is $100,000, you are walking away with $60,000.
Most personal injury attorneys in the United States will not charge you any fees unless you win your case, so don’t worry about how much legal representation may cost you. They will take a negotiated percentage of your total settlement, which means they are just as motivated as you are to recover the maximum amount possible. They also offer free initial consultations, so consider reaching out to one today if you are a car accident injury victim.