Car accidents are traumatic, regardless of the seriousness of the injury. No one plans for an accident, and often you are left feeling confused, emotional, and unsure of what to do next. These feelings are prevalent in auto accidents, and while you may not know the exact steps to take, we have a few tips to avoid the top 5 costly mistakes Floridians make after a car accident.
1. Fighting with Others on the Scene
The biggest mistake Floridians make after a car accident is getting into an argument with the other driver or passengers. It is usual for tempers to run high during this emotional time. The other driver or passengers may say something to upset you, but do not respond by arguing or yelling to get your point across.
Simply wait for law enforcement or medical professionals to arrive and calmly describe the accident and the order of events leading up to the crash. Taking this approach allows first responders to do their job efficiently without handling an aggressive and argumentative situation.
2. Refusing Medical Care
In the aftermath of a car accident, seeking immediate medical attention is your priority. Even if you feel fine, get a medical opinion and diagnosis of your injuries. Internal injuries that are invisible to the naked eye can result in more severe problems and possibly death.
The personal injury attorneys at Oldham and Delcamp, LLC have experienced situations where clients were in a car accident and felt fine, a phenomenon that can result from the shock of an accident or an adrenaline rush. Unfortunately, these clients did not seek medical attention straight away, and the extent of their injuries did not fully surface until a few weeks later. Do not make this mistake; always seek medical attention after an auto accident.
3. Failing to Contact the Insurance Company
Did you know, if you are in an accident in Florida, you must notify your insurance company within 24 hours, even if you are not at fault? Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning it follows the rules of comparative fault. The no-fault law dictates that each party is responsible for their share of responsibility in a collision on a percentage basis. Your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault (if any) if your case proceeds to trial, but it does not mean you cannot recover. Your share of the responsibility for the accident may not even be a significant factor in the damages analysis if your claim settles out of court.
According to Insurance Business Mag.com, Florida legislators are considering putting an end to the state’s no-fault auto insurance rules. Recently, the Florida House of Representatives voted 99-11 to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance laws and require all drivers to carry their own bodily injury coverage. Weeks before, the Florida Senate had already passed their version of the bill. If Governor Ron DeSantis signs the bill into law, it will take effect on January 1, 2022.
4. Failing to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Following an accident, everyone will want to talk to you, but the most important call you will make is to your lawyer. A personal injury attorneyhas the experience necessary to handle the insurance company on your behalf by gathering evidence, reviewing medical and accident reports, negotiating the optimal compensation, and taking your case to trial if necessary.
Navigating an insurance claim is a challenging process, and insurance companies often try to settle your claim for less than it is worth, leaving you with unpaid bills and expenses. Hiring an attorney ensures someone with knowledge and experience will handle your claim to guide you through the legal and insurance process.
5. Leaving the Scene of the Accident
Avoiding this costly mistake sounds like common sense; however, when a driver fears getting in trouble for any reason, they can act on impulse and flee the scene. Fleeing the scene of an accident is one of the worst things a driver can do as it can lead to criminal misdemeanor or felony charges.
Contact Oldham & Delcamp, LLC
Car accidents happen quickly, but the consequences can last a lifetime. If you or your loved ones have experienced one of these types of accidents, give us a call. We will do the work of gathering records related to your claim, such as medical and insurance policies, investigate the accident, and negotiate with the insurance company. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, we are prepared to go to trial and present your case to a jury.
When it comes to something this important, you need an ally, someone who can advocate on your behalf. Our attorneys understand your needs and have the skills, experience, and resources needed to represent you. Client-focused and results-driven, Oldham & Delcamp, LLC stands ready to serve the legal needs of Floridians in the Pinellas Park, St. Pete, and Tampa Bay areas. We believe that providing individualized legal services and solutions for each client is the only way to achieve the best results and maximize recovery for all clients.
Before forming Oldham & Delcamp, LLC , Gordon Oldham and Jack Delcamp worked as state prosecutors and defense lawyers for national insurance companies. Through this experience, the attorneys have learned to use the strategies employed by insurance companies and prosecutors against them and to develop individualized legal strategies for each client. When our lawyers speak to an insurance adjuster or prosecutor in their language, they understand that our experience is effective, not just proactive. In many cases, blocking a prosecutor or insurance company’s next move is the most effective means to maximize results; however, our lawyers are not afraid to force their hand in the courtroom to ensure the best results for our clients.
Have you suffered an injury in an auto accident in Florida? Call us today at (727) 201-5458 to scheduleyour free consultation. As experienced litigators who are not afraid to take cases to court when necessary, we will discuss your legal options and prepare a personalized and effective legal strategy that suits your needs and situation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.