Common Mistakes After Car Accidents

Car accidents are daily occurrences in Florida. They can range from minor fender-benders to fatal crashes.

No matter how minor the crash may be, though, it can be a scary situation. You may not know what to say or do. During the adrenaline rush, stupid things may come out of your mouth that jeopardize the situation.

This is what you want to avoid. After a car accident, you will have to deal with your insurance company, and they are not on your side. Even though you pay hefty premiums for car insurance, you should not expect top-tier representation from your insurance agent.

That is because insurance companies are in business to make money. They do not want to give you too much of that money because that means they lose money. Therefore, you can expect your insurance company to engage in various tactics to lowball you and even put you at fault for the accident.

There are many resources that will tell you what to do after a car accident. However, you also need to know what not to do so you can preserve your legal rights and get the most compensation possible for your car crash injuries and other damages. Here are some common mistakes you want to avoid.

Fleeing the Accident Scene

The law requires that you remain at the accident scene after a car accident, no matter how minor it may seem. You need to exchange information with the other driver, such as your name, contact information, and insurance information. Leaving the scene of a car crash is illegal and could result in a criminal charge. In Florida, leaving the scene often results in a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If the accident results in death, though, you could be charged with a felony and face even stricter punishment.

Admitting Guilt

Be careful of what you say to the other drivers, police officers, and insurance companies about the accident. Do not try to admit fault or even say that you are sorry, as this could be seen as an admission of guilt. Admitting guilt can ruin your case and leave you with nothing. Keep your mouth shut and stick to the facts. Do not say any more than what is necessary.

Placing Blame

At the same time, avoid pointing the finger at others. Do not get angry and accuse others of causing the crash. It is not your job to place blame, Instead, let your insurance company and police figure out the details.

Not Calling the Police

It is crucial to call the police and report the accident. This is true even if the crash seems minor. A police report can be valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings. You should definitely have the police arrive at the accident scene if there are injuries, a hit and run, significant property damage, suspicion of illegal activities, or conflicts with others.

Talking to an Adjuster Unprepared

An insurance adjuster, either from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, may reach out to you following the accident. They will want your take on what happened. You should never talk to an adjuster unprepared. What you say could affect your case. Instead, contact a lawyer, and they can talk on your behalf or at least prepare you for the conversation so you don’t say anything that incriminates you.

Neglecting Medical Attention

You may not feel injured immediately, but you still seek medical attention. Injuries may not manifest right away, so you need to get tests done and have a doctor document any issues. This is the best thing you can do for your claim, as serious medical issues can result in more money for damages. Do not delay medical treatment, or your insurance company may deny your claim.

Failing to Gather Information

After an accident, gather as much information as possible about what happened. Collect the other driver’s contact information, insurance details, and any witnesses’ information. Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and license plates.

Settling Too Quickly

Avoid settling with the other party or their insurance company on your own. You should never accept the first offer, That is what the insurance company wants you to do. They want to lowball you and hope you will bite. Don’t do it. Instead, consult with your own insurance company, or better yet, seek legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.

Ignoring the Statute of Limitations

Be aware of the time limits for filing a personal injury or property damage claim, as they vary from state to state. In Florida, lawsuits for personal injury have a statute of limitations of two years. This is significantly shorter than many other states, which have a time limit of four years. Two years is a relatively short period of time, so act quickly. Failing to file within the statute of limitations can result in losing your right to compensation.

Contact Us Today

Car accidents happen on a daily basis. Still, if you have never been involved in one, you need to prepare. The wrong moves and mistakes can cost you dearly. Don’t lose out on your rights to compensation. Get the legal help you need from Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm. We will assess your case and inform you of your options. Schedule a free consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 876-4344. We have offices in Weston, Coral Gables, and Daytona Beach.