Under Florida law, you have an obligation to report any accident that involves property damage or bodily injury. The police report made by the responding officer(s) could prove vital to your claim, as it should establish the facts of the accident itself (e.g., location, date, time), the names and contact information of all parties involved, including witnesses, statements provided by the other parties and/or witnesses, the conditions at the scene of the accident, and the officer’s impression of what occurred and/or which party was at fault.
A seemingly benign statement such as, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” can be used against you, as it could indicate fault on some level. The key is to limit what you say to the other parties involved, and to the authorities. This means that you should not make assumptions about what happened, or give a drawn-out story of what was happening in the moments before the accident. The more unnecessary information you provide, the greater the chances of it being used against you, and ultimately wrecking your accident claim or at least limiting your ability to collect compensation.
Insurance adjusters are notorious for fooling people into believing that their intention is to get to the truth of the matter. As a result, many people feel at ease when talking to insurance adjusters, and are therefore more willing to provide an account of what happened, or how they are feeling. Simply saying that you “feel okay,” after an accident can come back to haunt you, as those very words could be used by the opposing party to demonstrate that you were not injured in the accident. It is very important to always contact an experienced auto accident attorney prior to giving a recorded statement to the insurance companies.
Many people are unaware that in order to remain eligible to receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits in Florida, you must show proof of having sought medical attention within 14 days of the accident. That said, the sooner the better, as any delays in medical treatment can be advantageous for the other side in arguing that you were not injured in the accident. A medical report documenting your injuries and the cause of them can prove absolutely crucial to the success of an auto accident claim.
If your medical providers have advised you to follow a course of action for treating your injuries, then you need to. This means not delaying, and not allowing for gaps in the middle of your treatment plan. Even if you feel as though it is not initially making a difference, stick with it; not only will this increase your chances of recovering physically, but it will protect you against claims that you were not injured enough to benefit from adhering strictly to the medical recommendations you received.
You might think it’s harmless—or you might not think anything of it at all. Understandably, it might be hard for you to go quiet on social media for a while, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your case. Something as innocent as a picture of you at a park, or a comment about it being a “good day” can be used by the insurance company as evidence that you are faking the severity of your injury, or faking the injury altogether. Don’t assume that the insurance adjusters won’t be scouring your social media sites for every piece of information they can find, because they certainly will.
All too often, people think that as long as they tell the truth, they can handle their auto accident case without the help of an attorney. They soon find out, however, that they are in over their heads. The insurance company will utilize every resource they have to avoid paying you a dime, and you can bet that they have more resources at their disposal than you. For this reason, you need to hire a competent auto accident attorney who knows Florida personal injury law inside and out, and who will stand by your side and protect your rights at every stage in the case.
At Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., you’ll find seasoned auto accident attorneys ready to fiercely represent your rights, and help you obtain the compensation you so badly need and deserve.
We’ll guide you through your case from start to finish, ensuring that you avoid these “don’ts” and do all the “dos” in your auto accident claim.
Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A. serves the following Florida locations:
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