What Should I do after an Automobile Accident?

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With over 250,000 automobile accidents per year in the State of Florida, it is very likely that you will be involved in car wreck some time in your life.  These accidents typically happen due to careless drivers who operate their vehicle negligently on the streets and highways of Florida, putting you and your family at risk.  Of course, the most important thing on your mind is to make sure that you and your family are safe, and you are not worried about what could happen in the future. However, we tell our personal injury clients that after you make sure that everyone is safe, to consider three main things to protect you and your rights.

First, you should write down as much information as possible.   This includes the date and time of the accident, road and/or weather conditions, contact information for any witnesses, and most importantly, the other driver’s contact and insurance information. If possible, take photos of the crash site.  We feel that this some information is important as memories fade over time. What you remember in an automobile accident today, may be hard to remember two years from now. Likewise, your version of what happened may be significantly different from what the “at fault” driver’s version of what happened. Documenting the location of cars, witnesses, and taking pictures of the accident scene can be integral in helping you remember the accident and proving liability.

Second, regardless of how severe you believe your injuries to be, you should get checked out by a medical professional immediately.  Be open with the medical provider, including telling them about all your injuries so that they can document your injuries.  This is important as you may only feel a little pain today, but the pain may likely increase significantly over the next couple days. Having a medical provider document your initial pains not only facilitates you receiving prompt medical care, but it can also help your case in the future.  Please note that under the Florida Personal Injury Protection law, you must seek medical care within 14 days of the accident. The law does not specify who you have to see, but only that you have to receive some care within 14 days. As such, if you receive treatment immediately following the accident, you preserve your rights to receive your PIP benefits under the law.  If you fail to receive medical care within 14 days, then you could lose your rights to your Personal Injury Protection Benefits.

Finally, we suggest that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your rights. As you may expect, the insurance company will contact you immediately after the accident to take your recorded statement.   While they may act like they are wanting to “take care of you”, they are actually gathering evidence to defend the claim.  As such, the statements that you make may be harmful to your case.  A personal injury consultation at the Law Office of J.J. Talbott is free, so it does not hurt you to find out about your rights/

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of J.J. Talbott. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys know how to investigate a car accident, evaluate a claim, and take the right steps to see that you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (850) 437-9600, or visit us online at Talbottlawfirm.com.