There is an average of six million car accidents every year in the U.S., which accounts for millions of injuries and deaths. The steps you take in the aftermath of a car crash will impact the amount of compensation you receive for property damage, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. It’s crucial to understand what you should and shouldn’t do after an accident with another driver, and Uber and Lyft accidents complicate these claims even more.
Many people involved in auto accidents make mistakes immediately afterward, which can mean the difference between being found at fault and having a successful car accident claim. Some of the most common mistakes include:
1. Not Filing a Police Report or Calling the Police
Immediately after a car accident, you need to call 9-1-1 to report the incident. Wait for the police to arrive and file a report. In some cases, the police may only come if there are injuries involved, in which case you can submit an accident report with the DMV as soon as possible. In Miami car accidents, you must call law enforcement to report the auto accident if the property damage is $500 or higher or there’s an injury involved. For non-emergencies, such as a minor fender bender with no discernible injuries to the people involved, you can call the Miami Police Department non-emergency line: 305-579-6111.
2. Failing to Seek Medical Care Right Away
Another common mistake made by people involved in an auto accident is not seeking medical care immediately. You should assess the scene, your injuries, and the injuries of those in the other vehicle(s) and get medical attention. You must call 9-1-1 to not only notify law enforcement of a severe crash but to get emergency medical services (EMS) to the scene as soon as possible. It’s critical to see a doctor for even minor injuries to ensure a strong car accident claim and to prevent further harm. Don’t underestimate your injuries.
3. Admitting Fault or Guilt to the Police or Driver
Even if you think you may be at fault for the car accident, do not admit guilt to the other driver or the officer on the scene. Countless circumstances can lead to a motor vehicle crash, and you may not have caused the car crash. Many people feel the need to apologize even when they’re not the ones to blame for the incident. Admitting fault or guilt to the police officer or insurance company harms your accident claim and provides a written statement that can be used to deny compensation.
4. Waiting Too Long to Contact a Lawyer
Many people pursue their auto accident claim without speaking to an attorney first, which impacts how much you can recover from the crash. There are also statutes of limitations for how long you have to file your lawsuit, which is two years in the State of Florida. These cases take time to pursue, and you need an experienced lawyer to help you through the process and make sure you receive the full compensation you’re due for injuries and property damage. Contacting an auto accident attorney should be one of your first steps after getting medical attention and filing a police report.
5. Agreeing to a Low Settlement with Insurance
Another reason to contact a car accident lawyer is to make sure your best interests are followed when it comes to a settlement with the insurance company. Men and women involved in these crashes often agree to the initial offer from the auto insurance provider, which is typically well below what your injuries and pain and suffering are worth. Permanent disability, such as a spinal cord injury, or the loss of a loved one, can’t be quantified. You need a skilled and qualified attorney with a successful history in these claims to make sure you get a just settlement.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Miami
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Hickey Law Firm in Miami, Florida today at (305) 371-8000 for a free case evaluation. We help clients in the surrounding areas of Florida and nationwide.
Attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey and his team handle a wide range of cases, including but not limited to cruise ship accidents, admiralty and maritime accident cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death, premises liability, railroad accidents and car accidents. We represent victims from all over the nation, the world and the state of Florida.