A car crash can be stressful: you have to worry about your injuries, losing time from work, having to repair your vehicle, or even getting a new vehicle. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, and the last thing you may think of is how to communicate with first responders and insurance companies. However, what you say could affect the amount of compensation you might eventually receive. Many people try to be helpful after a car crash, but end up destroying their cases by saying too much or the wrong thing. If you have been in a car accident, contact me online at Andrew Pickett Law immediately and keep the following tips in mind:
Avoid Giving Statements to Other Drivers
The only communication you should have about the accident with other drivers involved is to exchange insurance information. If you give statements about the car crash to the other drivers, they could twist the information to make it look like you are at fault. They may tell first responders and their insurance companies that they were not at fault for the car crash, making it difficult for you to get the compensation you may deserve after an accident.
Never Give Statements to an Insurance Company
Many insurance companies record phone calls. Even if your insurance company does not record their calls, do not tell it anything about the accident other than that you were in a car crash, you will be filing a claim, and the location of the crash. The insurance company could use anything you say to deny a claim. Tell the representative that your car accident attorney will contact them soon.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Paying claims costs them money, so they will do anything to deny a claim or pay as little as possible. The insurance company representative may also try to “trick” you into talking about the car crash and then may twist what you say to use it against you.
Do Not Delay Medical Treatment
Under Florida law you have 14 days from the date of the accident to seek medical treatment in order to qualify for personal injury protection benefits. It is important to get medical treatment immediately. In many cases, the adrenaline rush of being in a car crash hides the pain you might feel from injuries and the pain comes on later in the day or the next day. It is best to get thoroughly checked out as soon as possible after a wreck.
Keep in mind that some injuries show up hours or even days later. X-rays and MRIs may show injuries that you do not even know you have. The compensation you may receive could include past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past lost wages, future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering.
If the driver who caused the accident was grossly negligent, he or she may have to pay punitive damages. Gross negligence can be established by driving under the influence or texting while driving.
Do Not Post About Your Car Crash on Social Media
Insurance companies use social media to investigate claims. They may use your social media posts to deny your insurance claim or give you a minimal offer. It is easy enough for insurance companies to twist what you post and the words you choose to argue that you were at fault in the car crash or that you were not injured.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer
Never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first consulting with an attorney. This is because insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible, and their low-ball offer may not cover all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Andrew Pickett Law
After a car crash, contact me at Andrew Pickett Law as soon as possible so that I may review your accident case and begin the investigation process. Our consultations are always free and face-to-face. Our goal is to make sure you get the best guidance from a qualified team of legal professionals that can help you get the compensation you deserve after a car crash.