With the likely introduction of Google’s self-driving cars, car accidents may become a thing of the past. But until then, motorists must stay vigilant on the road to prevent car wrecks. In 2012 alone, 33,561 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States with an astounding 2,362,000 suffering injuries. Many of these wrecks occurred due to:
- Talking on the cellular telephone;
- Drinking and/or Drugs and driving;
- Texting; and,
- Being Distracted.
While the negligent motorist made a conscious decision to ignore the safety rules of the road putting themselves and others in danger, you, the victim of a car wreck, should not compound your problems by making costly mistakes following the wreck. We have compiled a list of mistakes many injured victims make after being involved in a car wreck.
Following a Car Wreck, DO NOT:
1. Refuse to Call the Police. Often times, the at-fault driver will portray the accident as minor in nature and attempt to convince you that you need not call the police. If you fail to involve the police, you will likely be doing yourself a great disservice as the police will document the accident, get proper identification, hopefully find/locate and obtain statements of independent witnesses, and cite the motorist for his/her reckless endangerment or careless driving. Not only is this good and likely required for presenting an insurance claim to his/her or your insurance carrier, it preserves important information and will assist your personal injury attorney in his/her investigation of the car wreck. And, since you cannot solely rely on the police, if you are capable, get the names/number of witnesses, take photographs of the vehicles, make note of what the negligent motorist says or how he/she acts, and observe your surroundings (to determine if the wreck happened near a local business’ security camera);
2. Drive Away from the Scene: First, leaving the scene of a car wreck is against the law and second, if you only exchange information, it will allow the negligent party, assuming he/she gave you the correct contact information, to point the finger at you if and when he/she or you have to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. This is why it is imperative, if not causing likely or further injury to yourself or others, that you do not move your vehicle following the car wreck and you wait for the police to arrive. By not moving your vehicle, it will allow the police to document the point of impact and position of the vehicles post wreck which will be useful in proving liability;
3. Fail to Seek Medical Attention: Failure to get checked out at the scene by EMS or going to the hospital can be problematic to your recovery and fatal in some cases. While some injuries require immediate attention, others do not. But, by playing doctor and self-diagnosing yourself, you may be causing further injury which could be prevented if addressed timely by proper medical professionals. Also, some injuries take longer to manifest and don’t require a trip to the ER, but they too should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. In Florida, if you are not evaluated/treated within the first 14 days of the wreck and/or a medical provider fails to provide a proper determination of an emergency or non-emergency medical condition, you may be barred from seeking Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits and/or have those PIP benefits severely limited.
4. Delay in Contacting A Car Wreck Attorney: Many people have the misconception that the insurance company for the at-fault motorist is looking out for you; to “help” you, the injured victim. But, keep in mind that every dollar the insurance company keeps, as opposed to paying out in claims, is one more dollar it earns interest on. The insurance company is in the business of making money and your rights will be severely jeopardized if you do not contact an experienced car wreck attorney before speaking to the insurance company. If you speak to the insurance company without the advice of an attorney, you may provide information detrimental to your potential recovery. By speaking to a knowledgeable car wreck attorney and retaining his/her services early on, you can be assured that your rights are preserved and protected so as to maximize your recovery.
Contact our Miami Car Wreck Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car wreck, call out Miami attorneys at The Farber Law Firm for a free consultation. At The Farber Law Firm we assist car wreck victims in obtaining deserved compensation, paying special attention to your damages comprising your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost and future wages, potential punitive damages, underinsured and uninsured coverage and damages. We work on a contingent basis which means that if we do not recover monies on your behalf, you do not owe us attorneys’ fees and costs!
Contact us today at 305-340-2321 for a free initial consultation.