What Should I Do After Having A Car Accident?
I just had an accident. What do I do now?
The moments immediately following an accident can be difficult to manage. The adrenaline can cloud your judgment, and if you’re injured it’s even harder to focus. For those who are seriously injured, the most important thing is to get medical attention as soon as possible. Try to get names of any witnesses and if possible even snap a few photos of the accident scene on your mobile phone, but above all else you need to get medical help before you do anything else.
I don’t really feel like I’m hurt. Do I still need to see a doctor?
Yes. There are numerous reasons for this, but they all come down to the fact that even when you don’t feel injured, you could be. Some injuries can take time to manifest themselves, and even serious injuries may not be apparent at first. Additionally, the longer that you wait to see a doctor the harder it will be to prove that you’re owed restitution.
How long do I have to see a doctor?
PIP insurance only provides money if you see a doctor within 14 days of your injuries. Waiting beyond that means that any additional medical bills won’t’ be covered by your PIP coverage. You do have as much as 4 years to file a claim for personal injury damages that occurred in your accident, but in a personal injury lawsuit it can be more complicated to get you what you’re owed if you wait too long. The sooner you get help, the better.
I’ve seen a doctor. Now what?
You’ll have two main steps to take next. The first should be to contact a personal injury attorney and set up your consultation. This way you can start getting the help you need to get what you’re owed. You can also gather some additional information. In particular, take photos of the vehicle, your injuries, and anything else related to the accident. It could help your attorney prove your case.
What does CME mean?
CME stands for Compulsory Medical Examination. This is a medical exam that will be required by the insurance company to show them the true extent of your injuries. The outcome of these exams are often a major part of whether or not you can receive compensation. It’s important to note as well that your attorney could order an independent medical exam to help show that you do deserve what you’re asking for.
What if I’m partially to blame for the accident?
Florida is what is known as a comparative negligence state. According to the laws, a court can assign a percentage of the blame to each party and then base compensation on those percentages. For instance, if you’re 20% at fault, you’ll only be entitled to 80% of the total damages you would normally be able to claim.
I’ve been offered a settlement. Isn’t the right call just to take it?
Initial settlement offers can be tempting, especially when the insurance companies and representatives for the other side try to bully you out of what you’re really owed. But these initial settlement offers usually aren’t even close to what you actually deserve. Your attorney can review your case and see what it really cost you. Then, they can argue for that sum. In short, you shouldn’t accept a settlement until your lawyer reviews it.
Is it true that I really need a lawyer?
The short answer here is simple – if you want to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve and that you can pick up the pieces and move on after an accident, you need a lawyer on your side. Not only will an attorney make sure that you get the best outcome from your case, but they’ll also take the stress off of your shoulders so you can focus on physically healing.