What Common Legal Mistakes Do People Make in the Aftermath of a Car Accident
A car accident can be a scary, stressful, and traumatic experience. When dealing with the shock and trying to do the right thing, it is easy to make errors that can cost you in terms of the insurance settlement and compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Although it’s hard, stay calm and take the necessary steps to help you come out of the situation with the minimum of losses.
Here are some of the common legal mistakes people make and how to avoid them.
Not Getting in Touch with the Police and Reporting the Accident
Like many locales, Florida law expects you to report the incident if people are injured or killed, or the damages equal at least $500. Even if you think it’s a minor fender-bender, calling the police is critical, just in case you need to file claims in the future. The initial report compiled by the officer could be an essential piece of evidence. Take the time to check the report just in case there are any inaccurate details and get them corrected.
Not Stopping to Help Injured People
If you’re driving the vehicle in a car accident and people have been injured, the law expects you to stop and provide assistance in whatever way you can. Driving away from a scene such as this is a felony offence, and you risk getting your driving privileges revoked. Not only is it an immoral act, but the driver’s license restoration process can be long and involve penalties and fines.
Not Being Cautious About Your Statements and Admitting Fault
One of the critical legal mistakes people make is to say, “I’m so sorry!” even if it wasn’t their fault. Apologizing comes naturally, and it’s normal not to realize it. However, in an accident case, an apology can be construed as an admission of guilt. Giving information and being helpful is a good thing. But, you’ll want to be extremely cautious about what you say.
Not Collecting All the Relevant Information
Most people are aware that they should exchange information like names, contact information, and insurance numbers. Also, you’ll want to get the other driver’s license and license plate numbers along with the makes and models of the vehicles. Also, note down the names and phone numbers of the passengers and other witnesses on the scene. You might need them to collect statements and evidence. Take pictures and videos if you can, and store them carefully. If needed, make copies, so you don’t accidentally lose the evidence.
Not Contacting Your Lawyer
Call your Orlando criminal defence attorney right away and provide details about the car accident. Your lawyer is well-informed about state laws and your rights. They’ll direct you on what to say and do. Rely on legal advice, so you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Do keep in mind that Florida is a no-fault state, and your insurance carrier is expected to carry all medical expenses and the costs for repairing property damage.
Not Contacting the Insurance Company
Make sure that you inform your insurance company as soon as you can. Many providers have a time limit within which you must relay information for getting compensation. Further, you’ll want to avoid the incident appearing on the permanent record and affecting the future premiums you’ll pay. Remember to be cautious about what you say to the insurance representative. They can use any statement as proof that you don’t qualify for compensation. More importantly, refrain from speaking to the insurance rep from the other driver’s insurance company. Never sign any written statements or waivers, and do not accept any final settlement without consulting your lawyer.
Not Getting a Medical Examination
Even if you’re confident that you haven’t suffered any injury, get a complete medical examination. In place of going to a general practitioner, consult a car accident expert, and inform them about the situation. Get the necessary tests to confirm that you don’t have any internal injuries that can cause long-term problems. Do keep in mind that the insurance company will cover your medical expenses only if you report them within a specific time after the car accident.
You must keep a cool head after the auto accident and avoid making these common legal mistakes. Anything you do and say could affect your chances of getting appropriate compensation or face felony or misdemeanour charges.
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