After an Auto Accident
The Do’s & Dont’s If You’ve Been in a Car Crash
Few life experiences are as rattling as an auto accident. The moments during and just after a car crash are confusing, frightening, and often overwhelming. You may feel pain, concern for those involved, and uncertainty about how to proceed.
Getting helpful information during the chaotic aftermath of a car crash is difficult. A Google search yields thousands of results, many of them littered with misleading or imprecise guidance. As experienced Fort Myers auto accident lawyers, we understand how important those first few minutes, hours, and days are. That’s why we created this page. We hope it will serve as a go-to resource for Floridians who’ve found themselves in an auto accident when they least expect it.
We recommend that you bookmark this webpage now. You’ll be able to easily access it on your smartphone or computer when you need it.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Southwest Florida, the experienced Fort Myers auto accident lawyers at Viles & Beckman, LLC can help. Backed by more than 40 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and work ethic necessary to help you today. We provide legal representation for those who’ve been hit by at-fault drivers, taking on insurance companies, and fighting for maximum compensation for our clients.
Our services are available with no upfront cost and we don’t charge a fee unless we settle your case or win in court. Schedule a free, no-obligation case review today and call (239) 334-3933.
At the Scene of the Accident
Your actions at the scene of the crash are crucial. We understand that this puts a lot of pressure on you. Reviewing these steps now will help you maintain composure later.
Do not admit fault.
Even simple statements can be used against you later. Avoid saying “I’m sorry,” “my bad,” “it was my fault,” or any other statements that might be misinterpreted. Do not imply that you were driving irresponsibly in any way.
Tell them what happened. Let them know if anyone is hurt. It is also okay to say that you aren’t sure if anyone is hurt. Even if there are no apparent injuries, you need to call 911 and report the accident so that a police officer can respond.
It is illegal to leave the scene of a car crash, even if there are no apparent damages. You must wait for the police officer to arrive and then follow his or her directions.
Help others if you can.
Others may be injured or in need of assistance. Help them if you can, but first, make sure that it is safe and that you are physically able to do so. Remember: 911 is in a better position to render medical aid than you are. Call them first and follow their instructions.
Get the other driver’s information.
Ask for the other driver’s name, insurance information, and vehicle information. If you are uncomfortable interacting with the other driver(s), ask the police officer to obtain this information for you.
Document the incident.
Use your cell phone to take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles. Write down your recollection of exactly what happened. Note the contact information for any witnesses or passengers. The more detailed you can be, the better.
Soon After the Accident
You should take the following steps as soon as possible after the accident, or even while still at the scene if possible:
Seek medical attention.
If you have urgent injuries, call 911 immediately. If you have non-urgent injuries, contact your doctor and schedule an appointment for the very near future. A documented medical visit can become very important for protecting your rights later.
Call a lawyer.
The sooner an experienced attorney gets involved, the better. You’re going to be dealing with complex legal issues and aggressive insurance companies. Our experienced Fort Myers auto accident lawyers can handle those stresses for you and ensure that your rights are defended from day one. You can schedule a free case evaluation with us right away.
Call your insurance company. Your auto insurance policy probably requires you to report the accident to your insurer soon after the crash. Give them a quick call to let them know what happened. If you are represented by a lawyer, you can let them know that.
See a mechanic.
You’ll need to get written estimates for the costs of any and all repairs.
You’ll also need proof of any other expenses you might incur as a result of the accident. Our Fort Myers auto accident lawyers can advise you as to which types of documentation you should seek in your specific case.
Seek ongoing medical care.
In addition to your initial doctor visit, you should continue to receive follow-up treatment for your injuries and other damages.
Do Not Sign a Waiver
Insurance companies do not represent your best interests. Whether you are dealing with your own insurer or someone else’s, you should remember that their first goal is to pay you as little as possible.
Auto insurance companies commonly use a tactic called “lowballing.” This entails making victims a financial offer that represents far less than they deserve. The insurer hopes that the victim will agree to sign a waiver in exchange for a payout. The waiver will typically restrict your right to pursue additional compensation — even if you deserve it.
If an insurance representative has contacted you to make an offer, it is probably an unfair one. Do not accept it without consulting your attorney first. Our lawyers will fight for every single penny that you are owed because we know how crucial it is that you receive compensation. We want to set you up for success so that you can live a healthy, happy, and financially independent life once again.
Injured in an auto accident in Southwest Florida? We can help. Contact us online or call (239) 334-3933 to schedule a free case review with our Fort Myers injury lawyers today.