Call Today For Your Free Consultation
No Fee Unless We Win (941) 954-4000

Key Dos and Don’ts for Personal Injury Accident Claims

August 7, 2023 Legal Team
car accident with the caption: The key dos and donts after a personal injury case

An accident is a painful and traumatic experience. When it was caused by another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior it’s even more distressing. Serious injuries can quickly become expensive with medical bills piling up at the same time that you might be unable to return to work. If another driver caused the accident, even in no-fault states like Florida, you may be able to file a claim if your damages greatly exceed the $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your own policy or if your injuries are catastrophic.

Navigating a personal injury claim can be a complex process, requiring proving another driver’s negligence and liability for damages, as well as calculating your economic damages plus compensation for your pain and suffering. A skilled personal injury attorney can maximize your chances of fully recovering damages, but what you do after an accident can greatly help your claim.

What to Do After an Accident to Help Your Claim

After a serious accident, you may be too injured to move about safely, but if you can use your phone—or ask an uninjured person to use it for you—it can become a key tool to collect evidence for your claim. Use your phone to do the following:

  • First, call 911 to report the accident and request help
  • Take photos of the damaged vehicles, the accident scene, and any contributing factors such as traffic signals, intersections, road signs, or skid marks and debris in the road
  • Take photos of any visible injuries
  • Add the contact information of the other driver(s) and eyewitnesses
  • Record a short statement of what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind

After you arrive at the hospital, undergo a thorough investigation and tell the doctor about every symptom. Ask for a detailed medical report with your prognosis and your doctor’s treatment recommendations. Then, get a copy of the police report, keep copies of all medical bills and related expenses, and keep a journal documenting your pain level, medical procedures, and the impacts of the injury on your life. Finally, hire a personal injury attorney and then direct all communication with insurance companies to your attorney.

What Not to Do After an Accident When You Need to File a Personal Injury Claim

What you do after an accident can help to streamline the personal injury claim process, but taking the wrong actions can work against you and undermine your desired outcome. After an accident, avoid committing the following detrimental mistakes:

  • Never admit fault. Avoid comments like “I never saw him coming,” or “I only looked down for a moment.” Even a simple, “I’m sorry” may be interpreted as an admission of fault
  • Don’t fail to call the police to report the accident and ask for emergency services to transport you to the hospital for a complete evaluation. Don’t put off medical attention and be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Don’t talk to insurance representatives on a recorded line, instead, direct all communications to your lawyer
  • Don’t accept an early settlement offer from an insurance company before you know the true extent of your damages. Often these offers are undervalued and require the signing away of your right to file a lawsuit
  • Never grant the insurance company authority to review your medical history beyond the doctor’s detailed report of your accident-related injury

Finally, never go it alone when filing a personal injury accident claim. An experienced car accident attorney can gather evidence, prove liability, calculate your damages, and draft a compelling demand letter to the insurance company. They will negotiate strongly on your behalf for an ample settlement or defend your rights and best interests in court if the insurance company fails to offer an acceptable settlement.

When you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s fault, you deserve both justice and compensation. Only Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann can get you justice for your damages. Contact us now, our personal injury attorneys are located in Sarasota and Bradenton.