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Tips to Maximizing Your Compensation After a Car Accident in Florida

January 5, 2024 Legal Team
cars driving on busy road with the caption: "how to maximize compensation after a car accident"

Florida has a no-fault insurance system that requires car accident victims to file claims against their own insurance company for compensation under their mandatory personal injury protection plan (PIP). Only in cases of serious injuries with permanent consequences can they file a lawsuit against a negligent party like a careless driver to recover damages over the $10,000 limit on Florida PIP insurance.

If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida, whether you’re filing a claim against your own insurance or that of a negligent party, there are some important tips you can follow beginning right at the scene of the accident to help maximize the compensation you claim for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and lowered future earning capacity if you’ve suffered a disability. At Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, our car accident lawyers in Sarasota and Bradenton will help you through the process of an injury claim to ensure your receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us today online or call (941) 954-4000

Document Evidence at the Scene of the Florida Car Accident

To successfully recover compensation for damages after a car accident in Florida, you have to prove that your injuries occurred in the car accident. If you’re filing a lawsuit due to serious injuries, you also have to prove that someone else was at fault for the accident, such as a careless or reckless driver or a negligent road maintenance crew.

The scene of a car accident is traumatic, but if you can keep your cool and use your phone—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—you can document critical evidence before law enforcement cleans up the scene to restore traffic flow. Do the following to collect evidence at the scene to maximize compensation after a car accident:

  1. First, call 911 to report the accident and apply first aid to any immediate serious injuries
  2. Then take photos of the damaged vehicles
  3. Take photos of the entire accident scene, including anything relevant such as skid marks, traffic signals, signs, or debris in the road
  4. Photograph any visible injuries
  5. Add the contact information of any other involved driver
  6. Add the contact information of eyewitnesses

Eyewitnesses are often the key evidence in an accident claim unless there was video captured of the crash. Very often, these important witnesses disappear without leaving a name.

Never admit to fault at the accident or say anything that may later be construed as admitting fault. Many people immediately blame themselves in an instinctive reaction after a crash only to find out later that someone else was at fault.

How To Maximize Compensation After a Car Accident in Florida

Go to the hospital with the paramedics who arrive at the scene or arrange transportation immediately after you’re cleared by police to leave. At the hospital, have a complete physical evaluation as well as treatment for obvious injuries. Always be mindful of minor symptoms and tell the doctor about every symptom, especially any that develop in the hours or days after the injury. During the initial weeks after the accident, you can take steps to protect yourself financially while you recover physically by doing the following:

  • Obtain a complete medical report with your doctor’s treatment recommendation for every injury
  • Get a copy of the police report
  • Gather your evidence and call an experienced Florida car accident attorney. Then, direct all communication with the insurance company to your lawyer
  • Follow all of your doctor’s instructions carefully
  • Keep all medical bills and receipts for related expenses
  • Avoid posting on social media until after you settle your claim
  • Keep a journal documenting your daily pain level, all of your medical procedures, and the impact on your daily routine
  • See a counselor if you have symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, or depression following the accident

By keeping careful documentation of the consequences of the accident on your life, you can obtain the maximum possible compensation for your damages after a car accident in Florida. Never accept a fast settlement from an insurance company. This is often a way to minimize what they have to pay you and they take advantage by offering a low amount before you know the true extent of the damages you can claim. A skilled personal injury attorney will carefully calculate your damages to ensure you miss no avenue for compensation available to you.