If you’ve been injured in a Lakeland car accident that was the fault of another driver, the law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages resulting from your injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages. However, your actions following the accident could have a major impact on the amount of compensation you will be able to recover.
In some instances, people severely injured in a Lakeland auto accident were unable to collect any damages for their injuries due to unfortunate mistakes made after their auto accident. Don’t let this happen to you.
Here is our list of the top eight mistakes you should avoid after a car accident in Lakeland:
- Leaving the Scene of the Accident. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in Lakeland. By failing to stop and exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved or contacting the police, obtaining compensation for your injuries can become difficult.
- Failing to Seek Medical Attention. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt after an accident, it is advised to get checked out by a doctor since some injuries don’t manifest themselves until after the accident takes place. A lack of medical records will make it harder to put a dollar value on your injuries. Failing to seek medical attention could appear as though your injuries weren’t as severe as they were.
- Failing to get a Police Report. Without a police report, there may be no official record of the accident. Lack of an official report may make it impossible to prove who was really at fault in the accident.
- Not Gathering Evidence at the Accident Scene. Injuries may be so severe that you are unable to collect evidence following the accident. If you can collect any evidence, it is a good idea to document the accident scene by taking pictures and getting the names and contact information of any witnesses. These details will help greatly to demonstrate how the accident happened and determine who was at fault.
- Admitting Fault in the Accident. Any statement you make at the accident scene can be introduced into evidence later. Avoid admitting any fault until you know all the facts about the accident. This includes simple phrases like “I’m sorry” or “it’s ok”.
- Discussing Your Accident. Whatever you say to your family, friends or coworkers or post on social media could be used against you by the insurance company. They’re always looking for ways to show your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
- Accepting an Insurance Company’s First Settlement Offer. This could be a huge mistake. Insurance companies will try to get off the hook by offering what appears to be a generous settlement. Beware — these settlement amounts rarely consider the full costs of your injuries.
- Not Calling a Lakeland Auto Accident Attorney. The sooner you retain the services of a Lakeland auto accident attorney, the better your chances of obtaining the full amount of compensation you are owed after your auto accident. A Lakeland car accident attorney can help you avoid making potentially damaging mistakes after your accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Car Accidents
A claim is a request for compensation from the negligent party’s insurance. Your attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company will try to negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries and damages.
If negotiations fail, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in court. This is when you ask the state to settle the dispute for you. In many cases, just the threat of court is enough to force the defendant and their insurance company to negotiate a settlement.
Every claim is different, so the best way to estimate yours is to hire an experienced attorney. There are many factors- also called damages– at play in each claim including:
• Medical expenses
• Estimated future expenses
• Vehicle damage
• Lost income
Florida is a comparative liability state, which means that the amount of compensation is directly proportional to each driver’s percentage of fault in the incident.
In a two-car crash, this is usually straight forward, but in multi-car crashes, it is up to each party to make a case to a judge or jury that they are not a fault.
Get Help Avoiding the Mistakes that Could Cost You the Compensation You Deserve after a Lakeland Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Tania L. Rivas has successfully represented clients who have been injured in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Lutz, Kathleen, Polk City, Auburndale and other Central Florida auto accidents. Attorney Rivas will fight to get you the best settlement possible and help you avoid any mistakes that could cost you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Rivas Law Group today to schedule a free no cost consultation to discuss your case with leading Lakeland car accident injury attorney Tania Rivas.