An auto accident in Florida can be overwhelming, especially when a serious injury or death is involved. If you’ve been involved in a car wreck, you probably have many questions on what steps you need to take after your accident.
That’s why the Winter Haven auto accident attorneys at the Rivas Law Group have put together this helpful list of answers to frequently asked questions about Florida auto accidents.
What Actions Should I Take Immediately After an Auto Accident in Florida?
After an accident is it important to:
- Stay calm.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
- Do your best to provide immediate assistance to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians who may have been injured in the accident.
- Contact police and emergency responders if needed.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s).
- Collect evidence from the accident scene.
- File an accident report, if needed.
- Get medical help.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Call the Rivas Law Group.
When Do I Need to File an Accident Report?
In Florida, you must immediately report any accident involving a death or injury, hit and run, impaired driver or if there is over $500 worth of damage to the local police or Florida Highway Patrol.
What Kind of Information Should I Collect After the Accident?
After an accident, you should exchange information with all other involved parties, including:
- The names of those involved in the accident.
- Their contact information (addresses, telephone numbers, etc.).
- Their driver’s license information.
- Their insurance information.
- Their vehicle information: License plate and registration numbers of vehicles involved in the collision.
- Each vehicle’s make, model, year, and color.
Additional information that will be useful if you decide to file a claim includes:
- Obtain statements from witnesses, if possible.
- Take pictures of the vehicle and the accident scene.
- Take photos of physical injuries.
- Note road and weather conditions.
The information you gather immediately following the accident may be crucial to the success of your case.
What Shouldn’t I Do After a Car Accident?
Don’t make any unnecessary comments or express any opinions after an accident, since you probably don’t have all the facts. It would also be a really good idea not to make any posts on social media pertaining to the accident. Your words could be used against you if you decide to file a claim.
Should I See a Doctor Even If I Think I Haven’t Been Injured After an Auto Accident?
Definitely. Just because you feel “fine” after an accident, doesn’t mean that you are. It may take days for injuries such as whiplash to manifest themselves.
Should I Speak with an Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement Offer?
Yes! We strongly advise that you don’t make any agreements with the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with an experienced car accident attorney. Many times, the amount the insurance companies will offer won’t begin to pay the total costs of your injuries. Their initial settlement offer is made to get them off the hook, not to restore your life to the way it was before the accident
How Should I Choose a Car Accident Attorney?
When searching for a car accident attorney to represent you, it’s important to select a lawyer who:
- Focuses on personal injury or property damage cases;
- Has extensive experience handling auto accident litigation;
- Has a good reputation among former and current clients as well as other attorneys;
- Has obtained significant awards in cases similar to yours; and
- Is dedicated to their clients.
What Type of Damages Am I Entitled to After a Car Accident?
Depending on the circumstances in your situation, some of the damages you may seek can include:
- Vehicle and personal property damage
- Present and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Wrongful death
What Is My Case Worth?
There is no way to give a client a precise figure for the damages they can expect to collect after a car accident in Florida. Each case is different. Some of the things that might affect what your auto injury claim is worth include: who was at fault; how much liability you had in the accident; the severity of the injuries resulting from the wreck; your medical expenses; and how your injuries will impact the quality of your life.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost Me?
Most Florida auto accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means a lawyer will represent a client at no up-front charge and collect a percentage of the settlement as a fee after a settlement has been reached.
Accepting a case on a contingency basis allows a financially strapped injured party to hire a lawyer without having to come up with a retainer or other fee.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim After an Auto Accident in Florida?
In Florida, the deadline for filing a personal injury or property damage claim is four years from the date of the car accident.
More Questions about Florida Auto Accidents? Contact the Rivas Law Group
Hopefully, this list of frequently asked questions about Florida auto accidents will help give you some direction. If you have a specific car accident question about a wreck you were involved in, please call the Rivas Law Group today at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free consultation with car accident attorney Tania L. Rivas. Rivas Law Group has offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Lutz. We can discuss the details of your accident, answer your car accident questions, and provide experienced legal advice on how to proceed with your claim.