Florida’s insurance laws are often confusing for victims of car accidents. If you were injured in a car accident and have expensive medical bills and lost wages, or high levels of pain and suffering, it may be important to talk to a lawyer about taking your case to court. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked discusses how these cases can progress and what happens when you sue for injuries after a car crash in Florida.
What to Do After a Car Accident in FL
Immediately after a car crash, you should get yourself to safety and call 9-1-1. If you can, move your car to the side of the road and stay somewhere well-lit. If you are too injured to stay at the scene, accept emergency medical treatment and go to the hospital if the EMTs think you need additional treatment. If you can stay at the scene, collecting the following information can help you build your case:
- The insurance information, registration information, and license plate number for the other cars involved;
- The make and model of any vehicles involved;
- The insurance information for any vehicles and drivers involved;
- The other drivers’ names and contact info;
- Names and contact info for any passengers or witnesses;
- The location of the accident, including the nearest crossroad or mile marker;
- Information about the road conditions, weather, and lighting; and
- The name and contact info for any police who respond.
Police will often create their own accident reports, which can help you get a lot of this information if you are unable to stay at the scene. However, you should also get this information yourself, if possible. These reports are typically not admissible in court, but can help you and your lawyer get the basic information about your car accident.
You should also take pictures of the accident. Pictures and video of the scene help you present your case to a jury and give them a better idea of what cars were involved and what the scene looked like. If you can, get close-up shots of the damage and injuries, as well as wider shots that show the cars in their relative positions to each other. Police may take their own photos as well, and you may be able to get these photos as evidence.
Your phone is a great tool for taking these pictures and videos. If you don’t have anything to write with, you can also take clear pictures of the information you need to collect or dictate the info into a recording on your phone.
If you are too injured and need immediate medical treatment, but a passenger, family member, or friend can stay at the scene, they can collect a lot of this info for you.
Your medical care should be your first priority after any serious injury. After a car accident injury, adrenaline may mask the pain temporarily, hiding the seriousness of injuries. Whiplash injuries and other neck and back injuries might not become obvious until the next morning after a crash. In any case, you should have a doctor examine you and diagnose your injuries.
Suing for an At-Fault Car Crash in Florida
After you collect this information and seek medical treatment for any injuries you sustained, talk to an attorney about your case. It is important to discuss your claim with a Miami personal injury attorney rather than going straight to your insurance company with your claim (in some cases, the at-fault driver may not want to go through insurance). A lawyer can help you understand what your case might be worth in court and get the case started by putting in requests for police reports and filing the case.
Your case hinges on your ability to prove that the other driver was at fault. Your testimony about what happened leading up to the accident is important, but traffic cameras, dash cams, and nearby security cameras provide even better evidence of how the crash occurred, if they are available.
In court, your attorney will work to prove that the at-fault driver violated traffic rules or otherwise drove unsafely, which lead to the accident. The defense might try to reverse the accusations and blame you for the crash. Even if you were partly to blame, you can still recover damages if the defendant is chiefly at fault for the crash.
To win your case, you must also prove the damages you sustained. Keeping a good record of your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses you paid for because of the crash can help you prove these damages in court. Additionally, you should keep a journal of your pain and recovery to help you prove pain and suffering damages at trial.
Your attorney can guide you through this process and explain in further detail how your trial will proceed. It is vital to talk to an attorney and get your case filed as soon as you can to ensure that you meet the statute of limitations.
Our Miami Car Accident Injury Lawyer Offers Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today to set up a free consultation on your case. Personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked handles car accident and wrongful death cases on behalf of injured victims and their families. Call (305) 694-2676 today to schedule your consultation.