Being hit by a car can be a traumatic experience. If you were hit by a car on foot or involved in a bike accident with a car, you could face significant injuries. Even in a car accident between two cars, you could need immediate medical attention. The first thing you should always do after a car accident is call 9-1-1 and get yourself to a safe place. There are other important steps to help preserve your claim, which Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains below. For a free consultation on your car accident case, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today.
First Steps After a Miami Car Crash
After being injured in a car crash, it is vital to call 9-1-1. Any car accident involving personal injury, death, or significant property damage must be reported to the police. When you or someone else calls 9-1-1, they should also request an ambulance and EMTs if you or anyone else was severely injured.
Once emergency responders arrive, it is important to cooperate with them. EMTs have experience handling injury victims immediately after an accident, and you should trust their judgment if they say you need further medical attention. Immediately after a car crash, you may be shaken up and adrenaline coursing through your body may help numb the pain and prevent your body from going into shock. This will wear off, and you may begin to notice injuries that could have already received medical attention (and pain killers) at the hospital. Police may also ask questions to uncover who was at fault for the accident, and you should answer their questions honestly to help show that you were the victim of the accident. Anything you say can be used against as evidence by the defense in court. However, lying is a bad idea, since your later statements could be compared to what you said to the police as evidence of your credibility.
If you are well enough to do so, gather as much information about the crash as you can. If you are too injured, ask a friend or family member to come to the scene and do it for you. You should gather whatever information you can, but it is particularly important to get information regarding:
- Who was involved in the crash, including the names and contact information of any drivers, passengers, and witnesses;
- What vehicles were involved, including identifying marks like the license plate number or VIN;
- Insurance information for any drivers involved;
- The location, including cross streets, mile-markers, and proximity to any crosswalks;
- Any traffic signs or signals governing the site of the accident;
- The lighting and weather conditions where the accident occurred.
The police may be able to gather much of this information in their police report if you are incapacitated or too injured to get this information.
If you can, take pictures or video of the accident. Pictures are most helpful when they contain broad images of what the whole scene looks like as well as close-ups of damage, injuries, and other relevant info. Your cell phone’s camera is perfect for capturing this kind of information and may be used to take pictures of insurance information, driver’s licenses, injuries, and people involved. You can also use video to record the scene or information dictated to the recording.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident Case
If you were injured while riding a bicycle or as a pedestrian, you have no insurance that can cover your accident. That means that your only options to recover compensation are to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit in court. We will explain the pros and cons of these options below.
If you were injured as another driver, you might be required to file with your insurance company before seeking other remedies. Florida’s “no-fault” insurance rules require drivers with injuries worth less than $10,000 to file with their own insurance. Your policy’s “PIP” (personal injury protection) benefits can help pay for medical expenses no matter who was at fault. However, if the injuries you face were permanent in nature or require more than $10,000 in damages, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit.
The decision of whether to file through insurance or take your case to court is one an attorney can help you with. There are certain damages that insurance may be able to cover, like medical expenses and lost wages, but these may only be covered up to a certain percentage. Taking your case to court might cover these damages in full as well as provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
If the other driver or an insurance company offers you a settlement, talk to an attorney before accepting any money or signing away any of your rights. Especially if your case was a commercial truck accident or involves a commercial delivery vehicle, these companies may want to settle the case to save them money.
Miami Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, talk to an attorney today. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked represents the victims of car accidents and fights to get them compensation for their injuries including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676. We are available 24/7 to schedule free consultations.