A Comprehensive Guide For Car Accident Victims
A car accident can be an unnerving event that can stir up emotions and leave confusion in its wake. If you find yourself or a loved one in this situation and you’re wondering about next steps and the process of getting legal justice, we are here to serve you.
Here at Bulluck Law Group, we have created a resource guide for the most common questions and concerns following a car accident here in the state of Florida. We regularly update this guide with new questions and explainer videos, so if you don’t see your questions below, please let us know and we will make the updates!
Our hope is that this guide can assist in navigating you through this challenging time so you can win the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do Immediately After My Car Accident?
Car accidents are traumatic and frightening. However, it is important to follow all of these steps if you are ever involved in one. Immediately after the collision, check for life-threatening injuries and call an ambulance if necessary. If no serious injuries are found, make sure to photograph the damage done to the cars before they are moved. Next, it is important to contact law enforcement to assess the scene. They will write a report, issue any citations, and exchange necessary information.
Once the chaos has settled, it is important to keep in mind that injuries are not always apparent at the scene of the accident. Make sure to see a doctor if any pains or injuries are discovered in the days to come. Finally, you will need a lawyer to navigate the intricacies in communicating with the various insurance companies.
What Evidence Do I Need to Collect?
Collecting the right details are important. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will gather all the parties vehicles registration, driver’s license, and auto insurance. You will receive a copy of this as well.
Before leaving a scene, these are some important details that you need to make sure you have:
- Insurance Information
- Policy Number
- Vehicle Year, Model and Make
- Vin and License Plate Number
- Photos of all vehicles, road conditions, and nearby traffic signs
Do I Need to See a Doctor Even if I Don’t Feel Injured?
Injuries are not always apparent immediately following an accident. During the scene of a collision, adrenaline often puts you in a state where you will not notice any injuries or pain. Concussions and soft-tissue injuries are very common following car accidents. It is best to check for these injuries within 48 hours and get them documented by a doctor. A trained physician will then determine if your injuries need to be monitored.
How Do I Get My Medical Bills Paid After an Auto Accident?
Your PIP (personal injury protection) or no-fault benefits from your own auto insurance company, will pay up to $10,000 in medical bills. Any deductibles or amounts not paid, you can look at the no-fault driver’s bodily injury policy or the uninsured motorist coverage provided by your insurance company.
Keep in mind however that your PIP pays medical bills as they are submitted. The no-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage and your uninsured motorist coverage will only offer one payment after observing fault, causation, and extent of injuries.
How Do I Pay For a Rental Car After Accident?
If you were found innocent at the scene of the accident, then payment for a rental car will be paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance company through property damage coverage. However, if the damages to your car exceed the amount of the at faults property damage coverage, then they will not pay for your rental car. In this situation, you will need to personally pay for your rental car. Unless however you previously purchased additional insurance through your own auto insurance company.
Do Non-Fault Accidents Affect Insurance?
Pursuing a personal injury case if you were the party at fault can be difficult. However, it can be a good idea to talk with a personal injury lawyer anyway to make sure that there is nothing that you would be able to claim. Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis, so it would not cost you anything to double-check.
What Should I Say to the Insurance Companies?
It is important to speak with a lawyer before personally reaching out to insurance companies. This is due to the fact that what you say can be held against you. It is a good idea to plan the conversation prior to speaking with insurance companies, or just let the lawyer handle the call for you. Every release for every claim needs to be evaluated. There can often be more than one release for an auto accident.
Before you sign anything, make sure you understand whether you are releasing claims for property damage as well as bodily injury. If you sign a release for bodily injury, it is difficult to set aside the release and further seek money. Our recommendation is not to sign anything until you speak with your lawyer.
What Does the Process Leading Up to the Settlement Look Like?
This process is contingent on several factors. Depending on how busy the courts are, how much evidence exists, whether or not the case is settled, or if your case even makes it to trial, is how long your personal injury lawsuit will take. From start to finish, your case might take a year to settle if it goes to trial.
It is always good to consult an attorney about the specifics of your situation to better understand how long your particular case might take.