You can maximize your car accident settlement by calling 911, doing your best to document the accident scene, seeking medical treatment, staying off social media, and contacting a lawyer, among others. If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence of another party, contact us at Kogan & DiSalvo. We leverage decades of experience representing personal injury victims throughout Southeast Florida. Our skilled attorneys are well-versed in Florida’s negligence laws and have a proven track record of significant settlements and verdicts. Our goal is to help clients get their lives back on track so they can focus on healing.
Best Practices to Follow After an Accident
While it might not be possible to follow all of these steps, it’s essential that you do your best. For example, you may be too injured to document the crash scene. However, there may be someone who can do it for you. In addition, it might be impossible to stay off social media—but it’s wise not to discuss anything about the accident, including hospital stay, injuries, medications, or who you think might be at fault.
The list of best practices includes:
- Call the police and ensure that an accident report is filed.
- Do not admit fault or apologize to anyone, including the other driver, eyewitnesses, the insurance company, or the police, no matter who you think might have caused the crash.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel any pain. Many people do not realize that the onset of some injuries may be delayed due to the adrenaline that floods the body. The longer you wait between your accident and receiving medical attention, the more opportunity you give the other side to attempt to undermine the existence, cause, or severity of your injuries.
- Gather the contact information of all eyewitnesses to your crash.
- Take pictures and notes about everything that may be relevant to your accident. Examples include documenting the other vehicle, injuries to you and others, property damage, skid marks on the road, posted road or traffic signs, the exact location of the collision, road, weather, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident.
- Do not accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting a Florida car accident lawyer. Remember, insurance adjusters are singularly focused on minimizing the amount of your financial recovery. They fully understand the physical, emotional, and financial pain you and your family may feel. They could offer you a cash settlement—because they know it provides immediate financial relief. However, these offers are frequently far below the market value of your claim. If you accept it, you may forfeit your right to pursue additional compensation for your injuries.
- If at all possible, delete all of your social media accounts. If that is not feasible, then make sure that neither you nor anyone you know posts any updates, pictures, or videos about your accident, injuries, or car crash claim online. Even a short video, from months ago, of you and your friends at a concert can undermine the severity of your injuries and significantly impact the value of your settlement.
- For the duration of your car accident claim, assume at all times that you are being followed by a private investigator and live your life accordingly. Especially in cases where there are serious injuries, insurance companies are known to hire private investigators to follow the accident victim. For example, if you claim that your back was so seriously injured that you cannot work, but you are photographed taking the dog for a walk, the financial value of your settlement could take a significant hit.
Make Sure to Contact a Lawyer in the Immediate Aftermath
Consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They will apprise you of the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, any pending legal deadlines, and an estimated calculation of your car accident settlement. After the consultation, it’s crucial to hire an attorney that you trust because they can begin investigating your accident, building your case, and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Experienced attorneys know, for example, that businesses and private residences in the area may have unknowingly obtained footage of your accident on their surveillance cameras. That footage could help prove your case and maximize your settlement, but many businesses and private residences delete that footage within days. Similarly, eyewitnesses to your accident will have a much more accurate recollection of what they witnessed in the hours and days following your crash. However, they may move or change phone numbers if you wait too long.
In other words, time is of the essence. Hiring the right attorney can also send the message to the insurance company that your case should be taken seriously because you are fully prepared to go to trial–which can increase the value of your settlement offers.
At Kogan & DiSalvo, our team is focused on personal injury law. We understand that this accident may be one of the hardest things you have ever experienced, and we take pride in advocating for you and fighting for justice. If you have further questions about maximizing your car accident settlement in Florida, call us today to schedule a free consultation. Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees.