What are the questions your car accident lawyer will ask you if you are injured in an accident?
1. What caused your car accident?
2. How was your body injured in the car accident?
Although police reports are not admissible as evidence in court, they can be useful in other ways. Identifying the defendant, witnesses, telling us whether traffic citations were given, etc.
It's very important to make sure a police report was made.
There may be peaks and valleys in terms of your health. You might be feeling very good one day, then very bad the next day, and very good the day after that. If you keep a daily journal, it can be very simple to keep track. I usually recommend that clients get a notebook because it’s useful to keep track of certain things including how they are feeling, sleep, appetite, mobility, lack of mobility, moods, and all the things that are really important throughout the claims process.
3. Do you have photos showing the damage to your car?
5. Did you go to the hospital or otherwise seek medical treatment after the car accident?
Any time you are forced to miss work because of an injury from an car accident, you should be entitled to those lost wages. Even if you use vacation or sick time while you are recovering, keep track of it diligently.
4. Is there a police report of the car accident?
Not every car accident claim requires the use of an attorney. Claims that involve only personal property damage can probably be settled on your own. However, it doesn't hurt to consult with an attorney. You need to protect yourself in case injuries manifest later. We offer free car accident consultations and we'll help you find the right attorney even if we can't take your case.
8. Do I absolutely need to tell my insurance company if I am injured in an car accident?
10 Questions to Ask If You Are Injured in a Florida Car Accident
9. If An Injury Does Not Manifest Until Later, What Are My Options for Filing a Claim?
You should. Most insurance policies have a requirement that people cooperate with their own company in terms of an investigation. People often get nervous about that. They think that if they let their insurance company know that they were in an accident, they’ll raise their rates. The answer to that is that it won’t necessarily raise their rates. It is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible so that you may be able to collect uninsured motorist coverage or medical payments coverage. Best practice is to alert your insurance company and tell them you are unsure whether you will file a claim with them yet because you may not need to.
A common occurrence is when a victim of an auto accident has a whiplash neck injury or back injury, but they feel fine after the accident. Instead of taking the ambulance to the hospital, they get a ride home. Later on, however, the pain manifests. It could be that night, or days later.
Once the adrenaline from the accident wears off and your body starts to feel pain, you might realize you have a claim for car accident damages in Florida. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as pain manifests if you haven't already been treated.
When seeking medical attention, it is important to tell your doctor that you have been injured in an auto accident and that the accident is listed as a cause of the pain. Medical providers and insurance companies use specific coding when treating injuries and auto accident victims tend to receive similar types of care.
So if you have sustained a back injury, neck injury, or other type of injury in an auto accident, it is important that the physician notes that in your medical records.
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The above material was adapted from an interview with Florida car accident attorney Charles J. Esposito, esq. of Taft Street Law Firm. It is not intended to be legal advice. This is not an exhaustive list of all the things you should do after being injured in an auto accident.
6. Are you keeping a journal of your recovery?
7. Are you keeping track of time missed at work?
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10. Do I even need an Car Accident Attorney?
Even though it's not technically determinative, can you imagine going before a jury, explaining to them how badly you were injured in the accident and not being able to show them how much damage the car took?
Or, imagine if your car had very little damage, but you were severely injured. This is the type of information that is helpful for a car accident attorney to know prior to negotiating a settlement or going into court.
Imagine you are on the stand at your trial against the person who caused your car accident. The opposing attorney says to you, "You claim that the car accident caused you severe injuries, yet you didn't go to the hospital after the accident. The injuries must not have been that severe were they?" It's a powerful statement to make in front of a jury.
If you're suffering from a neck injury or a back injury, we want to know how exactly it happened. Were you jolted to the side? Backwards? Etc. We're looking for an easy way to explain how the accident caused your injury.
It seems simple at first, but you can bet if you have to go to trial that you will have to prove what the cause of the car accident was. Generally supporting documentation, such as a police report is helpful in determining who caused a car accident.
If you were even partially at fault for the accident, under Florida law, it could affect the amount of your claim.
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