Do’s and Don’ts After Being Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
The roads in South Florida tend to a
ttract negligent drivers with no respect for the safety of others. Even if cautious and careful, the chances are high that many users of roadways in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties will become the victims of a motor vehicle accident. Car crashes and other vehicular accidents can severely impact the lives of victims and their families. This article aims to help victims of motor vehicle accidents obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, whether they are pedestrians, bikers (bicyclists or motorcyclists), or drivers.
There are a few critical actions that should be taken immediately after a crash, if possible. Adrenaline, confusion, and pain may be high in the minutes following a car, bike, or truck accident, clouding the judgment of a victim, however, wisely spending time in the minutes after an accident could substantially increase the value of a case. As explained below, to the extent a victim or witness is physically able, documenting evidence of the accident can provide valuable support for a personal injury case. Similarly, being mindful of statements and actions following the crash can avoid future problems.
Of course, the first concern after an accident should be the health and safety of those involved. An accident victim should always call 911 to report the accident and to seek immediate medical attention, if necessary.. Another important point to consider is whether a victim should use an ambulance. One of our clients who recently obtained a six-figure settlement, who also happens to be an emergency room physician, chose not to use an ambulance after he fractured multiple bones in his foot when his bike was struck by a car. His rationale, echoed by the Salomon Smith law firm, is that an accident victim should only use an ambulance if they are in urgent need of medical care, and physically unable to drive or cannot get another ride to the hospital. Ambulance services can be very expensive and should only be used when necessary so that victims can maximize a potential monetary recovery.
Once the accident is reported to the police, a victim or witness should document the scene with pictures of anything and everything that may be relevant to a future lawsuit, including, pictures of the vehicles (especially damage), license plates, persons involved, and injuries. If possible, stay on the scene to speak with the arriving police officers to obtain a copy of the driver exchange of information, or crash report, which contains the name and contact information of the responding officers and those involved in the accident. If the accident was a hit-and-run, it will be especially important to provide the officers with any information regarding the fleeing vehicle, so that the at-fault driver can be identified, apprehended, and brought to justice. Claims should be filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and also the victim’s insurer, as soon as reasonably possible after the accident.
The Salomon Smith law firm strongly recommends against accident victims setting up their own claim without counsel. Victims should understand that insurance companies (even their own) are not their friends and not on their side. Because insurers will attempt to twist and distort any statements to their own advantage, it is always prudent to retain a lawyer to have your back. At the Salomon Smith law firm, we protect our clients throughout the entire claims process, from the accident and treatment, to pursuing a claim through the court system, through settlement or trial.
Understandably, victims of car, bike, and truck accidents become overwhelmed and stressed in the aftermath of an injury-causing collision. An experienced injury attorney, like Daniel Smith of the Salomon Smith law firm, will guide accident victims through the process of treatment, recovery, and seeking financial compensation for their injuries. A victim may be entitled to compensation from the bodily injury insurer of the at-fault driver, or from their own uninsured motorist coverage. Check out a prior blog article – https://salomonsmith.com/why-nobody-should-reject-uninsured-motorist-coverage/ – for an explanation as to the importance of uninsured motorist coverage. At the Salomon Smith law firm, attorneys are always available to provide immediate responses to our clients’ questions. We promise to give you the attention and responsiveness you deserve and will never pass on the management of your case to non-attorney support staff.
In sum, document everything you can after a car crash, bike crash, or truck crash to ensure you or a loved one is in the best position to obtain maximum financial compensation for the resulting injuries. Retain legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid falling into the traps set by insurance companies during their “investigation” of a motor vehicle accident. Attorney Daniel Smith will personally handle your case and never delegate important matters to non-lawyer support staff. Together, we will work towards recovering fair compensations for the damage caused by a negligent driver.
Daniel Salomon Smith is the award-winning Founding Member of Salomon Smith PLLC, a full-service legal boutique based in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Mr. Smith is experienced in handling and resolving motor vehicle accident cases and other injury claims. Prior to focusing his injury practice on benefiting the injured, he spent several years defending the interests of some of the largest insurers in the country. He can be reached at Daniel@salomonsmith.com or (305) 297-1018.
 In addition to damages for personal injuries, victims of motor vehicle accidents may be entitled to $10,000 in PIP benefits as long as treatment is obtained within 14-days of the incident.