You’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and now you are faced with a series of things that you need to deal with. The first item is to assess injuries and seek medical assistance if needed. Second on the list is to look over the entire accident scene and figure out who was at fault and caused the accident. And last, but certainly not least, is to determine how much damage has been done to your vehicle.
Scene of the Accident
Immediately seek medical attention for anyone who has been injured in the accident. If you are able to stay at the scene of the accident, take lots of photos of your vehicle and the entire accident scene. Almost all cell phones have built-in cameras. Take advantage of that and photograph every side and angle of your vehicle. And don’t stop there. Photograph the other vehicle(s) and any skid marks or ancillary damage (like damaged landscaping, mailboxes, etc.).
Exchange insurance and contact information with the driver(s) of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Be sure to take it a step further and gather contact information of all passengers and witnesses of the accident. This will make it much easier for you when you meet with your personal injury attorney. You will want to have as much information as possible to give to your attorney.
Florida is a “no-fault” state meaning that each insurance company compensates its own insured or policyholder, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Your insurance company will send someone to evaluate the damages to your vehicle. It is wise to also have your vehicle checked out by a reputable mechanic of your choice in order to make damage and cost comparisons. Have your attorney review both damage estimates to ensure that you are being fairly compensated. Remember, once you accept payment, your claim is closed and you cannot re-open it.
Take your time and inspect the contents of your vehicle for damage. For instance, child safety seats may have sustained damage. Don’t take any chances with child safety seats – assume they are damaged and add them to the list of items that need to be replaced.
There are many other items in your vehicle that may have sustained damage in the accident. Electronic items like your GPS System or your CD/Satellite Radio may not work properly and should be included as part of your claim. Inspect the contents of your trunk for damaged items, especially if you are traveling and have luggage in the trunk.
Call Carey Leisure & Neal for Legal Services in Clearwater, FL
Your personal injury attorney not only deals with any physical issues you experience in an automobile accident, but they will also work with you to solve your property damages and ensure that you receive compensation that will cover all aspects of the accident. They will “clear the air”, make suggestions and offer solutions. Often, it is implied that you have to use the insurance company’s repair shop. Your attorney will advise you on that. They will remain by your side throughout the claim process. They have the experience to know approximately how long the claim will take, what a typical settlement is for similar cases, and the clout to make sure that you received a fair settlement.
Contact us at (727) 799-3900 for a free no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.