If you have been injured in a roadway accident in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, your first instinct might be to consult with your insurance agent right away. After all, you may expect your insurance company to pay all or most of your accident costs – it’s why you pay your premiums.
Even if you have in insurance policy and are in a car accident, however, that does not mean that you will necessarily get the full amount of compensation you need to pay for car repairs, lost income, medical costs, and the many other expenses you may face after serious collision. The truth is that insurance companies are in the business of keeping their shareholders happy. Often, they can do this by paying out less than the full amount possible in every case.
Many people who have been injured in trucking accidents and car accidents in Hollywood and South Florida find that they do not get enough insurance money to pay for all of the costs of their injuries. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure that you:
1) Take the right steps at the scene of the crash.
At the scene of the accident, take photos if you can and write down all the details of the accident. Get the contact information of the other driver as well as any witnesses. Be sure to get the insurance information of the other driver. Never let the other driver convince you to avoid reporting the accident.
2) Talk to an attorney first.
One of the first calls you want to make is to a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can advise you about what to say to an insurance company, about how to file your claim, and whether you have a legal claim.
3) Report the accident.
Very quickly after the accident, you will want to report the accident. You may want to do this before you even get medical help. Contact the insurance company to report the collision and contact the police to file a police report to get additional information and details about the accident.
Be careful when speaking to your insurance company, however. You don’t want to say anything that will suggest you are to blame for the accident or minimize the severity of the accident. Immediately after a collision, you may be in shock and you may not even have any symptoms yet. That does not mean that you haven’t been seriously injured. Talk to an attorney first if you can so that you can find out what you should and shouldn’t say to your insurer. Above that, make sure that you stick with only the facts of the case and do not make any claims about the extent of your injuries or damages.
4) Be careful about written statements of your injuries.
Sometimes, your insurance company will want you to sign a statement of injuries or a written record of what happened in the accident. While you will want to write down a journal entry or keep a record for yourself and your attorney, you should be careful about anything you are asked to sign. Anything that is in that statement can be used to help reduce your insurance amount, which can end up hurting you financially in the long-term.
5) Get advice before signing anything.
Some insurance companies may want to design a liability release or accept a settlement very quickly. This can be an expensive mistake. If you change your mind at some point about filing a legal claim or if your doctor discovers that you are more seriously injured than it initially appeared, you may not be able to seek additional compensation.
Before you sign any documents you should understand your legal rights and you should have a legal professional look over your settlement. You should also know the extent of your injuries and damages. Keep in mind that sometimes getting an accurate diagnosis can take days or even weeks. Don’t be in a haste to sign anything as it could end up being a costly mistake.
Would you like legal advice and help with the complicated insurance process? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case review.