Five Statements to Avoid Making After a Car Crash in Florida
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Your first instinct may be to start explaining yourself and the situation to the other parties involved, including the police officers who respond to the scene. However, what you say in the immediate aftermath can come back to haunt you when it comes time to deal with insurance companies, claims adjusters and even lawsuits. Protect yourself from any legal challenges related to your car accident case. With years of experience, Kemp Law Group is here to help. Call us today at 727-847-4878 free of charge or obligation to discuss your car accident case.
The 5 Things You Should Never Say:
1. “I’m Sorry!”
Expressing an apology or saying “I’m sorry” implies guilt and fault on your part. Even if you feel remorseful about the accident, don’t admit fault or blame yourself. Anything you say can be held against you later on. Wait until the police have fully investigated the crash before making any judgments.
2. Exaggerations About Your Injuries or Damage
In the shock following an accident, your first instinct may be to catastrophize and exaggerate the extent of injuries or damage. Avoid making claims like “My neck is killing me!” or “My car is totaled!” Instead, stick to factual statements about any immediate medical issues. Let doctors make the full diagnosis later.
3. Details About How the Accident Happened
Don’t make any definitive statements about how the accident occurred or who was at fault. Often, your memory and perception of events can be clouded by the traumatic incident. Wait for police to interview witnesses and reconstruct the scene. Giving an inaccurate account can weaken your insurance claim down the road.
4. Opinions About the Other Driver(s)
As tempting as it is, refrain from making any negative comments about the other motorists involved. Saying things like “That idiot ran the red light!” or “She was driving like a maniac!” will only escalate tensions. Reserve judgment until the facts have been objectively determined.
5. Anything About Drinking or Drugs
Be especially careful about admitting to use of alcohol, medications or recreational substances prior to the accident. Such statements can severely undermine any injury claims you later make and lead to DUI charges. Don’t answer any police questions without guidance from your personal injury attorney.
What TO Say At the Scene
- Stick to the basics: provide your name, contact details and insurance information. Answer police questions about what happened factually.
- Seek medical attention if you’re hurt. Inform officers and medics about any immediate pain or injuries.
- Take photos of the accident scene, damage and injuries if you’re able. They can help support your insurance claim.
- Write down the names and contact details of witnesses on the scene. Their accounts could bolster your side of the story later on.
- Consult a trusted personal injury attorney if police want to interview you at length or conduct sobriety tests. Having counsel present protects your rights.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney for Guidance
Being in a car accident in Tampa can leave you feeling confused about your rights and how to protect yourself legally and financially. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida can provide the clarity you need about your best course of action following the crash. They can advise you on the scene about what information to share – or not share – with the police and other parties involved. Most importantly, a knowledgeable lawyer can build the strongest possible injury claim on your behalf. They will handle negotiations with insurance companies so you can focus on recovery. Don’t go it alone; let a skilled auto accident attorney protect your interests following the collision.
- Avoid admitting guilt, speculating about the crash or exaggerating your injuries at the scene.
- Stick to just providing basic information to police unless your attorney advises otherwise.
- Seek medical help for any immediate health issues after the accident.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer for guidance about your rights and next steps.
Having experienced counsel in your corner after a car wreck can make all the difference between getting fair compensation – or getting nothing at all. Protect yourself by retaining a diligent personal injury attorney to handle your injury claim following an auto collision in Florida. Don’t jeopardize your case by saying the wrong things at the accident scene.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company after an accident?
No. You should avoid speaking to other drivers’ insurance adjusters without guidance from your attorney. They may pressure you into giving a recorded statement that jeopardizes your claim.
2. How long after an accident do I have to file an injury lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida statute 95.11, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are exceptions, so consult a lawyer about deadlines.
3. Can I still get compensation if I’m partly at fault for the accident?
Yes. Florida uses “comparative negligence,” meaning you can recover damages if you’re less than 50% at fault. Your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
4. What types of damages can I claim after a Florida car accident?
You can claim monetary compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment, and more. An attorney can fully evaluate your eligible damages.
5. Should I accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company?
No. Their initial offer is usually much less than the value of your claim. An attorney can negotiate a full and fair settlement on your behalf. Don’t accept an insurer’s first lowball offer.
Finding the Correct Personal Injury Attorney in Florida
If you or someone you know has experienced a car accident, contact Kemp Law Group personal injury lawyers at 727-847-4878 today. Our award winning track record proves that we are capable of handling your case and obtaining the compensation you deserve.
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