What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Gainesville, FL?
The immediate aftermath of a car accident in Gainesville, Florida, can be unnerving to say the least. You might not be sure how best to proceed and what your legal options are. Although Florida is a “no-fault” state for car insurance, there are still situations where you may be eligible to file a claim against the responsible driver for full compensation.
To protect your rights and interests so that you can hold the at-fault driver liable in these instances, there are some essential things to keep in mind. The truth is that what you say and do after an auto accident can heavily impact how your claim plays out down the line.
In this article, the experienced Gainesville car accident lawyers with Allen Law Firm, P.A., go over what you should do (and not do) after a crash. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation for your car accident case at (877) 255-3652.
Call 911 and Report the Accident to the Police
After moving yourself and your vehicle to safe place, the first thing to do after a car accident in Gainesville is call 911. This will notify the police that the accident has taken place and will dispatch them to your location.
Florida law also requires that you exchange contact information with the other driver and with the officers that arrive at the scene, so long as the accident caused an injury or property damage.
Having a police report for your accident may be critical to the success of your compensation claim. Athough these reports are not admissible in court (as they are considered hearsay), you can still use them in settlement negotiations. You may also call the police officer to the witness stand to verify the report.
Receive Medical Attention
It is crucial that you promptly seek medical attention after the accident. Of primary concern are your health and well-being; sometimes, there won’t be a question as to whether or not you need medical care.
However, you should generally seek care from a doctor even if you are not obviously injured. Not all injuries present themselves immediately at the scene of the crash. The accident might leave you in a state of shock, which can mask certain injuries from consciously appearing to you. Further, if you intend to file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance provider, you have just 14 days to seek medical care in order to receive those benefits.
Medical records may be necessary to prove your eventual claim, as you (the victim) will have the burden of proof to establish your case.
Collect Evidence if It Is Safe To Do So
If you can, given the circumstances, it may be beneficial to collect evidence from the scene of the accident. This includes taking photos and videos, gathering the contact information from any eyewitnesses, and taking note of where the accident occurred and whether there are any traffic cameras closeby that may have captured the crash.
The more pertinent evidence you’re able to gather, the more you’ll be helping the eventual success of your compensation claim.
Do Not Apologize or Accept Blame for the Accident
The State of Florida follows a modified comparative negligence standard with a 51% recovery bar when it comes to the issue of contributory fault. This means that you will be assigned a percentage of blame for the accident, and your compensation award could be adjusted based on that percentage. For instance, if you’re assigned 25% of the blame, you could receive 25% less money damages. And you could be barred from recovering any damages at all if you’re assigned 51% or more of the blame.
As a result of these considerations, it is important not to apologize to anyone or accept blame for the accident. If you do, the at-fault party may use those statements against you and reduce their liability for your injuries.
Contact a Gainesville Car Accident Lawyer
It is likely in your best interest to promptly contact a Gainesville car accident attorney after the crash takes place. Ideally, you would do this before speaking with any insurance companies (whether your own or the at-fault party’s). A lawyer can advise you on what to say and do in the moment based on what has happened in your given situation.
How Allen Law Firm, P.A., Can Help After a Car Accident in Gainesville
If you are involved in a car accident in Gainesville, Florida, consider hiring Allen Law Firm, P.A. to represent you. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, our experienced Gainesville car accident lawyers can help you file a claim for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and much more.
Our personal injury attorneys have over a century of combined experience, and we’ve collected hundreds of millions of dollars for our deserving clients since we opened our doors in 2007. If you choose us to represent you, we can help by:
- Launching an in-depth investigation into your accident to collect further evidence and identify all of your damages
- Negotiating with the other side to reach a fair settlement agreement
- In case the at-fault party does not offer you an adequate amount, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf and bring your case to court
These are just a few of the ways that we can assist you with your car accident claim in Gainesville, FL.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Gainesville Car Accident Attorney
If you’d like further information about how we can help after a car accident in Gainesville, just give us a quick call today at (877) 255-3652. We offer a completely free consultation where you’ll be able to speak with a trusted Gainesville car accident lawyer about your case.
In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis at Allen Law Firm, P.A. That means you can hire us without paying anything upfront, and we will only receive attorney’s fees if we win or settle your claim. Call today to learn more or to get started.