What do I do after an Accident?
If you are injured in an accident in Florida, there are a number of things you must do to preserve your personal injury claim.
- Immediately seek medical assistance. If you are in a car accident you should call an ambulance if necessary as well as the police
- Once your medical needs have been met, you need to call an attorney to preserve your case and insure that your medical needs continue to be addressed as well as the myriad other issues that will arise after you have been injured. If you are unable to call an attorney, a relative or friend should do so for you. The attorney will often visit you in the hospital or in your home to discuss your case, and to determine a course of action, with respect to your case and to your medical treatment.
- If you have been injured through the fault of another, you may have your medical expenses covered. In addition, you may be entitled to Pain and Suffering Damages, both past and present, Lost Working Wages, Lost Future Earnings, and the like. In addition, depending on the severity of the injury, your spouse may be entitled to compensation for loss of your services.
- In order to have a valid personally injury claim, you and your lawyer will need to document how the injury occurred, who was at fault – and to what percentage, and the amount of compensation to which you are entitled
- Your attorney will immediately ascertain whether the party at fault has insurance to help cover your injury and the amount of the policy.
- The attorney will need to document the events leading up to the accident, the accident itself, and will need to manage your medical and other bills to present a claim to the insurance adjuster for compensation.
- Some of the important factors in a personal injury matter are whether the party at fault had a duty to protect against injuries of this type or whether they were the cause of such injuries, and whether the party at fault should be held liable, or whether some other intervening factor relieves this party of their liability.
- To document your case, the attorney will investigate where the accident occurred and the conditions of the location of the accident. For example, if the accident occurred in a shopping center and was a slip and fall accident, the attorney will seek video tape evidence, witness evidence, and your own testimony concerning how you slipped and what caused this.
- Another important issue in this context will be whether the shopping center was on notice as to a dangerous condition and whether they had the time or ability to make this condition safe. Thus if there was a spill in the aisle of a grocery store, it will be important to determine how long that spill was present, what the substance was, whether it caused the slip and fall, whether workers at the store knew of the spill, what actions they took to clean up the spill, if any, such as putting up a warning sign, and whether these types of incidences happened in the past.
Conversely, the defendant’s lawyers will argue that the store had no notice of the spill, that the store took corrective action as soon as they learned of the spill, that there was no way for the store to prevent the spill, that the plaintiff was negligent themselves and should have avoided the spill as it was obvious.
After the facts, have been ascertained your lawyer will submit a demand to the Insurance adjuster demanding a certain amount of compensation. Your attorney will negotiate to get you the largest settlement possible.
However, if settlement is not an option your attorney will file a lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.
As always, there is no fee until you recover money.