A car accident can be a traumatic experience, and the first thing that everyone should do after a collision is to seek medical treatment if necessary. If possible, before leaving the scene of an accident it is important for Florida residents and others to preserve their legal claims so they can take action against those responsible for the accident.
Make no admissions
Never admit fault for an accident. A driver should not admit fault to an accident and should try not to make statements about how the accident occurred to anyone except law enforcement. Making statements to other drivers can be used against you in a later lawsuit, so it is important not to tie yourself down with statements made after an accident.
After an accident scene is cleared important evidence is potentially lost forever. Before you leave the scene, it is important to preserve as much evidence as possible by taking photos, recording videos, and writing down the names and phone numbers of any potential witnesses. Photograph your vehicle, the other vehicles involved, and the scene of the accident as a whole, including any debris and tire marks.
Don’t speak with insurance professionals without counsel
After an accident, an insurance professional may contact you to obtain evidence and take statements. The insurance professional does not necessarily represent your best interests, and may in fact, be seeking evidence to use against you. As a result, it is important to speak with counsel before making any statements to an insurance professional or participating in an insurance investigation.
Don’t take an insurance settlement
After an accident, an insurance company may offer a driver money in order to settle claims. As part of this process, a claimant normally must waive all of the rights they have to sue or pursue other legal claims as a result of the accident. As such, it is important to speak with a lawyer before settling a matter to ensure that the value of claims is appropriate.