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What Not to Do After a Kissimmee Car Wreck

Filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation after a car accident may seem easy. Still, the steps you take and how you choose to move forward following a car wreck in Kissimmee can affect whether an insurer approves compensation for your losses. While many car accident cases successfully resolve through car accident claims, those most likely to succeed will avoid common mistakes in the hours and days after a car wreck. Taking swift action and keeping your case error-free is the strongest way to prevent delay and get the compensation you deserve.

1. Deciding Not to Call the Police After the Crash

Car Wreck

Calling the police to the scene, particularly with an accident resulting in injuries, is necessary. There is little benefit to parties not calling the police for help after a crash. Failing to report an accident to the police can negatively affect a car accident claim and jeopardize your right to compensation.

In some instances, it is against the law to leave the scene of an accident without calling the police in the event of injury or significant property damage. In Kissimmee, for instance, if someone dies, suffers an injury of any severity, or has potential property damage above $500, someone must call the police following a car wreck, or the parties violate the state’s traffic laws.

When no one calls the police to the scene, the reported events leading to the accident become less credible and more difficult to prove. You run the risk of another party giving you false or fraudulent information, which can prevent you from filing a claim with their insurance company if they were at fault.

Another driver can also make false claims, or they may stay behind at the scene to report you as a hit and run driver, which can cause you to potentially face criminal charges in addition to liability for the accident’s damages. Additionally, without an officer’s unbiased interpretation and investigation, you do not have their perspective on whether traffic violations occurred due to the other party’s actions.

2. Not Hiring an Attorney to Represent You

Often, car accident victims view hiring a lawyer as necessary only when severe or life-threatening injuries occur. However, this is not the case. A car accident attorney is an advocate that can help any victim pursue the compensation they deserve under the law. When you hire a lawyer for a motor vehicle accident case, you protect yourself against insurance companies and ensure that you recover all possible damages from the responsible parties.

How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Car Wreck

Injuries are complex and may not develop as expected. Each victim faces different challenges, and an injury can cause you more trouble and difficulties than initially anticipated following a crash. A lawyer understands the intricacies of a car wreck and how each factor can affect your costs and damages. Your lawyer will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve after a negligent car wreck by working with you to identify and prove every injury and loss you incur.

Even in property damage cases, a lawyer can help you seek compensation for the repairs or value of your losses when insurance companies do not meet the expenses you face following a crash. When a policyholder carries only the minimum coverage for property damages, any accident can exceed the policy limits and leave a victim footing the bill for the remainder of the damages. A lawyer can help you determine if there are other alternatives to pursue the remaining costs of these losses.

A car accident attorney serves many purposes after a motor vehicle accident. Your lawyer will help you prove your case, including the at-fault party of the crash, the extent of your injuries, and the corresponding costs. Your lawyer will manage communications, the nuances of your case, and the negotiations with the insurer and other parties to the accident.

In addition to working with you to reach a successful settlement, a lawyer will also prepare for the possibility that your case may need to go to trial. With an attorney, you can rest easy knowing they will do everything in their power to protect your interests and pursue the compensation you deserve.

3. Speaking to the Insurance Company

Victims of motor vehicle accidents undergo stressful and traumatic experiences. Their injuries, coupled with the damage to their vehicle and other stressors, such as the need to miss work, push them to resolve their claim as quickly as possible. Following an accident, many people jump at the chance to call the insurance company believing they will resolve the claim quickly.

Communicating with Insurers Can Negatively Impact Your Case

Unfortunately, calling an insurer immediately following an accident can spell disaster for you and your ability to pursue compensation for your losses. Emotions are high after a car crash, and this is why insurers want to talk to you as soon as possible. Insurance representatives want to talk with accident victims to see if they say anything that gives them a window to deny a claim, blame the accident on you, or limit the amount of money they make available for your injuries and other damages.

Insurance companies are not transparent in their intentions. While they may approach you with a calm and friendly demeanor, the reality is that a claims representative’s only obligations and responsibilities are to their employer and their insurance company. They will try their hardest to reduce liability in whatever way they can. If they can find a way to deny your car wreck claim, they will. If they can offer you the minimum amount for your losses as a settlement, they will.

4. Delaying a Medical Evaluation or Not Following a Treatment Plan

It is common for an accident victim to feel unwell after a crash, yet many victims downplay their injuries or believe they will feel better once they get home. Getting a medical evaluation for your car accident injuries and treatment is necessary as soon as possible following a crash. Each moment that a victim delays seeking care risks their health and, in turn, can negatively impact their car accident injury claim.

An insurance company or at-fault will not take your injuries seriously if you do not get medical attention after an accident or if you fail to follow the advice and treatment set out by your medical providers. Go to an ER after leaving the scene of a car accident. Many injuries present themselves after a crash and affect your health for a significant time. Traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding may not show clear symptoms or signs while at the crash scene. These injuries have worsening symptoms over time and can threaten the victim’s life if not medically treated as quickly as possible.

5. Accepting the First Offer of Settlement

Car accidents cause enormous financial losses and burdens on their victims. Insurance companies know that car accident victims worry about missing work, paying for medical bills, and the future impacts of their injuries. When an insurer knows they are liable for your losses, they will make a settlement offer quickly after a crash.

Insurers hope that a car accident victim will accept the first offer without question to move on from the accident. However, when an insurance company makes its first settlement offer, it is always well below the actual value of the victim’s losses. If an insurer offers unfair compensation and a victim accepts it in haste, the victim cannot revisit the settlement if they realize the money did not cover their losses.

You must always treat a first settlement offer as a starting point, and a car accident victim is under no obligation to accept it. If a victim doesn’t have an attorney and receives a settlement offer that they believe is too low or not enough to cover their losses, they can still contact a lawyer. The insurance company will place enormous pressure on a victim to accept their offer and make it seem like you have no other options. While it is often more complicated to deal with a case at this stage, there is still an opportunity for an attorney to help you fight for just compensation in your case.

6. Not Gathering Evidence Available to You

The car wreck scene is overwhelming. You have just been through a harrowing experience, you may have injuries, and you are still processing what just happened. It can be hard to think ahead about how to protect yourself, but with a little effort, you can gather some vital information to support your case and claim.

After calling an officer to the scene, the officer will prepare an accident report. The accident report will not be available immediately, but they will provide you with an informational report to support the first steps in your case. In the information report, the officer will include the name, contact information, and available insurance information of all parties in the accident.

The officer may also include the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident that come forward at the scene. This information will help you know what insurers are part of your case and the parties potentially responsible for the accident and your injuries.

Beyond the information report, if your injuries allow you, there are some things you can do personally to gather evidence in your case. Your mobile phone is an easy tool to obtain critical evidence at the scene.

First, take a few moments to find a safe location at the scene. Photograph and video everything that you see. The vehicles involved, the location of physical damage to the cars, any other visible property damage, the surrounding environment, the positioning of the vehicles, traffic signs and signals, and any visible injuries. This evidence may help determine fault for the accident, liability for your losses, and the severity of your injuries.

Car accidents are scary. Try to stay calm. Focus on protecting your rights and getting the help you need. Taking the initiative to help your case, avoid complications or delays, and call a car accident lawyer will increase the likelihood of a positive resolution as quickly as possible.

Michael T. Gibson P.A.
2420 S. Lakemont Avenue
Suite 150
Orlando, FL 32814
Phone: 407-422-4529

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