Frequently Asked Questions about Motor Vehicle Accidents
Choosing an attorney can be a very confusing process. You may find yourself asking what do I do next or where can I turn for help? At Haddad & Associates, we want you to have all the answers even if you don’t choose one of our attorneys to represent you.
Can I afford an attorney?
A personal injury attorney usually will only collect a fee if he or or she wins you the money to pay for the care you need. Usually, your case winnings will not only cover your medical and legal expenses, but also include compensation for pain and suffering – and that is yours to keep. You really have nothing to lose by hiring a attorney to represent you, and the attorney will ensure you don’t make mistakes that could cost you your case. Insurance companies don’t like dealing with attorneys, because attorneys know all of their tactics!
I wasn’t hurt that badly, should I still see a doctor?
Often, accident victims don’t realize how injured they are until a day, or even two or three days, after the accident. But it is essential to seek medical care as soon as possible, both to determine the level of injury, and to strengthen your personal injury case. If you wait more than a week to see a doctor, you’ve just told the insurance company that your injury isn’t that bad.
What Information should I have before I call an attorney?
You don’t need anything at all before contacting a attorney. That said, the more information you have about the Who, What, When, and Where of the accident, the better. How did the accident occur? Who was at fault? Did you see if and how they were distracted? Did they admit it was their fault at the scene? Was it a multi-car collision? Who witnessed the accident? Any information you have on your injuries or the medical attention you’ve received is also helpful. If the accident was a hit and run (and you’re the one who was hit), you won’t have much more information than the make, model, and license plate number of the car – if you’re lucky. In that case, you may want to consult your insurance company about Uninsured Motorist coverage.
How do I get a replacement car?
Either your insurance, or the at-fault driver’s insurance, should be prepared to cover the cost of a rental vehicle until your property damage claim is settled. Make sure you ask exactly how long you have the rental car and when it needs to be returned, so you don’t accidentally incur overtime costs. Often, you’ll have the car for a few days after you receive your settlement to give you time to buy a replacement vehicle.
Why is it important to contact the police?
If you don’t report your car accident, you risk your insurance company denying coverage, and you won’t be able to file a claim for damages without a police report. You have to report your car accident to both your insurance company and the police if you want any compensation. Here’s how it works:
You have a legal obligation to report accidents to your insurer under the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy. If you do not report your accident to your insurer, they may deny coverage for your accident.
As for reporting your car accident to the police, accidents involving an injury, death, a hit-and-run, an intoxicated driver, or property damage more than $500 must be reported immediately to law enforcement. You will need an accident report from a police officer in order to file a claim. If you don’t call the police and have them fill out a report documenting the accident and gathering facts, then it’s your word against the other driver’s.
The law requires the police officer called to the scene of the crash to submit a Florida Traffic Crash Report to the police department within 10 days of the investigation being completed. The police have to investigate a crash that results in “any indication of complaints of pain or discomfort by any of the parties or passengers involved in the crash” according to Florida Statues.