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What happens when you are hurt in a car accident?

There are over 375,000 car crashes in Florida each year. That’s over a thousand a day. Anyone driving in the Sunshine State is statistically likely to be involved in one eventually. With Miami’s high population, and many tourists from around the world, car accidents are non-stop.

So if you are, and you get hurt, what do you do? The first thing is that you must seek medical attention.  Your health will dictate how and when (do you need to go by ambulance to a trauma center or get driven to a, urgent care facility?). The second thing you do? Contact one of the many Miami car accident lawyers that will help you with anything you need regarding your rights. 

Even if your injuries are not life-threatening, it is important to get checked out. Not only do you need to know whether you have suffered a serious injury that requires further follow-up, the law requires that you seek medical care promptly. Under Florida’s law, if you do not get treatment within 14 days you may waive your PIP (no-fault) insurance coverage.

miami car accident attorney

There are serious car accidents every day in Miami, consulting with an experienced Miami car accident lawyer is always a good idea. All those accidents make Miami a high risk area to be a driver or passenger of a car. When there is a crash, there are important things you need to know:

  1. Make sure you call the police. No matter what anyone says, you need a police report to document the crash and determine if anyone should receive a citation (ticket).
  2. Get names, phone numbers and addresses of all witnesses. Most people want to leave and get on with their day. But it is critical to find out who witnessed the accident even if they just came on it after the crash.
  3. Take pictures. In today’s climate, everyone has a cell phone with a camera. Take pictures of everything: the cars, the final rest positions, the roadway, the people involved in the crash, license plates, lighting conditions, even witnesses. If you cannot do this have someone else at the scene take the photos for you. It is also important to document your injuries with photos.
  4. Contact your auto insurance company. Tell them what happened and where. Get the name of all insurance companies involved, especially the other driver.
  5. Try to determine whether the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash. The percentage of car crashes caused by distracted drivers is enormous. If you saw them on their phone or looking down or occupied with something right after the crash, make a note of it. Take pictures, Get their cell phone number.

The types of losses for which you can seek to be compensated in a car accident are:

  1. Lost income. That means time away from work even if you were still paid and used sick leave or vacation time.
  2. Medical expenses
  3. Pain and suffering for your injuries caused by the crash
  4. Property damage

These are things you need to talk to a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney about. There are many subtle aspects of car accident cases that the public does not understand. Insurance companies use every trick they can to avoid paying claims. That’s how they increase their profits. You need to level the playing field by hiring a top flight car accident attorney in Miami after you have had a car crash.

Many people think that if they did not feel serious pain right away that they cannot recover for the car crash. That is not true. Many injuries do not become evident for hours, days or even weeks. A herniated disk may not show up for a while. Other injuries are sometimes not visible but show up in the days and weeks after the crash.

Why do you need a Miami car accident attorney?

miami car accident law firm

Because you need someone who knows the law that applies in Miami, as well as the insurance company, the police and law enforcement and medical providers in the Miami area. They need to know the court system and how to navigate the lawsuit that will often be needed to obtain a full and fair recovery for you.  Many lawyers call themselves “personal injury attorneys” but very few are highly skilled, accomplished and preeminent.

Because lawyers who represent car accident clients take the cases on a contingency fee basis (they get paid out of the recovery; you do not need to pay them out of your pocket), you can afford to hire the very best lawyer. That means checking out who has experience in winning large verdicts, who actually goes to court and who is considered at the very top of the profession. Who will treat you as an individual, not just a number?

It’s important to remember that the lawyers who actually try cases in court and win big verdicts almost always get better and larger settlements for their clients. That’s because insurance companies know who the lawyers are who can and do go to court. They know who will try the cases and who is best in their field.  Why would you risk your case with someone else?

Whatever you do, make sure you consult with a car accident attorney before you ever sign a document, especially something that is a Release of Claims. Once you sign a release, you are giving up your right to hold the other side, including the insurance company, responsible.

What can I recover for?

Under Florida law, in car accident cases you can only recover your unpaid medical and lost income unless you sustain a permanent impairment from the crash. This means that you need to have a permanent loss of impairment or function, or have a disfiguring injury (like scarring) to recovery pain and suffering damages.

This is why it is important to speak with a Miami car accident attorney soon after your crash. The more information they have, the better advice they can give you. We work very hard at providing our clients information along the way as they recover from their car accident injuries. There are may ways someone who has been in a car accident in Miami can damage their own case. It is only through sharing information and good legal advice that you can protect yourself from hurting your own case.

What should I do if I am in a car accident in Miami Check list

  • Get medical help right away.
  • Get the police to the scene.
  • Take photos.
  • Find witnesses.
  • Contact the best Miami car accident attorney you can.

Look for a lawyer who is a board certified civil trial lawyer, which is the highest certification for a personal injury lawyer. Find someone who is recognized by their peers at being “preeminent” or “legal elite.” Ask whether they have tried cases like yours, and make sure your case is not going to be handled by someone else, whether at that lawyer’s office or sent someplace else.

With a top Miami car accident attorney, you will be in good hands and in the best position to recover the most possible under the law.