What Can I Do After a Miami Car Accident?
13 Steps to a Strong Personal Injury Case
Want to build a strong case and earn the best possible compensation for your car accident? A strong personal injury case starts as soon as the accident ends. When you find yourself in the aftermath of a car accident, follow these steps.
- Call 911. It is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
- Make sure you are ok. If you have suffered an injury and are in a safe place, stay put. Wait for help to arrive.
- If you are able to move, begin taking pictures of your accident. Take as many pictures of the damage as you can.
- Take pictures of your injuries, if possible.
- Speak with police. Ask for a copy of your statement, and note if you are not given one.
- Save any physical evidence, like photos and statements.
- Avoid saying anything to the other party involved. For instance, never say “I’m sorry!” This can be considered an admission of guilt.
- Do not speak with your insurance company. Sometimes, they will try to contact you while you are still at the hospital!
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Even if you feel fine, follow the prescribed treatment given by your physician.
- Save your medical bills from the accident. You may have many bills come in, as any medical treatment may be given by a separate provider. Many people do not realize that the ambulance, EMTs, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologist, and more are all on separate tabs.
- Keep a journal of how you feel after the accident, as some injuries are not visible. Document any feelings of depression or anxiety. Also, document any internal pain you may be experiencing.
- Keep everything organized. Get a file folder or binder for everything related to your accident and keep it in one place.
- Follow the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have after an accident to settle your case. If you want compensation for your accident, you must begin the process within that time frame. Otherwise, you will be ineligible for compensation. In Florida, this time frame is four years from your accident.
By following these steps, you have all the evidence behind you. Your case will feel less daunting and you will have more peace of mind. You will be ready to take on the next part of the personal injury case process- the insurance companies.
What Have I Lost After a Car Accident?
A lot changes after a car accident. For instance, your car may be completely totaled. The bill for these damages may total more than you make in a month. Now, you have no way to ride to work, and no way to earn your paycheck. So, you begin to feel your job is at risk.
Additionally, you or a loved one may have suffered an injury. These injuries may hinder you from performing adequately at your job and lead to further lost wages. Some common car accident injuries include:
- Bumps and bruises. The most common car accident injuries, bumps and bruises may seem harmless. However, they may hide even bigger injuries under the surface.
- Broken bones. When a car crushes another car, it may crush or break bones as well. Car accident victims commonly break many bones, not just in one place. These injuries may take several months to heal.
- Torn ligaments. Often together with broken bones, torn ligaments usually require reconstructive surgery. These surgeries are often expensive and complex.
- Burn injuries. Burn injuries are very common in car accidents whenever a fire ignites. However, even when a fire is not present during an accident, burn injuries can occur. Victims may come in contact with hot metal or spilled corrosive chemicals. Depending on the amount of time the victim was in contact with the substance, these can cause first, second, third and fourth degree burns.
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown forward by an outside force. This can cause moderate to severe damage of the neck, spine, spinal cord, head, and brain. Whiplash injuries can cause extreme pain and sometimes lead to death.
- Silent internal killers. Internal organs may be damaged without showing any outward signs. The speed of the accident may cause organs to be thrust out of position, causing internal bleeding and other complications.
- Spinal injuries. Spinal injuries are among the most terrifying of car accident injuries. These injuries can completely change the victim’s life. A victim may lose feeling and function below the waist or neck, depending on where the injury occurred.
- Brain injuries. Any trauma to the head has the potential to cause brain injury. Smaller injuries, like concussions, are very common in car accidents. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause the victim to endure change of personality. Sometimes, the victim may lose functionality of the body. This may cause a complete lifestyle change, where the victim is no longer able to be independent.
Car accidents can also cause wrongful death. Wrongful death happens when a victim is killed due to the recklessness of another. In these cases, the family must pick up the pieces. Ultimately, many families lose a loved one and a source of income, all due to another person’s poor decisions.