Personal injury and car accident settlements in Florida are determined by a lot of factors: the extent of your injuries and the required medical care, the fault of each driver, and the estimated future impact on your life.
That said, there are still things you can and should do that will maximize your personal injury settlement. Follow these steps after any accident:
It’s essential to call 911 and report your accident as soon as possible, even if you don’t have extensive injuries.
When police arrive at the scene, they’ll complete a detailed report that you can use as evidence in your case. If you do have more serious injuries, first responders will be able to document your condition immediately after the crash.
It’s always a good idea to collect your own evidence of what happened, just in case a crucial detail is missed or left out of the police report.
Take photos or videos of the aftermath of the accident, including any damage to your vehicle, their final resting positions, the surrounding area and weather conditions, and any injuries you have.
Make a detailed account of everything you can remember leading up to the incident. If there are any witnesses, get statements on what they saw as well as their contact information. All of this information will solidify your case and make a higher settlement more likely.
Once again, even if you don’t have extensive injuries, you MUST go see a doctor as soon as possible after your incident.
There are two good reasons for this: First, you could have injuries that aren’t visible on the surface but will cause greater damage if they go untreated.
Second, while Florida’s statute of limitations states that you have two years to pursue a settlement after an injury, it’s easier to make your case if you seek immediate treatment.
You’ll need to prove that you’re injured AND taking the proper steps to heal to maximize your settlement, so closely follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor.
Your insurance company is not your friend. All they want to do is keep their liability low, settle the case quickly, and pay you as little as possible.
While you have to report your accident to your insurer promptly, don’t talk to them more than absolutely necessary. Bring your attorney with you when it’s time to make an official statement.
You may not realize it, but your insurer could intentionally ask you questions or lead you in a direction that will hamper your case and result in a lower settlement. Always check with your lawyer first to maximize your results.
Accidents can be life-changing, and when they happen, your first instinct might be to post on Facebook or Instagram to keep your family and friends informed.
But even if your account is private, anything published to social media could be discovered and brought to light during your settlement. And if you’re claiming grievous injuries but post about all the outdoor adventures you’re going on, you’re certainly going to poke holes in your case!
Keep any discussion of your injuries, the accident, or changes to your day-to-day life offline and only in private circles to increase your chances of a better settlement.
Speaking of changes to day-to-day life, keeping an ‘incident diary’ can help you keep track of how the accident has affected you and serve as additional evidence in your case.
Make notes on the extent of your injuries, how they’re healing, and any impact they’ve had on your ability to live, work, or take part in activities you enjoy.
This diary should be honest, not exaggeratory: A truthful incident diary will solidify your case and maximize your settlement.
When you’ve been involved in an accident, your first instinct is to worry about the immediate damage to your vehicle and any injuries you’ve sustained.
But take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. Has something about your day-to-day life permanently changed?
For example, how are these injuries going to affect you in the future? Will there be ongoing medical care, or any lost wages as you recover? Has the accident impacted your ability to work in your field?
Any future pain and suffering should be considered and brought to the table as part of your case.
Whether you’re seeking a settlement from your insurance company or the at-fault party, you need an expert dedicated to your case. At Snedaker Law, we’re experienced in negotiating to get you the best possible settlement. We go to bat for you and use any and all evidence to get the personal injury settlement that you deserve.
Ready to maximize your settlement so you can work on getting life back to normal? Contact us today for a consultation: