What should I do now that I have been in an auto accident?
I was just involved in a car accident. Now, what should I do? Assuming you were not at fault, or that perhaps liability is unclear because maybe both parties shared some of the fault (which is called comparative negligence in Florida) you should call an attorney who has a lot of experience handling personal injury cases, like myself. Did you receive a traffic ticket? No? Good. Did the other party receive one? Even if they didn't that doesn't mean you cannot make a claim against their insurance company. For example, let's say both parties are claiming they have the green light and there are no independent witnesses. In that case, the police officer will not give a ticket to either party. But if you are injured you are entitled to make a claim for your injuries. Remember your own insurance company will pay for your medical bills. That's called PIP in Florida. If you feel like you need emergency care from the scene of the accident don't hesitate to call an ambulance or fire rescue and let them take you to a hospital. Better safe than sorry. If you don't feel that is necessary, don't do it. You can go home and treat yourself. Assuming the pain does not go away and is getting worse you would need to see a doctor, preferably one that provides services for physical therapy. They will take x rays to see if there are any fractures and if not provide physical therapy for your injuries. As the attorney I will contact the other driver's insurance company to have them set up your claim and inform me as to their liability limits. For example, do they have $10,000 in liability limits? $25,000? $50,000? etc. Another thing to inquire is do YOU have what's called uninsured motorist coverage with your own insurance company? If you do, that means if the other driver does not have enough coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries and losses because the value of your claim exceeds the policy limits, then you can also make a claim against your own insurance company to fully compensate you. That is why you bought that coverage. Do NOT feel like you don't want to make a claim against your own insurance company. You are entitled to it. You paid for that coverage. You have been paying the premiums yearly. That's why you have insurance. If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage then you will be limited to the other driver's policy limits. What would you be entitled to? Your out-of-pocket medical bills, if any, your out-of-pocket lost wages, if any, and pain and suffering in the past and in the future assuming a doctor has said you have a permanent injury. When you have finished treatment I will receive all of your medical records including the doctor's final report and will put together a settlement package for the adjuster. Hopefully, we can settle your case without filing suit, but if not we will have to file suit, which I will explain the ramifications in another blog.