According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 250,000 accidents that occur within the State of Florida each year. Sometimes, these accidents can be minor, or end up leaving victims with serious and life-threatening injuries. With this in mind, it is important to consider that accidents can and do happen, making it essential for people to learn what to do should this happen to them. In fact, what many people don’t consider after being in an accident is that what they do and say can be used against them, especially if they are fully or partially at fault.
Our experienced, Miami car accident lawyers know that this can even occur if an accident was caused entirely by the other driver. While it is understandable that the moments after a crash can be extremely scary, (sometimes leading to an inadvertent slip of the tongue), it is crucial to keep calm and remain silent – no matter what. In other words, let’s say you’re tired, had a long day, and all of a sudden you are in a collision that you did not see coming. Your natural instinct is to jump out of your car, make sure that the person is not injured, and try to figure out what happened. Although these intentions are certainly noteworthy, they can be used against you later on by insurance companies and their attorneys who are trying to blame you for the accident if you talk at the scene.
Accordingly, here are some steps you can take to avoid getting yourself into trouble at the scene of an accident:
1. Limit what you say and to whom you say it. Meaning, only converse with other parties involved in the accident and witnesses, if any, to obtain their names and contact information. Do not say anything other than what is necessary to obtain their information and move on.
2. When dealing with law enforcement personnel, do not admit anything, even if you believe you may have been partially at-fault for the cause of the crash. While you can certainly recount the facts of what happened, admitting fault in any way, shape or form can create huge hassles for you as your case progresses. Should a police officer be called to testify later on in your case, he or she may be able to bring up details from your conversation, which could end up causing you huge legal headaches. Other people who hear what you say can definitely testify as to your comments.
3. Follow the same steps when you speak with emergency medical personnel. In other words, don’t make admissions. Stick to conversations regarding your injuries, if any, and nothing more. It is important to tell the paramedics about everything you feel from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.
4. If the other driver starts to speak with you about who’s at fault or angrily is blaming you for the accident, stay claim and don’t respond. No matter how enraged the other driver may be, the best advice we can offer is for you to take a few breaths and walk away.
5. Never sign any document unless it is from the police (check the documents first for accuracy) or your insurance agent, only after talking to your lawyer. This is crucial as you do not to put anything in writing that can incriminate you later on. Do not give anyone a recorded statement without a consulting with a lawyer. Moreover, ask your insurance company to explain what your policy states and understand all of the details related thereto before signing anything.
6. Examine and review all of the facts leading up to your accident. With this in mind, do not just assume that any part of the accident was your fault. Speak with an attorney to discuss your recollection, the physical evidence and what witnesses say about the crash 7. Consult with a Miami Car Accident Attorney as soon as possible. Since anything you say to your attorney is completely confidential, it is best to inform him or her as to what exactly happened so that they can determine how to protect your legal interests and, develop your case accordingly. Should you be entitled to recovery he or she will have the skills necessary to fight for your rights in this regard.
If you or someone you love has been injured in any type of vehicle accident in Florida, please contact us at 1-888-499-9700 or 305-595-2400 for a FREE Consultation. Our attorneys are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service. Let the seasoned lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano ease your burdens and fight for the compensation you deserve. We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.