Although you may think it is a good idea to represent yourself in your personal injury claim, you must always keep in mind that insurance companies have a legal team trained to fight against you. There is virtually no situation in which you would fare better alone versus hiring an attorney. In fact, if you do not have an attorney, there is a very good chance that you will be taken advantage of and you may wind up settling your claim for substantially less than it is worth. What usually starts off as an effort to save money (i.e., attempting to avoid attorneys’ fees and costs), will most likely wind up costing you more money in the end; even after taking into account attorneys’ fees and costs. Insurance companies will stop at nothing to minimize your injuries and try to give you the least amount of money as possible on your claim. Remember, they are not your friends! This is why it’s crucial to hire an experienced car accident or personal injury Firm who is top-rated in Sarasota County, Bradenton and all of Manatee County. At Legler, Murphy & Battaglia, LLP, we’re known for getting positive results for our clients.
Aside from fighting for our clients when they’re injured in a car accident and car crash, we also help educate on what to do before an accident happens.
Following the steps below can make the difference in thousands of dollars more in your accident claim, and can help ensure you recover quickly from your injuries.
Here Are 7 Crucial Steps to Take When You’re Involved in a Car Accident:
1. Be sure the accident scene is safe. Survey the area surrounding the accident and make sure fluids aren’t leaking from vehicles involved in the car wreck. If possible, get your vehicle as far off the road as you can, so you are not in danger of getting hit as a pedestrian.
2. Call your local sheriff’s department or dial 911 and file a police report. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may want to get immediate help from law enforcement and an ambulance. If you’re taken by ambulance, and you had a passenger in your vehicle, ask them to step in for you and document your symptoms, injuries and anything they witnessed at the scene. Remember, insurance companies LOVE when you do not bother to obtain a police report or ambulance transport and will throw it in your face every step of the way in an effort to minimize the seriousness of the situation.
3. Gather information from others involved, including witnesses of the accident. Pay close attention to the at-fault driver and whether it appears alcohol was involved or reckless and negligent driving. Other things to pay attention to: Did you see them on the phone at the time of the crash? Did they have any distractions in the car such as a pet? Did they make any statements to you after the crash indicative of fault?
If there are eyewitnesses to the accident and, if so, be sure to get correct spelling of the names of witnesses and contact information.
Are there business in the area which may have cameras which captures footage of the accident?
4. Don’t give too much information. Only give the facts. Many people don’t realize the extent of their injuries until after the adrenaline of the accident wears off. Sometimes innocent words can be used against the victim of the accident to shift blame.
5. Take pictures of the accident scene. We will use these as evidence for your claim and they are valuable in proving injuries and damage to your vehicle. This includes multiple pictures of your vehicle from different angles, the other vehicle, and the area surrounding the accident. If your injuries are visible, you may also want to get pictures of them.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company. Again, only give the facts you know. If you’re not sure, tell them you’re not sure. Sometimes insurance companies can twist your words so they don’t have to cover a claim. Remember that they will likely be recording everything that you say. Before giving a statement to your insurance company, talk to the team at Legler, Murphy & Battaglia, LLP. We will prepare you and attend the statement with you.
7. Get to the hospital or a medical facility as soon as possible and get treatment for your injuries. Keep track of all of your medical records, as this will be important in both proving and getting compensation for your injuries. This is another huge thing with insurance companies, they refer to it as a “delay in treatment,” or a “gap in treatment.” You can also expect this to be used against you at the soonest opportunity, so avoid it from the get go by getting the medical treatment that you need for your injuries!
Information, documented witness statements, records, and our experienced car accident lawyers at Legler, Murphy & Battaglia, LLP are your best tools for defense. In other words, do your best to follow the steps above and we will take it from there!
At Legler Murphy & Battaglia, LLP, we have car insurance lawyers and car accident attorneys who can help you if you were hurt in a car wreck. We will show you your legal options, and defend you so you get fair compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Protect your rights when you are injured. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at Legler, Murphy & Battaglia, LLP, call one of our Florida offices: Bradenton at 941-748-5599 | Sarasota at 941-366-3782 | Lakewood Ranch 941-251-1370 | Venice 941-202-4129 You can also contact us online.
If you are injured or recovering, let us come to your home, the hospital or another convenient location.
There are no fees or costs until and unless we achieve a successful outcome in your case.