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Car Accident Victim Rights & Steps To Take After an Auto Accident

According to statistics, over 6.6 million passenger cars have been involved in auto accidents since last 2019. Specifically, in Florida, approximately 400,000 traffic accidents occur yearly involving 5% of licensed drivers.

So no matter how careful or great of a driver you are, the odds of being a victim of a car accident is high. The only thing you can do is prepare for this unfortunate event to protect yourself in case of disputes.

Auto accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but it won’t be as scary if you know your legal rights. So here is everything you need to know about car accidents, including your rights and some important post-collision tips.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Before fighting for your legal rights, it’s important to ensure your safety first before anything else. So here are some things you should keep in mind whether you’re involved in a fender bender or a severe collision:

Seek Medical Attention

One’s well-being and safety should be the number priority during road accidents. So the first thing you should do is stop the car and check for any injuries to yourself. Then, check your passengers and make sure they are not in any life-threatening injuries.

Check your surroundings and make sure it’s safe to exit the vehicle before checking the other people involved in the accident. Call 911 to seek medical attention immediately for minor or severe injuries to ensure the safety of everyone.

Stay Calm and Stay Safe

Nothing good ever comes out of panic. So once the initial shock wears off, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. 

Once you have collected yourself, ensure your safety first by pulling over to the side of the road. If that’s not possible, you can then put your hazard lights on to make the scene visible to other vehicles. 

Then, check for any smoke or gas leaks on the scene. If there’s any indication of that, make sure to maintain a safe distance from it as you wait for the authorities to arrive.

Call the Police

If you are the victim of a car accident in Florida, the best course of action is to call the police. Getting an officer on the scene is always a good idea to establish liability and an accident report. Even if you think it’s only a minor accident, you should still contact the authorities to protect yourself.

Gather Information

Take note of important personal information from the other party involved, such as their name, address, contact details, and driver’s license. Next, make a note of the crucial information of the vehicles involved, like the license plate, color, year, make, and model.

You should also get the insurance company and policy number of the other driver involved. Additional details to take note of include:

  • Information and statements of the other passengers
  • Driving conditions (e.g., raining or ice on the road).
  • Road conditions (e.g., damaged road or no signage)
  • Witnesses and their statements or personal information

It’s okay to exchange information with the other party involved but make sure Not To Admit Fault or Liability. Only discuss these details with your car accident lawyer, since they’re the only ones who have your best interests at heart. 

If you currently find yourself in such situations, then the best course of action is to contact a qualified car accident attorney at Ask My Attorneys. Our head lawyer, Atty. Rafael Gonzalez specializes in representing victims of auto accidents and works on a no-win, no-fee basis. He can help minimize your financial and emotional burden by fighting aggressively for your rights.

Take Photos of the Scene

Pull out your smartphone and take a video or photos of the scene. No information is irrelevant, so make sure to capture it all, such as the road, street names, skid marks, etc. 

Additionally, make sure to cover all angles and the damages sustained by all cars involved in the accident. You can use this later on for insurance claims or when you or the other party take legal action.

Call Your Insurance Company 

Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Even if you think there’s no damage to your vehicle, the safest route is still to report it to protect yourself later on. 

Not reporting it at once may be used against you by the insurance company as leverage to deny your claim. They can also use it as grounds to pay you as little as possible for your claim, which is the goal of most insurance companies. 

Seek Legal Counsel

Another crucial step to take after a car accident is to seek legal counsel from experienced car accident lawyers or personal injury attorneys. Since accidents are new territory for most victims, a great lawyer or legal defense team can protect your rights and advise you on what to do right after the incident. 

Additionally, hiring an attorney can walk you through the whole legal process involved in car accidents, such as getting the compensation payment you deserve.

What Are My Rights As a Car Accident Victim?

Knowing what to do during an auto collision can save your life and others. But it’s also important to understand your legal rights so you can exercise them during and after the accident. 

You Have the Right to Refuse Any Oral, Written, or Recorded Statement

Car accident victims don’t have an obligation to give their formal statements, especially to insurance companies. Even if they call you and say things like delaying your claim, just politely decline and contact your attorney instead.

Be wary of such tactics from insurance companies. Those who practice this kind of dirty strategy only want to use your word against you. They are probably hoping to put the portion of the blame on you or persuade you to settle for a lesser claim. 

You can only give your statement to the police and investigating authorities but remember: DO NOT admit fault

You Have the Right to Access the Involved Driver’s Information

Under Florida Statute 316.070, all drivers involved in a car accident can and should exchange information with one another. This includes the following:

  • Name, address, and contact information of the owner and driver of the vehicle
  • License plate
  • Insurance information

You Have the Right to Get a Copy of the Evidence and Police Report

As a car accident victim in Florida  (including Plantation), it’s your right and legal obligation to report it to the authorities. This helps establish liability and serves as evidence if you ever need it during a personal injury claim. 

According to the Florida Statute 316.065, drivers involved in a car collision can get a copy of the accident report from the police. You and your legal representative can access it as soon as you request it from the proper authorities. Some of the crucial information it contains include:

  • Location, time, and date of the accident.
  • Information about the other driver.
  • Description of the damaged vehicle, road, and weather conditions.
  • Statements of the parties involved and eyewitnesses.

You Have the Right to Get Compensated for Injuries, Car Damages, and Financial Loss

Auto accidents have a lot of effects and repercussions on all people involved, especially the victim. It is more than just physical injury, vehicle damage, and financial loss. Luckily, victims of car collisions have the right to seek compensation for different types of damages.

  • Medical bills 

this type of compensation requires the other party to pay for the medical bills spent tending to the injuries you sustained in the accident. Ensure that you keep all hospital bills and medication receipts so you can reimburse them after.

  • Pain 

this compensates you for all the pain and suffering you have to endure due to the accident. For example, you experience a severe physical trauma that prevents you from doing daily activities, like walking and eating.

  • Emotional distress 

accidents do not only cause physical injuries but also emotional trauma. For this reason, you are entitled to get compensated for any mental healthcare service you might need, such as a psychiatrist or counselor.

  • Loss of income 

this type of compensation requires the other party to pay you for the loss of your wages while you are recovering from your injury. 

  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

the court can also mandate the involved driver to pay you fair compensation for “loss of enjoyment of life”. For example, the accident caused you to have a stroke, which prevents you from enjoying life to the fullest.

  • Loss of consortium

 when you sustained an injury that significantly disrupts your relationship, the court can require the other party to compensate your spouse or legal partner for such damages. 

  • Out-of-pocket costs

besides hospital bills, an injury or accident can also result in other financial burdens, such as renting a car, commuting, or buying a new phone. Fortunately, you can reimburse them by presenting all your bills and expenses to the court. Of course, together with a good argument of why they need to mandate an out-of-pocket cost compensation.

  • Punitive damages 

refers to damages done by the accused due to an outrageous behavior or unruly conduct that led to the accident. Examples would be drunk driving and texting while driving.

You Have the Right to Seek Legal Counsel

As with all people, you also have the right to seek legal counsel to protect yourself and your rights. Furthermore, an experienced personal injury attorney, like Atty. Rafael Gonzales can help you in enforcing insurance claims contracts or recovering the compensation fee you deserve. 

Our renowned attorney also offers “No Win No Fee” services, which means we will provide you with free legal assistance and representation until we win your case! You NEVER PAY unless YOU GET PAID. So, you risk nothing by talking with us, because it will not cost you anything unless we can recover for you. Contact us now so we can schedule your Free Case Evaluation and start fighting for your rights. 

You Have the Right to Take Legal Action Against the Insurance Company

If you think the insurance company didn’t pay you fairly, denied your claim, or didn’t honor your contract, then you can take legal action for that.

With the help of our car accident lawyer, you can pursue an appeal against the insurance company so they can reevaluate your case and reach a fair result.

You Have the Right to Get the No-Fault Benefits

Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state. So, if you are a victim of a car accident in Florida, then you can make an injury claim with your car insurance company, regardless of whether you’re at fault or not.

However, you can only get compensated for out-of-pocket losses if your injury passes the statutory injury threshold.

You Have the Right to Assert the Pure Comparative Negligence System

The state of Florida follows the “pure negligence comparative” system. This means that the court will portion out the damages between parties involved during the car accident based on their percentage of fault. 

So even if you are at fault, you can still receive some compensation for the damages you sustained in the collision.

Where to Find a Reputable Lawyer for a Victim of a Car Accident in Florida?

If you or a loved one needs a Plantation personal injury attorney, then you have come to the right place.

At Ask My Attorneys, we specialize in representing the cause and protecting the rights of a car accident victim. Our expert legal defense team headed by Mr. Rafael Gonzalez has provided affordable legal solutions to auto accident victims for over 20+ years now.

Call us now at 954-961-5100 or contact our attorney for a Free Case Evaluation and get more information about your legal situation. Our team speaks in both Spanish and English. You can now rest easy knowing that you’ll get the proper legal representation that you deserve. 

Besides passenger car accidents, we also handle different types of auto collision cases, such as:

And many more!

Give us a call at 954-961-5100 to start working with a trusted car accident lawyer with free consultation near me.

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What Our Clients Say

  • June loochkartt

    "Mr. Gonzalez is a highly effective personal injury who gets results and practices with diligence, professionalism and integrity. He is swift to get results, fights for you and never backs down from a difficult case to obtain a great result. Always responsive to questions and very thorough handling of the case. I would highly recommend his firm to anyone looking for representation."

  • DANIELLA PREVOST

    "I would highly recommend Rafael Gonzalez as a personal injury attorney. He demonstrates Professionalism, was very knowledge, and was responsive to all my concerns. He answered all my questions in a timely manner with compassion and wisdom. He is a great negotiator and always has his client’s best interest at heart. I would highly recommend him as a personal injury attorney. Thank you, Rafael Gonzalez!"

  • ANA QUIJANO

    I had an awesome experience with this law firm. Rafael Gonzalez and his team are great all the time take the phone. Answer questions, always ready to help you. Being in an accident is already so stressful, they would help you with everything you need: guide you with your doctors visits, give you an advise all the time. I strongly recommend them for ALL your situations. Love them!!!!

  • Ada Fondeur

    Very professional and attentive team. Attorney Gonzalez was always willing to answer my questions and concerns and most of all always looking out for my best interest. Very satisfied.

  • LESLIE DIXON

    My process was very long but it was worth the wait. Mr. Gonzalez and his team are very professional and a great to work with. I received updates as to my case frequently and I appreciate all the updates. Thank you very much for handling my case.

  • Kayann Rainford

    Attorney Rafael Gonzalez and his paralegal gave good customer service, very friendly, respectful and nice.

  • SARA T.

    I was referred to Attorney Ralph Gonzalez to take care of injuries sustained from a car accident where I was rear ended. Not only did they make sure I got the care I needed, but were extremely professional and thorough in communication to explain the processes, follow ups, and expectations. Just closed the case after some time with a bigger settlement than expected, and I couldn't be happier with the treatment/services received from this office. Will 100% recommend to everyone. Thank you!

  • BARBARA P.

    I am very pleased with the service and I received from this law firm. I am thankful to have Mr. R. Gonzalez as my attorney. I would recommend calling this office to represent you.

  • JENNIFER D.

    Mr. Rafael is always professional and gives realistic expectations of everything.

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