There are many instances where people feel that they must give statements or explain their side of the accident. They often fall into the insurance trap, and without realizing it, make statements that minimize or outright eliminate their access to a fair amount of compensation. Tampa car accident attorneys see this happen all the time.
Who should you talk to, and when should you do so are two of the most frequent questions that come up after a wreck? In all honesty, there are different answers for different drivers, but most of the time, it comes down to these rules.
Always Call the Police
Without a doubt, you should always contact the police, even if there are no injuries. If nothing else, you will want to file a police report so that the department has a record of your accident. After a car wreck, if no one reports it, then it really could turn into your word versus theirs.
Filing a police report and taking images are all very standard parts of cleaning up after a crash. Both drivers should know to take photos of the other driver’s vehicle, license, and insurance information to file a claim with their insurance. But also, that information comes in handy when filing a police report.
So, what do you tell the police? After a crash, always provide your name and information as well as the info for the other driver. Additionally, tell them what happened in as calm a manner as possible. Don’t get argumentative, and if the police officer responded to the scene, do not argue with the other driver.
Never Give Your Insurance Company More Than Necessary
Insurance companies are notorious for making it difficult for drivers to get proper compensation after a crash. This happens because they will ask questions that seem like genuine concern, but, they are actually tricks.
You do not have to do anything more than tell them when, where, and how your accident took place. You will also need to provide the information given to you from the other driver so they can begin to get in contact with that driver’s insurance company.
You do not have to answer questions such as:
- “Are you okay?”
- “How do you feel?”
- “Whose fault was it?”
- “Why didn’t they pass you?”
Questions that attempt to probe into information about injuries or circumstances of the crash are the questions that will lead to a smaller compensation check.
Tell Your Tampa Car Accident Attorney Everything
There are no such things as too much information for an attorney. They want to know where you were, what you were on your way to do, and more. An attorney will want to know if the car was swerving even slightly before the accident or if it seemed to appear out of nowhere.
An attorney will listen avidly to the whole story in an effort to understand both sides. They’ll want to know and attempt to predict what both insurance companies will do. Fortunately, in Florida, much of the effort goes into understanding your personal insurance because each driver must have a personal injury protection policy.
That same requirement is why so many insurance companies will try to get you to say things like, “Oh, everything is okay,” or “the crash wasn’t really a big deal.” They want to pay out less and keep more money in their pockets.
Provide a Written Statement
If you were seriously hurt, then you need to write out a statement as soon as you can. With the flurry of medical testing and treatments, it’s easy to begin to forget parts of the incident. However, if you were not hurt seriously, then write down a preemptive statement and then revisit it a few days later.
You may initially feel “okay,” but in the following days, experience soreness, headaches, or dizziness, which can indicate major injuries such as traumatic brain injury. Always make sure that your written statement clearly lays out all of your symptoms, injuries, and concerns regarding damages.
When You’re Not Sure, Call a Tampa Car Accident Attorney
Winters & Yonker, P.A. help the accident and injury victims of Tampa and the surrounding areas. After an accident, if you don’t know who to call or what to do, contact our trusted injury law firm for a consultation.
Our team of experienced and skilled Tampa, FL lawyers will help you navigate making a claim through insurance and hopefully settling for a fair amount. When in doubt, always contact a lawyer, even if you’re not sure who is at fault, or if this is your first accident, legal help is available.