You’ve been in a car accident, you’ve made sure everyone’s ok and you called the police. Now, you’ve been told that the next call should be your insurance company, maybe even the other party’s insurance company. And you’re tempted to post, snap, tweet ot pin photos of your accident to reassure everyone that you’re ok.
WHAT SHOULD(N’T) YOU DO?
Should I Speak With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After an Auto Accident?
No. You are not legally obligated to speak with other driver’s insurance under Florida law. Their role in this accident is to try to shift the blame to you so that they won’t have to payout. If you call, or the other party tries to put you on the phone with their agent, you can easily misspeak (after all, you’ve just been in an accident) which could ultimately hurt your case.
Let your insurance company, or better yet your lawyer, deal with all this.
Do I Have to Call My Insurance Company?
Yes. Florida law dictates that you are legally obligated to speak with your own auto insurance provider. Call the toll-free number, not your agent, and give them the information including the police incident number. It is your insurance company that will arrange a tow if your car is undrivable. (Tip: Take photos before your car is towed).
Please, don’t tell anyone that you’re feeling fine. Not the opposing party, not the police, and not your insurance company. You are in shock and often won’t understand the full extent of your injuries for hours, days, sometimes weeks. It’s sometimes referred to as Adrenaline Rush which you can learn about here.
If you’re involved in an accident as the driver of a commercial vehicle, you may be required to notify your personal insurance company as well as the business’s insurance company. Check with your company’s HR or your employer.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney and Who Should I Call?
Yes and this isn’t a simple answer.
Do you need to hire an attorney? There are many valid reasons to hire a personal injury attorney but according to a report conducted by the Insurance Research Council, settlements were 40% higher when claimants were represented by a lawyer. The insurance company’s profits come from offering as little as possible to as many people as possible. Your attorney is driven to get you the largest settlement possible in your case.
Who to call?
It would be best to call before you call your insurance company but not everyone has an accident attorney on speed dial. (Well I hope not).
So which attorney should you hire?
The biggest? The one with the loudest billboards? The one who got your cousin a ‘great settlement’?
Take a minute. Ask people you trust for recommendations, see how long these attorneys have been in business in South Florida, look at their Google and AVVO reviews but before you decide, call 3 to 4 attorneys and speak with them. (The attorney, not the ‘customer service agent’ or ‘appointment setter’). This isn’t an issue of fees: there are no fees in accident cases; the attorneys only get paid if they win your case.
This is about hiring an attorney who has a long and proven track record for getting results, for cases large and small.
Then call Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti P.A. at 305-653-5555.
What’s Wrong With Posting on Social Media?
And whatever you do, do NOT post about your accident on social media! Learn how sharing can hurt your case here.