Important Steps to Take After a Florida Car Accident to Protect Your Rights
Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most traumatizing experiences a person could go through. While most motor vehicle crashes do not cause significant damage or any personal injuries, unfortunately that is not always the case. Here in Florida over 236,000 people suffer injuries and go through this terrifying experience each year. Sometimes these injuries are catastrophic and immediately apparent like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of a limb, broken bones, and other damages. But our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers know that other times some injuries may start subtle and slowly become more significant or damaging. This can include injuries such as herniated discs, brain bleeds, and organ damage.
Insurance companies know this too and will even use it against you. In fact, many insurance companies have their claims adjusters trained by defense lawyers to learn how to undervalue or deny car accident claims. Adjusters are also taught how to get victims of car accidents to admit to unsavory but not necessarily true facts in order to use it against them in a lawsuit. This is particularly true of soft tissue injuries or injuries that do not manifest themselves right away after a Florida car accident. Therefore, if you do not have a record of your injuries by first responders or a hospital visit, you can be sure that the insurance adjuster or defense lawyers will argue that your injuries were not causally related or that you are feigning or exaggerating your injuries to receive a payday.
Here at Dumas & Sanclemente Law, we do not think that is fair. But we know it happens all too often. We have some important tips that motorists should know if they were involved in a Tampa Bay car accident. These tips could help protect your rights to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, and of course your pain and suffering. But not only can these tips help document your injuries, but it can actually save your life in the case of a slow brain bleed or another internal injury.
Get Evaluated by Medical Staff, Even if You Do Not Feel Hurt: It Could Save Your Life!
While you may feel fine after a motor vehicle crash, it is important to always be evaluated. Trained medical providers and first responders have extensive experience and training to help them evaluate victims of car accidents. They know what subtle signs and symptoms may be an indication for something greater and more dangerous. This is why it is important to never underestimate or decline an evaluation, even if you think you are fine.
For example, some injuries such as a brain bleed could cause no pain or discomfort besides maybe a dull headache—which is common after any type of impact or fall. But there may be a few small or subtle symptoms to indicate that it is occurring, even right after an accident. If you decline an evaluation and fail to get treatment by a trained professional who could recognize those symptoms, that brain bleed could result in a dangerous increase of intracranial pressure over the next few hours or even days. Once the pressure inside the skull increases and it begins to cause pain, it is already too late. There could be irreversible brain damage or cause wrongful death—even if quickly treated. This is why it is imperative to stop the damage right away by getting quickly evaluated and treated before damage occurs.
Create a Record of the Accident and Your Injury Complaints
With any type of accident or injury, after getting treated the next most important aspect of a case is creating a record. The sooner and more thorough the record is created, the stronger it will be to support your claim. This means telling first responders and medical providers everything that hurts or aches at the scene of an accident and at the emergency department of a hospital. Do not play a hero. If anything is hurting, even just a small ache, it could quickly snowball into something more devastating. You need to ensure that your medical records contain these complaints of pain.
Creating a Record is Essential for Soft Tissue Injuries
Creating a record is particularly true of soft tissue injuries to the neck, mid-back (thoracic region), or lower back (lumbar region). In fact, many slipped discs, annular tears, herniations, and other damages to the back may take days or even weeks to manifest themselves. It would be very easy for an insurance adjuster or defense lawyer to say that your first complaint of back pain was five weeks after an accident, how can it be related?
The truth is that this is a very common scenario that a judge or jury may not realize happens often. Always ensure that even a small backache is noted in your record at the accident or at the hospital. Sometimes minor pains in the neck or back can result in the need for extensive surgical interventions such as back fusions.
After Seeking Medical Attention, Call our Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyers
After you have received medical attention for your Florida car accident, the next most important step is to seek legal advice from a car accident lawyer. Here at Dumas & Sanclemente Law, we offer FREE consultations to advise victims of all types of personal injury accidents what their rights are under Florida law. This includes serious or catastrophic car accidents occurring throughout the Tampa Bay area or Florida. Learn how we can help protect your rights during a FREE consultation by dialing (844) 400-2667. You could also send us an email by using our message box at the bottom of our contact us page available here.