Call today for a Free Consultation 321-253-4200

In the first article in this series, we discussed why calling 911 should be the first action that you take when you have been involved in an auto accident. The blog post described how getting an official report that establishes all the people, insurance companies and circumstances surrounding the accident can be the difference between you receiving just compensation and being left out in the cold.

In this piece, we are going to take things a step further with our list of “Do’s and Don’ts” that could, depending on the accident, make a major difference in how you spend the rest of your life.

If it sounds like I’m being overly dramatic, I’m not. What happens in the first few minutes, after an accident occurs, can be the difference between receiving a nice settlement including having your medical needs taken care, and receiving nothing. It is that simple.

Don’t Say It

99% of the time, when an accident occurs the first words you are going to hear will be “Are you alright?”. It is only natural, people being social animals, for them to show concern and it is almost reflex in our society to answer, “I’m fine.”or “I’m okay”. DON’T SAY THIS.

The simple truth is, you don’t know and that is how you should answer. I don’t know.

Scenes, like you see in the movies, where someone is severely injured without knowing it, actually do occur in real life. The human body has many reactions to stress and pain, two of which are the release of adrenaline and endorphins. Both of these hormonal reactions can and will block you from feeling pain.

Beyond these immediate physical reactions, which can give you a false sense of well being, there is the fact that, many times, there can be neurological or even orthopedic damage that might not surface immediately or be detectable without proper testing by a qualified physician.

So, give the most honest answer you can; I don’t know.

Official Reports are Gold

This is especially important when making a statement to the authorities as it will surely be noted in their report. “Subject A, Driver, Vehicle A, expressed that they were unhurt and did not require medical attention. No ambulance was summoned on their behalf.

Imagine what this report will do to your personal injury case and future finances, if you later realize you do have an undetected injury that will require years of therapy to correct. With two words, “I’m fine”, you have all but tied your attorney’s hands, cut your own throat and given the insurance company’s defense lawyer a get out of jail free card.

What You Should Do

The best advice is to not say anymore than is absolutely necessary and forget being nice. ‘I don’t know’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. You are not qualified to make that assessment.

Help Me, Help You

Too often, as a personal injury attorney, I have people come to my office that I truly want to help, but who have, by their own actions or lack thereof, made the job very difficult. Most times, because of my years of experience, I am able to overcome the roadblocks that they have built, but many times it is just too high of a mountain to climb.

By reading this article, you are potentially helping yourself through education and you are also helping me. By learning and following the advice in these columns, you will make my job much easier, and your settlements much nicer. Should you ever need my services, you’re helping me to help you protect your health and finances by following these tips.