Motor Vehicle Accidents
Fort Lauderdale Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
The Thomas & Pearl team of injury attorneys has over 100 years of collective experience in representing victims of car crashes and all other types of motor vehicle accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across South Florida.
Thomas & Pearl is relentless and will fight for you.
We are caring and committed members of our South Florida community, which means that in addition to fighting to get you the kind of monetary compensation you deserve as an accident victim, we’ll also be by your side helping ensure you get the kind of medical care and moral support you need as well.
If you should find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to stay as calm as possible. The steps that you take – or don’t take – immediately after an accident can have a huge impact on everything from your physical health and safety, to the outcome of any legal action that may arise as a result of the accident.
The “Dos & Don’ts” of Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Stay at the accident scene, call the police and proceed with caution.
You must notify the police while you are at the scene of an accident so that a full report of the incident is completed. If, for whatever reason, you have left the scene of an accident and did not make an accident report, it is in your best interest to call the police promptly and request to file a report. If you think that you have not sustained any serious injuries, you should still proceed with filing a report. Experience has shown that some injuries and symptoms are “masked” in the immediate aftermath and shock of an accident and may not become fully apparent for a day or more.
Gather information at the scene from all parties involved and any witnesses.
It can be several days before an accident report is filed by the police and available to you and/or your attorney. Getting complete contact and insurance information from the other drivers & vehicles involved in the accident, as well as statements from any witnesses on the scene, can be a big help to both you and your attorney.
Take photographs and/or videos of accident scene.
It is always a good idea to visually document the accident scene. Get out the cell phone – or have someone else do it– and get photographs and video of the damage to your motor vehicle (or to the vehicle that you were a passenger in) BEFORE it is driven away, towed, repaired or totaled. Also get photos and video of any and all cuts, bruises or any other noticeable injuries that you have suffered, and any evidence of circumstances related to the accident – like skid marks on the road, damage to property, or any other evidence of the collision at the scene of the accident.
If injured, seek medical attention quickly.
It is critically important that your physical condition and complaints be documented as soon as possible after any motor vehicle accident. If you were not taken to the hospital directly from the scene of the accident, and you feel any kind of symptoms that lead you to believe you have may have suffered an injury, go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately and request an examination.
Keep detailed information about your medical case.
Throughout the time period that medical care is being provided for your injuries, keep records of dates, the names of doctors and other health care providers, what medical services were provided, which medications were prescribed, and what was discussed. If you do not feel well enough to maintain this information, ask a friend or family member to do it for you.
Contact Thomas & Pearl P.A. – and keep in contact.
It is crucial that car accident victims hire an aggressive personal injury law firm with a great deal of experience in South Florida injury law. For over 45 years, Thomas & Pearl has successfully represented thousands of car crash and motor vehicle accident victims. We know the South Florida legal, judicial and insurance systems inside and out. We know your rights, and we know how to fight for them. Once you team up with us, you’ll need to keep us “in the loop” about any and all medical care you receive or anything else related to your case. Working together, we’ll achieve the very best possible outcome for you.
Don’t answer any questions you don’t have to from anyone at the accident scene.
Basically, anything that you say can and probably will be used against you. So, avoid speaking to anyone at the accident scene, other than to provide the police with your identifying information as they request, to exchange contact and insurance information with the other party or parties involved in the crash and to obtain contact information and statements from any witnesses.
Don’t speak to any insurance companies, including your own.
An insurance adjustor may try to contact you before you hire an attorney to represent you. They may attempt to get a recorded statement from you, or your statement under oath, for potential use against you at a later time. They may also attempt to get you to enter into a settlement agreement before you recognize how seriously you have been injured.
It is important to note that while you are required to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident has occurred, it is in your best interest to first hire an experienced South Florida motor vehicle accident injury law firm, one that will handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf. In the event you do notify your insurance company about the accident, you should inform them that you have retained legal counsel and refer them to your injury lawyers for any further discussion about your motor vehicle accident.
Don’t admit fault to anyone.
Keep all conversation factual, do not make assumptions and do not admit fault to anyone.
Don’t complete any forms or documents requested by any insurance company without consulting with your lawyer.
Remember that once you have filed a claim, your insurance company is not your friend – they are, in fact, on the opposing side. Do not give them any forms or documents without first seeking advice from your injury lawyer.
Don’t sign anything sent to you by any insurance company without first consulting your lawyer.
An insurance company may request that you sign a release form. Basically, if you sign such a form you may be prevented from bringing any additional claim arising from the accident, even if it is later determined that you have sustained a serious injury. Also, an insurance company may request that you endorse a check, which can also prevent you from bringing any further claim arising from the accident.
It is important that you seek the advice from an experienced injury lawyer before signing anything from an insurance company, including but not limited to forms, checks or documents.