Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

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Car Accidents: Personal Injuries And Ticket Defense

Hire An Attorney To Protect Your Rights

Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service

Last Updated: November 5, 2015

The law regarding traffic crashes and injuries has been significantly altered over the last several years. Insurance companies are paying lobbyists to advocate for laws favorable to the insurance industry. This is why it is important to contact a lawyer immediately after you have been injured in a car accident.

Things You Need To Do If Involved In An Automobile Accident

If you have been in a car accident you need to do the following things as soon as possible:

  • If no one is seriously injured make sure the police are called to make an accident report.
  • While waiting for the police, take pictures of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles.
    • The law requires that you move the vehicles out of the flow of traffic.
    • Try and get photographs of the vehciles before they have been moved.
    • If you do not have a camera use your cell phone camera.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement.
    • You are obligated to answer questions regarding the accident during the accident investigation.
    • If the police read you the miranda warning you no longer have to cooperate and should remain silent.
  • Once the investigation is done and you are free to leave you should:
    • Contact your doctor immediately and have him or her do an assessment for any possible neck or back injuries.
    • Contact my office for a legal assessment.
  • If you were taken to the hospital from the accident scene then call my office for an assessment once you are able.

The Reason You Should Always Have A Physical Examination After Any Car Accident

Mass x Accelleration = Force

Automobiles weigh on the average of about 3,000 pounds. That's one and a half tons. When 3,000 pounds traveling 15 MPH hits a stationary object a lot of force in projected through that object. In the case of a car accident the object includes you. The higher the speed the greater the amount of force.

The Body Reacts To Unknown Situations Instinctively

When your body is jolted by the force of impact from another vehicle several things happen almost immediately. First, your body tries to react to the force being placed upon it. Next, adrenaline is immediately pumped into your body. This increases your heart-rate and energy. It is the classic Fight or Flight response. Finally, it has the affect of blocking out any immediate pain.

The Force Of An Accident Most Often Affects The Back And Neck

Your body is not capable of effectively responding to the force of an impact from another vehicle. The force is just too great. Due to your adrenaline, you may find yourself walking around, talking, and feeling okay after an accident. However, you could have serious injuries to your neck, back or both. These may not become apparent until weeks or even months after the accident and can last for years.

Neck And Back Injuries Develop Over Time

Rather than tell yourself everything is okay and hope nothing starts to hurt later in life you should see a doctor that specializes in what the insurance industry refers to as Soft Tissue Injuries. The impact of a 3,000 pound vehicle will cause your back and neck to whip around in a violent reaction. The damage this causes is not visible on the outside and, as noted above, may be masked by the body's ability to deal with such situations in the short term.

See A Doctor Immediately

If you have been injured there is only one way to prove it - see a doctor. Don't just see any doctor or an emergency room physician. Go to your family doctor if you have one. If not, go to a specialist in tramatic neck/back injuries. If you need help, call us. We know specialists that will help you.

The reason why it is important to see a doctor right away is because the law limits your contract with your insurer. Automobile insurance has to cover medical costs for injuries sustained in an accident up to $10,000. You must see a doctor within two weeks of an accident or else your insurance policy does not have to cover your costs.

What The Insurance Company Wants You To Do

Despite paying your insurance premiums to cover you in case you are involved in an accident, your insurance company would rather not pay out any benefits at all. They would like you to not see a doctor and, after two weeks, be free from having to abide by the contractual agreement you signed with them.

If you are injured your insurance agent is likely going to try and settle with you before all your injuries appear. This is most notable in neck and back injuries - the soft tissue injuries. Don't do it. Always talk to a lawyer first and never go for the quick payout. Remember that before insurance companies pay you any money they will want you to sign away what you initially contracted with them for. This means your $100,000 policy limit can be reduced down to the paultry $1,500 check they want you to accept.

Uninsured or Under-Insured Motorists

When someone causes an accident in which you are a victim it is their insurance that covers your injuries (beyond your $10,000 minimum). But what if they have a minimal insurance policy and your medical costs are more than the other driver is covered for? Or what if the other driver has no insurance at all? Who pays then? The answer to that question is you.

This is why it is important to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage covers you when the other driver has insufficient coverage or no coverage at all. Without it you can be holding the bag for the injuries you have to live with that someone else caused. Always buy uninsured motorist coverage with your insurance policy.

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