How to Protect Yourself & Your Family

How to Hire the Right Lawyer
March 6, 2018
What You Should Know About Personal Injuries
March 6, 2018

Auto Accident Lawyer Serving Clearwater and Surrounding Areas

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family in an Auto Accident

The average person is involved in an accident every 10 years. That means, sooner or later, you or someone you love may get hurt in an auto accident and perhaps suffer the physical, emotional and financial losses that can result.

Our bodies (especially the spine, neck and head ) are not built to absorb the instant accelerations and decelerations of even a "minor" auto accident. Further, as a person gets older it is more likely that the injuries sustained will bring lifelong consequences.

There are common sense things you can do both before and after the car or truck accident to reduce the frustration and loss that an injury can cause.

Pre-Accident Preparation

The first step in protecting yourself in case of a car accident is to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your car insurance policy and do not elect a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance deductible. Keep a pen, paper and a camera accessible in your car to easily locate and use to record the details of an accident, should one occur. If you have children, learn how to properly install a child seat.

The larger and heavier the vehicle you drive, the safer you will be. Other safety precautions you can take include sitting at least six inches from the steering wheel, wearing a seatbelt properly and raising the headrest to meet the back of your head. You should also make sure you adhere to the suggested maintenance schedule that is proposed by the manufacturer. This includes oil changes, tire rotation and replacement, as well as any other issues that may arise.

In Case of an Accident

If you see a car, truck or motorcycle accident coming, avoid head-on or fixed-object collisions. Brace yourself and face forward. Turn your steering wheel before you brake and DO NOT pump anti-lock brakes.

At the scene of the accident, you may feel dazed, confused, or in shock. However, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Call the police and cooperate with them
  • Sign the ticket if they give you one
  • Get the names of witnesses, especially if it is a "disputed green" or "sideswipe" accident
  • Photograph the damage to the other car
  • Photograph the damage to your car, inside and outside
  • Photograph the scene of the accident
  • Consider being checked at the emergency room, especially with a head injury or altered consciousness
  • Relax, you will feel worse tomorrow

After a Car Crash

Following an automobile accident, it is important to report it to your insurance company. Make sure you have photographed the damage to your vehicle from all angles and obtained a repair estimate from a dealer who sells the new make of your car. If your car is totaled, you are entitled to the retail value plus sales tax and loss of use.

In addition to taking care of your car, you must take care of yourself. Call your family chiropractor or MD for a post-accident exam. Physicians who know you are in the best position to give opinions about your condition before versus after the accident. If your Doctor does not treat accident victims, I can refer you to an experienced physician. Try to get a full evaluation by your chiropractor within the first 72 hours after an accident. Most chiropractors have experience in treating accident injuries, including whiplash. Tell every doctor about every problem at every visit, including subtle problems such as forgetfulness, emotional changes or jaw pain.

Finally, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Never rely fully on advertising when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Rather, get a referral from your doctor or someone you trust. Even then, interview several attorneys before deciding, and never settle for meeting an assistant.

A good personal injury lawyer should offer a free consultation and take your case with no up-front cost. Further:

  • Hire only a lawyer you trust and think you can work with
  • Insist on good communication and being kept fully informed
  • Do not settle for poor or indifferent service from any lawyer
  • Be certain not to give statements to the other driver's insurance company without consulting with your personal injury attorney. The other insurance company is out to save money and to protect its own interests — not yours.

    Contact the William Schneikart Law Office

    For a free initial consultation with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, contact the William Schneikart Law Firm. With more than 30 years in practice, I offer experienced representation and personal service.

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