The Definitive Car Accident Injury Guide (2023)
What To Do After A Car Accident

Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Matt Powell, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and founder of the law firm MattLaw™ has written this guide to fully explain the law, and the process of making a personal injury claim after a car accident.

The ultimate guide  of what you need to know and do if you have been injured in a car accident.  Step by step Matt Powell explains what to expect, and how to maximize your full and fair recovery, and avoid traps that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

MattLaw™ has handled thousands of serious car accident injury cases.  And he knows how to help you protect and preserve the value of your case.

Read this definitive guide of what to do after a car accident if you want the bottom line about how to maximize your car accident injury claim.

If you have a question, and would like a free confidential consultation, call attorney Matt Powell at MattLaw 813-222-2222.

#1 Chapter One - Introduction and Overview
Why You Should Read MattLaw’s Definitive Car Accident Guide

A Note from Matt Powell:

After 30 years of helping personal injury victims, I have come to realize a simple truth:

The more my client understands the legal process, the easier the process is for them.

By understanding what to do after a car accident, what to expect during the claims process, and what kind of car accident evidence will come into play, my clients know what it takes to get their claims resolved successfully. If they run into a difficult or unfair insurance company or a nasty claims adjuster, they know what to do to maximize their recovery. 

I am a trial lawyer, but I began my career representing insurance companies. I quickly realized I lacked the callousness to represent at-fault corporations and wrongdoers. I could not take orders from insurance companies or their claims adjusters to underpay valid claims. So, I set off on my own after only six months of insurance defense work—and I’ve never looked back. 

I am honored to help injured people in their times of need; it is my passion to inform and educate people on common legal issues with their car accident cases. I wrote the Definitive Car Accident Guide to share my thoughts and observations with you in hopes that you can resolve your injury claim without having to hire a lawyer. With that said: if you need help, I am always here for you. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about your rights. 

—Matt Powell, 2024

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, there are more than 500 car crashes every day in Florida. 

The average American will be involved in one serious car crash once every 17 years.

By knowing your rights and understanding the process of how to make a car accident claim you will be able to protect yourself and your family from costly mistakes.

You must understand: 

The legal process

The insurance process

The medical process 

of your personal injury claim. 

Hiring a trusted Florida car accident lawyer will smooth the process and likely increase the value of your case. In the meantime, following these simple steps, you can avoid making mistakes that may cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

#2 What To Do After A Car Accident
After a crash, here are the important steps to take.

Mattlaw™ has written extensively on What To Do After a Car Accident. Follow this advice:

1 Stop, don’t leave the crash site.

2 Call the police. Report the crash at the scene of the accident. If you think alcohol or drugs are involved, make sure you tell the police about this on the phone. They will act promptly if they believe there is some criminal aspect of your car crash. Tell them about any known injuries.

3 Render first aid if you are able to help anyone involved in the crash.

4 Exchange Information. You should provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, license plate numbers, auto insurance and phone numbers for the other person(s) involved in the crash. And you should ask for their driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, and insurance cards. I suggest you photograph all of them with your smartphone. Take note of the license plate numbers in the accident report.

5 Take photographs of the vehicle damage and positions and the scene. Try to locate witnesses who may be willing to share what they saw. Ask them if they would mind explaining what they saw and allow you to record it on your smartphone with their permission. Be sure to record the time of the accident and the positions of each of the vehicles involved.

6 Give a full police report. When the police officer arrives, explain exactly what happened when the accident occurred.

7 Get checked out by a doctor right away. Seek a medical specialist to check you out. Don’t guess or assume anything about your injuries. If you guess wrong, you may diminish the value of your case when you file a claim,, and possibly make your recovery from your injuries worse.

8 Speak with an attorney about your legal options. You must file your lawsuit within the Florida statute of limitations. Call MattLaw™ and speak to an experienced Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney to assist you with your case.

 

 

 

 

 

#3 EVIDENCE AT THE CRASH SCENE
How To Maximize The Value Of Your Injury Case

What makes an insurance company pay any car accident victim money?

Insurance companies only pay money to you when there is EVIDENCE to prove they owe you money. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying full and fair value. They are in the business of paying less than full value. In many cases, car insurance companies will refuse to pay on your claim.

By collecting evidence early and continuously until your car accident case is over, you can increase the amount of evidence to force the insurance company to pay you fully and fairly.

Your case can INCREASE in value every single day!

What Increases the Value of Your Car Accident Case?

One thing:  Evidence!

  • Evidence of Fault:
    • Photos of the car accident scene
    • Videos of the crash itself
    • Eye witness statements

Evidence of Damages:

  • Seek medical treatment promptly
  • See the right type of doctors
  • Follow your doctor’s advice
  • Get the right tests to show the extent of your injuries

Evidence of Personal Changes in Your Life:

  • Changes to your income or working eligibility stemming from your injuries
  • Changes in your activities of daily living (walking your dog, doing dishes and laundry)
  • Changes to your mood and state of mind (friends will help your case by testify about how your life has changed before and after your car accident)

                                                Your case can DECREASE in value every single day!

                                                   What Decreases the Value of Your Car Accident Case?

                                                    One thing:  Evidence!

                                                    Your claim value will decrease when you… 

 

  • Lose Evidence Of Fault
    • Do not take pictures of the accident scene
    • Do not ask MattLaw™ if we can get the traffic video of the crash
    • Lose eye witnesses who could tell everyone that the other driver was the one who violated the safety rules, not you.

  • Losing Evidence of Damages
    • Medical Treatment Mistakes:
      • Do not seek immediate medical attention
      • Go to your primary care physician who does not treat accidents, rather than seeing a specialist who will order the right tests and provide the best treatments
      • Miss doctor’s appointments because you are too busy (gaps in medical treatment are among the most common ways that injury claims are dismissed)
      • Fail to take the medical advice you are given


Other Common Mistakes:

    • Social media posts
    • Not using the MattLaw™ Personal Injury Journal
    • Not having co-workers or close friends testify about the losses in your personal life.

#4 EVIDENCE AT THE CRASH SCENE
At The Crash Scene Fault = Liability Evidence

 

 

 

 

 

Start collecting evidence immediately. If you are not too injured, you should start collecting evidence to win your car crash case immediately. 

What evidence should you collect at the scene:

You need to collect the bad driver(s):

  • name(s)
  • address(es)
  • drivers license number(s)

If the car driver is not the owner of the car, you must also collect:

  • The name and address of the owner of the at-fault vehicle
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company’s name and policy number
  • The at-fault car owner’s insurance company name and policy number

You will also need the names and contact information of all eyewitnesses. 

Ask your car accident witnesses:

  • What did they see?
  • Who was at fault?
  • Where were they when they witnessed the car accident?
  • What did they hear the other driver say?
  • How can you get in contact with them later if you need help?

Take Photographs of “cars and scars”:

  • Scene
  • Skid marks
  • Other involved vehicles
  • Property damages
  • Driver’s picture
  • Traffic control devices, like signs or light sequencing

Finally, contact a MattLaw™ attorney so they can get:

  • Videos of the crash recorded by nearby surveillance cameras
  • Videos of the crash recorded by Government Traffic Cameras
  • Dashcam footage
  • Electronic evidence
  • Information from the drivers’ GPS devices
  • Evidence from the vehicles’ collision avoidance technology

#5 Evidence of Damages After The Crash
Evidence To Increase the Value of Your Car Accident Injury Claim

After your car accident, what evidence will increase the value of your car crash case? 

YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS

Your medical records are the most important evidence an insurance company will look at to evaluate the amount of money they will pay you for your car accident damages. How much your claim is worth often comes down to these documents.

Why are medical records so important? 

Your medical records are the written proof—the hard evidence—of your injuries. Your medical records are important because these documents are written by highly trained doctors doing the job they were trained to do.

The Diagnosis Of The Injuries Caused By The Car Accident

  • A list of each of your injuries caused by the crash
  • The severity or permanency of the injuries caused by the car crash
  • The future prognosis of each of your injuries

Your medical records should say if you will need more medical treatment such as surgery in the future.

Your final discharge medical records should include a description of your injuries, saying whether your injuries will either improve and get better over time or your injuries will be permanent and will last a lifetime.

Your medical records need to say what types of specialists you will need to seek treatment from to prevent your injuries from getting worse

Your medical records need to say what pre-existing conditions you had before your car crash that were made worse by the car accident.

Your medical records should say what effect your injuries caused by the car accident have on your ability to work and make a living.

Your medical records need to say how your injuries affect your quality of life beyond work. 

  • Do your car accident injuries affect your  daily living activities?
  • Do your car crash injuries affect your ability to dress yourself?
  • Do your injuries slow you down or prevent you from doing chores around your house?
  • Do your injuries affect your ability to enjoy hobbies?

Your medical records need to say what your future medical needs will be.

Your medical records need to state what the future cost of your treatments will be.

The bottom line is:

Your medical records are the base, the foundation, of what any insurance company or judge or jury will use to determine extent, severity and duration of your injuries. 

Your medical records give your attorneys at MattLaw™ and the insurance company adjusters the information they need to assign a value and justify their evaluation of your damages to make an offer of how much money you should be paid to make up for what you lost in the past, and what you will lose in the future.

Your medical records are one of the biggest value drivers in calculating the amount of compensation you should be paid for your car accident injury claim.

Call MattLaw™ today to discuss your motor vehicle claim.

The Bottom Line: What to Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents are an epidemic, costing billions of dollars for medical care, loss of earnings and disability. Injuries caused by distracted drivers often entitle the injured person to compensation.

Understanding your rights, understanding the law, and understanding insurance can help you avoid making costly mistakes and wasting time.

After a car accident, take these eight simple steps:

  1. Stop and don’t leave the scene
  2. Call 911 for the police and fire rescue
  3. Render first aid
  4. Exchange driver’s licenses and insurance information
  5. Take photographs of the vehicle and the scene of the crash
  6. Explain to the police what happened
  7. Go get checked out by a doctor
  8. Call MattLaw for a free consultation: 813-222-2222.

Additional facts to bear in mind:

Video evidence can be valuable to prove who was at fault in your crash.

Your medical records will be the value driver of your claim.

If you don’t go to the doctor, you won’t have the medical record evidence you need to recover full and fair compensation.

Medical records document your injuries, diagnosis, and prognosis.

Collecting and preserving evidence is critical to prove fault and damages in your car accident case. Don’t let valuable evidence disappear. The police are not there to collect evidence, they just want to write their crash report, and move on to their next call.

Going to the right doctors is the only way to document and prove your injuries. The right doctors will order the right tests, and make sure you get the right treatment for your car accident injuries.

Time is not on your side.

Don’t wait to locate witnesses.

Don’t wait to go to the doctor.

Don’t wait to call MattLaw.

If you have more questions, call me, Matt Powell, for a free consultation on your auto accident case: 813-222-2222.

Sincerely,

Matt Powell, Esq.

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

 

 

 

 

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