When To First Contact An Attorney After A Crash Or Injury

I pose the question to you: When should you first contact an attorney after you or a member of your family has been involved in a crash or injury?  Of course, as soon as possible following a crash or injury.  We have teams of investigators who are familiar with, and work with, our system.  They are skilled at providing expert documentation of a crash or injury scene. Their skills include photographing, videotaping, and digital mapping. If we do not recover anything for you, you owe us nothing for this service.

What To Do At First Medical Treatment After Crash Or Injury

The first medical treatment is usually provided by the fire department or ambulance at the scene of the crash. Please remember that their immediate job is to triage. Triage includes preventing the loss of life or serious injury by immediate preventative measures. 

A few examples would be to stop an artery from bleeding out, or to stabilize the neck to prevent from being paralyzed. If there is any possibility of this, no matter how remote, you should not take any chances by assuming “the best”. In this situation, until it has been completely ruled out by all the necessary health care providers, assume the worst.

Again, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This applies to everyone at the scene of the crash with any possibility of serious injury or death.  

Medical treatment in the emergency room should follow this same safety rule. You should tell the health care professionals every scratch, harm, bruise, or pain location you have, so it can be documented.  

Current Florida Law requires a determination of an emergency medical condition before some of your Florida vehicle coverages will apply. Thorough documentation will help with that determination by your insurance company, and others, if required. This will also help with future medical care and the determination of injuries caused by the crash. 

A rule of medical documentation used in many medical malpractice cases applies here: If it is not written down, it did not happen. 

You should also read your discharge instructions from the emergency room carefully and follow them. Keep in mind that emergency room physicians often see their job as just to triage your situation as the ambulance providers noted above.  

Do not assume that the emergency room physician has made a complete and exhaustive review of all of your symptoms. You should immediately follow up with your family physician who knows you best. 

Due to adrenaline or the nature of the harm from a crash or injury, the full extent of the pain does not make itself known until days, weeks, or months following the incident. It is important during this time to be examined by a health care provider, so they can document and keep a close eye on how you are doing. This helps your doctor direct you to immediate care and treatment and in proving causation of harm from a crash. 

 This should not be ignored by assuming this would not happen to you.   The failure to do this has resulted in countless difficulties in proving caused harm that could have otherwise been easily prevented. So do not hesitate in seeking care and treatment and evaluation, even if the harm is not immediate from the crash or injury. Trained and skilled physicians know the importance of letting them make these care decisions and not those of us who lack their knowledge.  

During this time, you should also be keeping a journal of your daily pains and losses. Also photograph any scratches and bruises, no matter how minor.  It is helpful to have a family member assist you if injuries prevent you from doing this. If you have any difficulties or limitations in anything you were doing before the crash or injury, now is the time to document those in a diary, video, or photographs.  

If you have to pay anyone for their assistance during this time, make sure to keep records of the name, address, phone number of the person providing help. Keep receipts of payments for their help. 

You should contact all insurance companies who may be responsible for paying your bills. This includes your automobile insurance, health insurance, workers compensation insurance, Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid, and any others. Each of them will have forms for you to fill out. They prefer that you contact them as soon as possible. Insurance companies may request that it be by mail, phone, or email.  

In some cases, multiple companies may share responsibility in paying your medical bills. Please remember that most will have the right to be paid back out of any recovery against the person causing the harm.  You will need to keep all communication from those responsible for paying your medical bills addressing their right of recovery. You need to bring these letters with you when you see us at your first visit.

You should also keep a record of all mileage to and from all treatment. 

Who To Speak To At The Scene Of A Crash

If you are able to communicate and move around after a vehicle crash, without causing more harm to yourself or others, there are several people you must speak with. The Florida Highway Patrol will want to know basic information about yourself, the vehicle you were driving, and how the crash occurred.

What To Do First At The Scene Of Your Crash Or Injury

Do not submit to any recorded statements with an insurance company, until you have spoken to an attorney.

In over thirty-five years, Dan has never had anyone tell him they planned on being injured. Injuries range from those that are minor to those that change lives forever. Whatever the nature of the injury, there are ways to protect your rights at the scene. This may be important in proving who was at fault and how injuries were caused.  

Immediately after a crash or injury, always take the time needed to check yourself for injuries. This includes cuts, bleeding, pain, and the ability to comprehend what is going on around you. This should take just a few moments. Next, check on others in the vehicle with you for cuts, bleeding, pain, and the ability to comprehend what is going on around them. Do what you can to stop any bleeding.  

If you have a cell phone with you, call 911 and report the crash or injury.  They will ask if help is needed in extracting persons involved in the crash.  This is important in determining the proper response team to dispatch to the scene.  

Remember, all fire departments are not equipped with devices, like The Jaws of Life. If you are not certain that all persons involved in the crash are able to exit the vehicle, please let 911 know. The quicker all persons can be removed from the vehicle, the quicker they can receive proper medical care. 

If your vehicle is equipped with OnStar or a similar service, you may receive an automatic call. Please communicate with them and answer all questions they ask in order for them to coordinate the help needed.  

If you are in an accident and need to roll down a window to exit the vehicle for everyone’s protection, your key may need to be turned on.  Exercise caution and make sure the chance of an explosion at the scene is not present.

If there is a fire in the vehicle or at the location of the crash that can cause harm to you or others, this is an extremely dangerous situation. All efforts should be made to avoid exposure to fire by you and others at the scene as soon as possible.  

You will need to weigh the risk of others at the scene by moving them, with the risk of injury or death from fire or explosion. This is not always easy to do and you will have to exercise your best judgment. If others at the scene are able to communicate with you, ask for their help in assessing the danger and potential harm.  

If there is a downed power line, whether or not it is raining, this can be a potential source of danger. There are specific methods to be used in exiting a vehicle safely in this situation. One misstep can cause serious injury or loss of life. 

 If you are unable to wait for assistance due to the emergent conditions, call 911. Give the dispatcher specific details about the scene of the crash and all surrounding circumstances. Request help in the precise steps you need to take to remove yourself and others from this dangerous situation. Keep 911 on the phone with you all times and stay in constant communication until you have removed yourself and others from the area. If you are unable to remove everyone from the area of the danger, continue to remind and control everyone at the scene to avoid the danger until removed. If the crash or injury occurs during severe weather that poses a danger, you will need to exercise care in making choices as to exit the vehicle or not.  If you can contact 911, please advise them of the situation and request their help.

Tractor Trailer Crash

Tractor-trailer negligence kills thousands of people every year and injures many thousands more. Federal Law places specific time limitations for operators of Commercial Motor Vehicles to keep crucial information for your claim.  It is critical that you take action as soon as possible to prevent the destruction of that evidence. Federal Law also places specific requirements on operators, owners, and supervisors of operators of commercial motor vehicles. All this evidence must be secured as soon as possible. 

Our team, including specialists with specific knowledge of Federal and State Regulations as to Commercial Motor Vehicles, nurses, investigators, and paralegals, are prepared to protect your rights if you have been injured in a tractor-trailer crash. Dan has been a member of trial lawyer groups specializing in representing persons injured by harm causers in motor vehicle crashes for over thirty-five years and is a founding member of the largest Plaintiffs’ Interstate Trucking Lawyer Association in the United States. 

Automobile Crash

Dan has helped thousands of people injured by the carelessness of another driver. Florida Law places specific narrow timelines for persons injured in a motor vehicle crash to secure their insurance benefits. It also requires evidence of specific medical conditions as a condition to benefits under Florida Insurance Law and Florida Civil Law.  Local laws place specific time limitations on pursuing civil claims against harm causers and your insurance company.  

Dan is at home in the courtroom if required to fully protect you.  In a time when nearly 100 percent of plaintiff attorneys move to mediation to settle the case after a suit is filed, insurance adjusters and defense attorneys know that he has tried to jury verdict as many as three civil cases in one week.  They know that not only will Dan try a case, they know the courtroom is his home.         

  Dan’s team, which includes nurses, investigators, and paralegals, are prepared to protect your rights if you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash. Our office has also worked with trial lawyer groups specializing in representing persons injured by carelessness in motor vehicle crashes for over thirty-five years.

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  • 4519 Highway 90 Pace, FL 32571