With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season bringing an “above-normal” level of storm activity to the Gulf region, drivers in northwest Florida need to be prepared for the worst. Heavy rains and strong winds can create treacherous conditions, and reckless driving and careless mistakes can easily have severe consequences in bad weather.
If you get injured in an auto accident during a storm, it is important to know what you need to do in order to protect your legal rights. Here are three tips from the attorneys at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
1. Treat the Accident Like Any Other
First, you should treat the accident like any other. By this, we mean you should not assume that weather was the sole causal factor in your collision. Drivers make mistakes when it is dry, and they make mistakes when it is wet. If another driver was texting, talking on the phone, tailgating, driving too fast for the conditions, or otherwise driving negligently at the time of the accident, his or her insurance company can still be held liable for your accident-related injuries.
Typically, we recommend that accident victims try to collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Of course, we understand that this may not be practical in a hail storm or driving rain. Take photos and collect witnesses’ contact information if you can, but your safety should be your top priority.
2. Make Sure You See a Doctor as Soon as Possible
The aftermath of an auto accident can be hectic under the best of circumstances. When roads are closed and hospitals are over-crowded due to weather events, seeking medical attention can present additional challenges. But, the forces involved in vehicle collisions can cause severe injuries (even if you feel fine initially), so it is important that you still try to see a doctor as soon as possible. This is also important for your claim for compensation; and, while you would have a very reasonable explanation for any delay in seeking treatment, you do not want to give the insurance company any room to argue that your injuries are not a result of the accident, or that you exacerbated your injuries by not seeing a doctor promptly.
3. Learn the Full Extent of Your Accident-Related Losses
After an accident, it is easy to focus on getting your car back and making sure you do not fall behind on your medical bills. But, the reality is that these are just small portions of most people’s accident-related losses. To protect your rights and avoid settling too soon, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the amount you are entitled to recover.
Contact the Law Offices of Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
For more information about protecting your rights after a weather-related accident in the Florida Panhandle, we encourage you to speak with one of our Fort Walton car accident lawyers. To request a free, no-obligation consultation, please call (850) 682-2757 or send us your contact information today.