Yes, you should notify your auto insurance provider even if an accident is not your fault. This is especially true in Florida, which is a no-fault insurance state. This means that insurers generally provide some coverage for their clients’ losses regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

While alerting insurers to your accident is necessary, dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. Even your own insurer may be intent on paying you less compensation than you deserve. Therefore, hiring a car accident attorney to represent you with insurers is always wise. They can handle all notifications and communications with your insurer.


What to Do (and Not Do) When Speaking with Auto Insurers

Insurance companies do not always have pure motives when handling auto accident claims. You should assume that if the insurance has the opportunity to pay less than you deserve, it will do so.

Follow several do’s and don’ts to protect yourself when dealing with insurers following an auto collision.

You Should…

Anyone involved in a car accident should:

  • Contact their insurance company, alerting them to the accident
  • Accept medical attention at the accident scene
  • Seek a thorough medical exam after leaving the accident scene
  • Keep documentation of all accident-related medical treatment
  • Hire an auto accident lawyer to protect you
  • Keep a journal detailing pain, injury symptoms, and other harm resulting from the accident

You should be cautious about what you say after a motor vehicle accident. Hiring a lawyer will afford you further guidance, as they will tailor their advice to your specific accident and claim.

You Should Not…

There are several steps to avoid after your accident, several of which are specific to insurance companies. You shouldn’t:

  • Imply you caused the accident: Apologizing to others involved in the accident, telling a law enforcement officer you caused the collision, or any other admissions of fault can significantly hamper your compensation case.
  • Deny that you have injuries: There is no benefit in being tough after an auto collision. Injuries like whiplash do not always present immediate symptoms. Never state unequivocally that you don’t have injuries or are “fine.” Such statements can be a roadblock to any later insurance claim or lawsuit.
  • Leave the scene before documenting vehicular damage: Photographing vehicle damage may become more difficult once the vehicle leaves the scene. Anyone who has the opportunity should photograph their vehicle at the accident scene. Photographing the accident scene also helps tell the story of how and why the collision happened.
  • Delay getting medical care: Seeking medical treatment should be your top priority after an auto accident. Waiting to see a doctor can compromise your health and hurt your case. You need to document injuries as they are just following the collision and the treatment you need for those injuries.
  • Wait to hire an attorney: A lawyer can benefit you immensely after a car accident. Your attorney will protect you from bad-faith tactics by insurers, develop a case plan, and work towards a fair settlement or judgment. The quicker you choose and hire a lawyer, the sooner you can focus on your recovery and protect your rights.
  • Give recorded statements to insurers before hiring a lawyer: Any statement you make to an insurance company can benefit or harm your case. If you make a statement without first seeking a lawyer’s counsel, you can say one or more things that harm your case.

An attorney may even arrange for you to write a statement for insurers. This can ensure that your statement is error-free and beneficial to your case rather than a detriment to your claim.

An Auto Accident Lawyer Will Protect You During the Claims Process

Auto Accident Lawyer services

Your auto accident lawyer will handle all insurance-related matters for you. Their duties will include protecting you during the claims process, and they will do this by:

  • Leading communications with insurers: Your lawyer will handle all verbal and written communications. This will ensure that no insurance company can use your words against you during the claims process.
  • Helping you craft accurate statements for insurers: Written statements can help you avoid errors or misstatements when communicating with insurers. Your attorney will arrange for you to provide written (rather than verbal) statements to insurance companies when possible.
  • Providing accident-related evidence to insurers: Your attorney will ensure that insurers have access to all relevant details and evidence about your accident. They will also provide insurers with details of your losses, including medical records and invoices for vehicle repairs.
  • Preventing claim delays: Claims do not always move forward swiftly, but your lawyer will work to ensure the prompt resolution of your claim. This will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.
  • Reviewing settlement offers with you: Insurance companies may offer one or more settlements, which may or may not adequately cover your accident-related losses. Your attorney will review each offer with you to determine its fairness.

Insurance companies must prioritize their financial health but should never do so by lowballing accident victims’ losses. Your lawyer will deal sternly with insurance companies and hold them responsible for the compensation they owe you.

Focus on Your Health While Your Lawyer Handles Your Claim

Your health is one of the most important reasons to hire a car accident attorney. A physician’s treatment plan may require:

  • A long period of rest
  • Avoiding physical exertion
  • Minimizing stress and cognitive strain
  • Receiving frequent medical treatment
  • Undergoing a period of rehabilitation

These and other health-related demands deserve your full attention. If you do not hire a lawyer, you may have to split your time between your claim and recovery. This can lead to adverse health outcomes while also hampering your case.

Accept a lawyer’s health so you can give your recovery the time and effort it requires.

The Success of Your Case Is Another Reason to Hire a Lawyer

Auto accidents can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more in cases of severe injury and wrongful death). You should be determined to obtain all the compensation you deserve, and you can honor this goal by hiring an auto accident attorney.


  • Have the time necessary to give your case the attention it warrants
  • Offer financial support for your case
  • Have resources (like expert networks) that can benefit your case immensely
  • Have a clear mandate to secure all of the compensation you deserve

The success of your claim is paramount. Hiring an attorney signals your intent to get fair compensation for accident-related losses.

Your Attorney Will Build the Type of Claim You Deserve

Auto accident attorneys work quickly to build winning cases and do so by:

There can be no significant delays in securing evidence. Your attorney and their investigators will seek the following:

  • The police report detailing your collision (and perhaps stating who caused the accident)
  • Photographs of the accident scene (if you call your attorney shortly after the collision)
  • Photographs of vehicle damage
  • Eyewitness accounts explaining how the accident happened
  • Video footage of the accident

Your lawyer may hire an expert to reconstruct the accident. This is one of the many benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer.

Your attorney will secure documentation proving the cost of your accident, which may include:

  • MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and other medical images of your injuries
  • Photographs of visible injuries
  • Medical records and bills
  • Past earning statements to show how much income you’ve lost after the accident
  • Testimony from experts (which may include mental health professionals, doctors, and economists)
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs or the replacement of a totaled vehicle

Such documentation shows every way in which your accident and the person who caused it have harmed you.

Identifying Liable Parties

While insurers may be financially responsible for your accident-related losses, your lawyer will determine who is at fault for the accident. If insurers do not offer a fair settlement, you and your lawyer may choose to sue the at-fault parties.

Those who can be at fault for an auto accident include:

  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Motorists
  • Municipalities
  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists

An employer can also be responsible when their employee causes an accident. Whether the employer directly contributes to the collision, you can sue them for the compensation you deserve.

Setting a Clear, Detailed Settlement Target

After detailing your damages, your attorney will calculate their financial cost. This cost will set the target for settlement negotiations.

Completing Settlement Negotiations

You can continue to focus on recovery while your lawyer negotiates a settlement with liable parties. Your attorney will provide documentation of damages, proof of who caused the accident, and any other relevant information to those liable parties.

Though settling is the most common way to resolve auto accident claims, obtaining a fair settlement may require a compelling case from your attorney.

Considering (and Completing) a Trial

When liable parties dispute your losses, blame you for the accident, or refuse to provide the money you deserve, a trial may become necessary. Your attorney will update you throughout settlement negotiations and broach the trial topic if necessary.

How Much Compensation Should I Receive for a Car Accident Claim?

Car Accident Claim

This remains to be seen. Your attorney will complete their investigation of your accident and losses, considering the following:

  • The specific injuries you have suffered
  • The treatment course doctors recommend (and the cost of those treatments)
  • The nature and severity of your pain and suffering
  • All economic damages (like lost income and vehicle repairs)
  • Whether any of your injuries are disabling
  • Whether anyone passed away because of the accident

Each car accident causes different damages. An attorney and their legal team will profile your unique damages, ensuring they are seeking all of the compensation you deserve.

Recoverable Damages Your Lawyer Will Demand Compensation For

Auto accidents cause similar damages to many victims—physical pain, injuries, psychological suffering, and work losses. Your attorney will place such damages into clearly defined categories, including:

  • Work-related harm: This can include lost income, diminished earning power, and lost opportunities to earn promotions and bonuses
  • Pain and suffering: This may include physical pain, emotional anguish, psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and lost quality of life
  • Property expenses: This may include vehicle repairs, replacement of a totaled vehicle, replacement of damaged clothing and accessories, and replacement of damaged electronics
  • Medical costs: All medical services you receive after the accident will be part of your lawyer’s settlement demands

Those who lose loved ones because of auto accidents face immense tragedy and may also face:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial or cremation expenses:
  • Grief and other forms of suffering that come from losing a loved one
  • Loss of consortium (including the loss of a spouse’s companionship and a parent’s guidance)
  • Counseling, medications, and other treatments required for grief and other suffering
  • Loss of the decedent’s value to their household (such as handiwork, accounting services, and security)
  • Loss of the decedent’s financial support

Each accident victim faces a different reality. Your attorney will work with you and qualified experts to identify and value damages from the collision.

When Should I Hire My Auto Accident Lawyer?

You should hire your auto accident attorney as soon as possible following the collision. Time is of the essence because:

  • Your attorney must obtain as much evidence as possible, and some types of evidence will be unavailable as time passes
  • Your attorney will face a deadline for filing a lawsuit, and you want to maintain the option of suing if necessary
  • The sooner you hire your lawyer, the more attention you can divert to recovery
  • Insurers can violate your rights in the period you are without a lawyer

There is no reason to delay hiring a lawyer, and there is every reason to retain your attorney promptly.

Find Your Car Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Steven A. Bagen, Attorney for Car Accident
Steven A. Bagen, Car Accident Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations. Take advantage of these consultations to find the most qualified lawyer to represent you. They can immediately begin supporting you and protecting your claim, including handling all insurance notifications. Never wait to seek the professional representation you need for a successful claim.