The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. In some respects, it is also among the most dangerous. The rates of certain types of accidents spike during the holidays—and, unfortunately, many people end up spending the holidays in recovery instead of enjoying time with their friends and family.
For example, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), December is consistently among the months with the most car accidents in Florida. In 2022, there were 34,778 car accidents in December, the third-highest monthly total. In 2021, December saw 35,917 car accidents, the highest monthly total for the entire year.
But car accidents aren’t the only concern. Dangerous product displays, using dangerous ladders for decorating, riding in golf carts to see holiday lights, and even cooking at home can all present risks for serious (or even fatal) injuries.
Dealing with Accidents and Injuries During the Holiday Season
If you find yourself dealing with an accident during the holiday season in Florida, it is essential to ensure you protect your legal rights. Whether it was you, your spouse, or your child who was injured, you could be in for a long and expensive recovery process. As a result, even though it is the holiday season, you should not wait to deal with the accident. If you do, recovering your losses could become much more complicated—and you could even lose out on asserting your legal rights entirely.
So, what should you do after an accident during the holiday season in Florida?
1. Take the Accident Seriously
First and foremost, you need to take the accident seriously. Do not put off dealing with it; now is not the time for forgiveness in the holiday spirit. Traumatic injuries from serious accidents can prove incredibly expensive. If you don’t take the accident seriously, you could be dealing with the consequences of someone else’s mistake for years (if not decades).
Taking the accident seriously means prioritizing both your (or your loved one’s) health and your legal rights. Go to the doctor’s office or emergency room, and when you see a doctor, tell the doctor what happened. This will help document both the timing and the cause of your (or your loved one’s) injury, and this will help with proving that you are entitled to just compensation.
2. Document the Accident as Thoroughly as Possible
After an accident, you should document the accident as thoroughly as possible. Keep any photos or videos you took with your phone, and write down everything you can remember. With everything going on during the holiday season, you don’t want to forget any details that could be key to your family’s claim. Writing everything down can also give you a sense of relief, and this can help you start to relax and enjoy the holidays as much as possible.
3. Start an Accident File
From the police report and insurance letters to your medical records and pay stubs showing the time you’ve missed from work, you may receive various documents related to the accident. You should start an accident file to ensure these don’t get lost (or accidentally thrown away) during the holidays. Keep your accident-related documents in a safe place to share them with your lawyer at the appropriate time.
4. Talk to a Lawyer
Meeting with a lawyer may be one of the last things you want to do during the holiday season. But, when you are dealing with the aftermath of a severe accident, scheduling an appointment is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your family’s legal rights. Plus, once you hire a lawyer, your lawyer will be able to handle much of the process for you, and you can let your lawyer do the work while you focus on having a holiday season as usual.
What about the cost? Hiring a personal injury lawyer typically costs nothing out of pocket. At Silva & Silva, we handle all accident claims on a contingency fee basis. We will not ask you to pay anything while your case is pending, and we will only earn a fee if we are successful in helping you obtain a financial award.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Situation
As you work to move on from the accident and do your best to enjoy the holiday season, there will be things you need to do. For example, you will need to attend any follow-up doctor’s appointments, and you will need to respond to your lawyer when he or she needs to get in touch. It is essential not to ignore these steps in the recovery process. While they can seem disruptive, they usually don’t take too long, and they will help ensure that the recovery process is as quick and smooth as possible.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
While dealing with the accident, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Your loved ones care about you, and they will be more than happy to pitch in with the holiday preparations or give you a ride so that you can do what you need to do. Likewise, if you have questions about what you should (or shouldn’t) be doing over the holidays while your accident claim is pending, you should not hesitate to contact your lawyer for advice.
7. Do Your Best to Enjoy the Holiday Season
Finally, while it can be difficult, doing your best to enjoy the holiday season is essential. No, it won’t be the same, but it is still worth doing what you can to make positive memories for you and your loved ones. Celebrating the holidays can also provide a sense of normalcy in a stressful situation. As long as you follow your (or your loved one’s) doctor’s and lawyer’s advice, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to celebrate. You deserve it, and so does everyone around you.
How Our Lawyers Can Help After an Accident During the Holidays in Florida
We understand what it’s like to deal with the aftermath of a serious accident, and we know that this can be especially difficult during the holidays. This is why we work to make the process as stress-free for our clients as possible. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing accident victims and their families, and we rely on this experience to achieve positive outcomes for our clients.
Here are just some of the ways our lawyers can help after an accident during the holidays in Florida:
- Determining the Cause of the Accident (and Who Is Responsible) – When you contact us, one of the first steps we will take is to investigate to determine the cause of the accident. Once we know why the accident happened, we can determine who is responsible. Several companies can potentially be liable for a serious or fatal accident in Florida, from auto insurance companies to bars, restaurants, retailers, and rideshare companies.
- Reporting the Accident and Dealing with the Insurance Companies – If you haven’t done so already, we can report the accident for you, and then we can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. The insurance companies will not be generous because it’s the holiday season. If they can find an excuse to deny coverage, they will. Our lawyers can help ensure that insurance companies don’t exploit you.
- Helping You Get the Care and Support You Need – When dealing with the aftermath of a severe accident, it can be difficult to know where to go for help. We have worked with all types of specialists throughout South Florida and can provide recommendations if needed.
- Calculating the Amount You Deserve to Recover – One of the keys to protecting your legal rights after an accident is understanding how much you deserve to recover. Our lawyers will carefully calculate compensation for your present and future financial and non-financial losses.
- Working to Secure a Just Settlement – Once we have calculated your financial and non-financial damages, we will work to secure a just settlement on your behalf. Our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with all types of insurance companies, and we can use this experience to seek a settlement that fairly compensates you and your family for all of the costs of your (or your loved one’s) accident.
While most successful personal injury claims settle, some don’t. The settlement negotiation process will most likely last well beyond the holiday season, and if you need to take your case to court, this will also happen after the holidays. So, right now, the possibility of going to court doesn’t require your consideration. Our lawyers will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept any settlement offers that are on the table when the time comes.
What if You Are From Out of State?
What if you were injured in Florida while visiting from out of state over the holidays? While this can be stressful, it is essential to understand that protecting your legal rights is no different from protecting your rights after an accident at home. You should still try to take the abovementioned steps—including talking to a personal injury lawyer in Florida.
Our lawyers can represent you whether you visit family in Florida or vacation in Florida over the holiday season. We have represented numerous individuals and families from other states. Once you return home, we can work with you remotely and do everything necessary here in Florida to seek a just settlement.
What if You Got Hit By an Out-of-State Driver?
What if you got hit by an out-of-state driver who was in Florida for the holidays? If you are a Florida resident and an out-of-state driver is responsible for your injuries, our lawyers can determine what claim (or claims) you should file.
While Florida is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, many other states are not. If the driver who hit you has fault-based auto insurance coverage, we can fight to secure the maximum coverage available based on the long-term effects of your injuries. We can also assess all other potential claims and deal with the insurance companies for you while you do your best to enjoy the holidays.
Speak with a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer at Silva & Silva
If you need help dealing with the aftermath of a vehicle collision, fall, or any other accident during the holiday season, we invite you to get in touch. To confidently discuss your legal rights with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, please call 305-445-0011 or request a free consultation online today.