Have You Had an Auto Accident in the State of Florida? Take These Steps Immediately
No-one plans to be in a car accident. Even a minor collision can be a scary experience and most people do everything they can to avoid one. Avoiding one may be difficult though, with Florida having 395,785 auto accidents in 2016 alone.
Even though you can’t plan when you are going to be involved in an accident, you can take the necessary precautions and steps to avoid or overcome any bad circumstances and successfully navigate the aftermaths of the crash.
We have listed the steps you should take below.
Check for Injuries with Everyone Involved in the Accident
Before you even pick up the phone to call the police, first check with every person in your car, and the other vehicle. You will need to know if anyone needs immediate assistance.
Call the Authorities
At this time, tell them about any injuries from the wreck. Follow their directions, and do not admit any fault in the collision.
Move to a Safe Distance
If you cannot move the car to a safe place, make sure that all people involved moving to a safe area, away from traffic. Wait there for the authorities.
Be sure to take as many photos as possible. You’ll want clear pictures of the damages, any warning signs, and the condition of the road.
Get copies of the other driver’s insurance and registration, and if possible, a photo of their driver’s license and vehicle tag. Find out who the registered owner of the other vehicle is.
Talk to any witnesses. Do not let them leave with getting their names, phone numbers, and emails. Ask if they have any photos or video of the accident.
If you have a dash cam, make sure you obtain any video before you leave your car, or it’s towed away.
Seek Medical Assistance
Even if you think you’re fine at the scene of the accident, don’t state that to anyone. Many injuries are not readily apparent, such as whiplash.
When you’re being examined, be sure to tell the doctor that you were in a car accident. They will need this info to perform a thorough examination, and you will want this information on your medical record.
In the days and weeks after the accident, be watchful for any complications that the doctor mentioned, and for any new aches, pains, emotional or memory issues. Be sure to document these and follow up with your physician.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Advise them of the accident. If it seems that the other driver was at fault, do not sign any paperwork until you’ve had it properly reviewed.
Continue to Document
Be sure to keep copies of every bill, receipt and medical report. Follow up with the police for copies of the official accident report. Keep all the copies in a safe place, and together. It’s best to keep both a hard file of the actual paperwork and computer folder where you can keep scans of the documents and any other correspondence. This will help you when you need to email copies of anything.
If you believe the other driver is at fault, it’s always best to consult with an attorney. Approximately 16.1% of Florida drivers do not carry insurance. If you’ve sustained property damage or have been injured in the accident, you will need the guidance of a good lawyer to assist with obtaining proper compensation for your injuries and expenses.
An auto accident attorney will know the right questions to ask, and the proper sequence for everything that leads to a claim. They’re an invaluable resource as you recover from the physical and emotional impact of the accident.
Scott Distasio is the founder of Distasio Law Firm in Tampa. His career focus is on all types of personal injury cases. His work represents his belief that all firms should provide outstanding service to their clients. Follow @scottdistasio on Twitter to see what legal wisdom he shares next.