Car accidents are scary – especially if there’s personal injury involved. This is why it’s important to educate yourself about the five most important steps to take following a car accident in Florida. Because of the fear and trauma associated with car crashes, we don’t always know what to do after the accident.
Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge can hinder our ability to defend ourselves in court or receive all the compensation we deserve after an accident that’s not our fault. If you become involved in a car accident in Florida, remain calm and take the following steps.
1. Stay at the Scene of the Accident
Never leave the scene of an accident – for any reason other than immediate medical attention outside of your control. If you do, then you risk being charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, which can be punishable by fines, jail time, and of course, a criminal record.
Remain at the scene of the accident until the police give you the green light to leave, which is usually after all parties have taken some of the steps outlined below.
2. Seek Medical Attention and Contact the Police
Always seek medical attention—even if you don’t feel you have any injuries. (You don’t know what accident-related injuries could show up later.) Then, contact the police. Generally, one phone call to 9-1-1 will send both responders to the scene of the accident. NOTE: The police will have you complete a police report regarding the accident.
A police report will come in handy when it’s time for your attorney to work for the compensation you deserve after the accident. This is only one reason why it’s so important to contact the police.
Remember, give the officer the basic facts, but never apologize or admit fault for an accident. Doing so means you’re admitting to legal liability for the crash.
3. Exchange Information With Other Drivers and Passengers
Gather the following information from all parties involved in the accident:
- Phone numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Basic car insurance information
You might also gather names, contact information, and statements from any witnesses, as well as take photos of the accident scene. Make sure these photos include both physical and property damages. NOTE: As with communicating with police officers, when communicating with other drivers and passengers, never admit fault. Remain cordial without apologizing for any wrong doing.
4. Keep All Records
Whether you receive a simple exam at the scene of the accident or are admitted to a hospital, keep all medical records and medical bills. Your personal injury attorney will need these documents when seeking a proper settlement.
In addition to medical bills, keep records of any money you’ve had to spend – or have lost, such as employment wages – due to the accident. Such records might include expenses for towing your vehicle, taxi cab or bus fare, and vehicle estimates and repair costs.
5. Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, you need the immediate assistance of a Jupiter personal injury attorney to help you navigate each step of the legal process, whether you’re in need of legal representation for causing an accident or are seeking compensation for being the victim of a car crash.
A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in car accidents can help you through each step of the legal process, including communicating with your insurance company – and the other party’s insurance company – on your behalf, making sure you get the compensation you deserve.