The number of total car accidents in Florida for 2020 was 341,331, according to the Florida Crash Dashboard.
It’s important to take the right actions right after a car accident to ensure you are safe and legally protected. The sad truth is insurance companies are never on your side – regardless of what they tell you. Knowing what to do just after an accident can help reduce your confusion and get the ball rolling in the right direction.
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Take these steps after a car accident.
Take your safety and health as a priority.
First, take a moment to evaluate your well-being. Are you ok? Do you have any injuries? If you are injured it’s important to seek immediate medical treatment. Next, check on any passengers in your vehicle and passengers in any other involved vehicle to make sure they are ok.
In addition, make sure you are in a safe space. This can mean a variety of things depending on your situation. You may need to move your vehicle or yourself to a safe space. If your vehicle is blocking traffic where it is and you can safely relocate it to the side of the road then proceed with caution, but slowly move it out of the way.
Contact the police
You are legally required to contact the police to document an accident has occurred. Law enforcement response times can vary, so contacting the police to alert them an accident has occurred should be done as soon as safely possible.
When an officer arrives at the scene, make sure to get their name, badge number, and contact information. Make sure to also collect a copy of the accident report for your records.
Document the scene
Take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle if you can do so without compromising your safety. Record as much detail as you can. Doing this will help your attorney and any other involved party re-create the accident to better determine the underlying cause of the incident.
You can use a combination of videos and images to document the scene. Capturing details regarding the damage caused by the accident as well as details in regards to the position of each vehicle relative to the street. When recording a video, feel free to dictate what exactly happened while the incident is fresh on your mind. You can also mention environmental conditions like weather, road conditions, and any obstructions that may be present.
Get medical treatment
You may not be immediately symptomatic, but it’s important to document any symptoms that may manifest. Just after the car accident, you may be in shock, and your adrenaline levels will be high. Medical professionals will be able to determine if you have any injuries and potentially save your life in the event you have a serious injury you are unaware of.
Injuries resulting from a car accident can be very serious. People often brush off “whiplash”, but many car accident victims who experience whiplash need some form of therapy to properly recover.
Speak with a car accident lawyer
Contact an attorney as soon as possible to avoid exposing yourself to insurance companies who will elicit statements from you to use them against you later on. Lawyers protect your legal interests and fight the insurance companies for you.
Do not give your insurance company any statements or sign anything they send you without first consulting your attorney. At the end of the day, insurance companies care about themselves, and if they can underpay or avoid paying you for a claim, then they will.
After the car accident, you need to make sure you can recover enough compensation to cover the expenses you incurred and potentially any lost wages and other relevant forms of compensation you are entitled to.
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What else can you do?
Being prepared can save you time and reduce your stress.
Remaining calm can be difficult when you are involved in a car accident or a truck accident. Knowing what to do can be confusing, but following the steps listed above can make your experience smoother.
If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident, speaking to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible is crucial. Our compassionate team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you.
Take the next step.