Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to make decisions after a Florida car accident. For some victims, decisions are made for them as they are rushed off in ambulances or rescue helicopters. If you are conscious after a crash, you should have these steps in mind to protect your welfare and your potential for a financial recovery.
The very first thing you should do is make sure you are not in danger of further injury by moving your car off the road, turning off the ignition, turning on your hazard lights, and putting out warning cones, if you have them. Once you have taken those steps, we recommend doing the following:
- Call for help. Even if damage and injuries seem minor, call 911 and report the accident. If there appear to be any injuries at all, it is a good idea to request an ambulance. When the police arrive, they will investigate the accident and write a report that could be helpful if you need to file a claim or have cause to sue the other driver later on.
- Gather information. Even though it should be in the police report, get the names and contact information for anyone else involved in the accident as well as any witnesses that are around. If others at the scene are uncooperative, be sure to at least get the license plate numbers and the police officer’s name and badge number.
- Take photos. Taking photos with your cell phone will help document the scene and the damage done to your vehicle before the site is cleaned up. This can help experts determine how the accident occurred if fault becomes an issue later on. You can also get photos of license plates and the surrounding area for additional information.
- Watch what you say. No matter what happened, avoid saying anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Something as simple as apologizing could be taken to mean you caused the accident. Other than answering the police officer’s questions and sharing your name and contact information, you do not need to say anything else.
- Notify your insurance company. Let your insurance agent know as soon as possible about the accident. If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, do not agree to sign anything and do not allow them to record a statement from you.
- Call an attorney. If you are injured in the accident, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to discuss your claim. Medical bills can pile up quickly and you may be entitled to compensation from the other driver. The sooner you call an attorney, the better.
The Clifton Law Office Is Here for You
You may be told by the responding officer or by your insurance agent that, because Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents, there is no need to call an attorney. However, there are exceptions to the no-fault law that are best discussed with a local personal injury attorney. Call us or connect with us through the form on this page to learn more.