Auto accidents are unfortunate events that can happen to anyone, anytime. Being prepared and knowing the proper steps can make a significant difference in navigating the aftermath. In this guide, we'll explore the essential steps to handle an auto accident and explain why hiring a lawyer is crucial.
What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
Prioritize Safety First
Safety should be your top priority in the chaotic aftermath of a collision. Move to a safe location, check for injuries, and call 911 immediately. Prompt medical attention is crucial, even for seemingly minor injuries.
Notify Law Enforcement
In many cases, it's essential to notify the police and file an accident report. This official documentation can be crucial in insurance claims and legal proceedings.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved. Gather details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company names, and policy numbers. Additionally, note the vehicles' make, model, and license plate numbers.
Document the Scene
Use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Capture the vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signals, and relevant details. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence later. Get witness information. You should also ask for their name and contact information if anyone witnessed the accident. In some cases, this information can be found in the accident report.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so your insurance typically covers your medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don't initially feel injured, seeking medical attention is advisable. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and having a medical record is vital for insurance claims and potential legal action. If you sustained internal bleeding during the accident, you might not be able to tell. Visit a medical professional who can conduct proper tests to ensure you are healthy following an accident. You can use your visit to prove your injury if you need to file a claim later.
What NOT to Do After an Accident in Florida?
Never Sign Anything with Your Insurance Carrier
Often, your insurance carrier will quickly have a claims adjuster make you an offer for what they have deemed to be the “fair” value of the claim. Never sign any release with the insurance company before speaking to an attorney. If you sign a release with an insurance company, you may agree to get paid, but you may also agree that you will not receive any additional money from that insurance company. Before signing a release, you can discuss it with a lawyer. That’s your right.
Never Admit Fault
It’s best not to admit fault; often, the accident occurs so quickly that you may not have the facts completely straight. Do not apologize or say that the accident was your fault. This can be used as evidence against you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Don’t Talk to the Other Drivers About the Collision
Do not make statements about the collision to the other driver. Only speak to law enforcement officers on the scene. Your statements to law enforcement are privileged and cannot be used against you later, but your statements to the other driver can be used as an admission against you if the case must go to court. In addition, never apologize to anyone.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Do not say anything about the accident. Avoid posting updates or images of yourself after the crash. We cannot stress enough: do not post to social media after your accident, as it can be used as evidence against you.
Why Hire a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer?
Legal representation becomes crucial, especially when navigating complex cases. Our skilled attorneys can help you understand your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure you receive fair compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies may try to minimize payouts or shift blame. It’s our job to be your advocate, handle negotiations, and ensure you aren't taken advantage of during the claims process. Remember, having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
Have You Been Injured In a Florida Car Accident? Williams Law, P.A. Is Here To Help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please get in touch with us online or call our Florida law office at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents like you who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other accident resulting in an injury. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.