Most people experience at least one car accident in their lifetimes. Fortunately, most of these accidents are minor fender benders, but some can be serious and even fatal. Knowing what to do after an accident can make a huge difference in the outcome of the situation.
It’s important to know that even small accidents can cause injuries, including problems you may not notice right away. Since these situations typically leave people feeling shaken and confused, it’s best to educate yourself on the steps to take after a car collision now.
Below is a step-by-step guide that details the steps to take immediately after a car accident.
Step 1: Ensure Safety
The first priority is safety. If possible, move your car out of the way to avoid further accidents or traffic disruptions. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If there are injuries, or the accident is blocking traffic, call 911 immediately.
Also, make sure that you do not leave the scene of the accident. We know that it’s natural to feel some panic in these situations, but leaving the scene will make you look guilty. Accident scenes are crime scenes, and you don’t want additional criminal and civil charges brought against you.
Step 2: Contact the Police
In almost any accident, car accident attorneys recommend calling the police and filing a report. The reasons why are because slight damage can end up costing a lot of money, and some injuries appear days or weeks after the accident. If you don’t have a report, you don’t have anything to go on.
Simply put, though, you need to call the police after an accident in Florida when there are:
- Damages to property
- Illegal activities suspected
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Conflicts with other parties
Step 3: Exchange Information
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. Collect their name, address, phone number and insurance information. Also note the make, model and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved. Now is also the time to gather contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident.
Step 4: Document the Scene
Record evidence to support a potential insurance claim. Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates and road conditions. Note the day, time and place that the accident occurred. These details become very important if you need to file an insurance claim.
Step 5: Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Let them know about the accident and provide all necessary details. Your insurance company will tell you what to do next.
Avoid admitting fault or entering into an agreement with the insurance companies until you’ve consulted with a car accident attorney. Insurance companies are businesses, and they want to pay out as little as possible. Only a trusted attorney will make sure that you’re getting everything that is owed to you.
Step 6: Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s wise to see a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can become more serious later. Plus, medical records can serve as valuable evidence for insurance claims.
Step 7: Preserve Evidence
Keep track of accident-related documents, such as medical bills, repair estimates and receipts related to the accident. Also maintain a record of any missed workdays or lost wages due to the accident.
Step 8: Contact an Attorney
If the accident involves significant injuries or disputes about liability, consider consulting a personal injury attorney. They can provide guidance on your specific circumstance and protect your interests. The Law Offices of Ron Sholes offer free case reviews. You can send your information over to us and we’ll determine what options you have. We are on your side!
Involved in an Accident? Schedule Your Free Case Review Today
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, but taking the right steps immediately after the incident can help ensure your safety, streamline the claims process and protect your legal and financial interests. To schedule your free case review, contact The Law Offices of Ron Sholes at 855-WE-FIGHT or fill out our contact form.