Knowing what to do after getting in a car accident in Florida can help to save lives, reduce injuries, and make the claims process more manageable. If you ever find yourself in a situation that begs the question:
Here are some steps you can take to protect your best interests:
- Check for injuries and move to safety
- Dial 9-1-1 and report the accident to the police
- Collect as much information as possible
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Understand your legal options before starting the claims process
Meanwhile, if you have further questions or are unsure about proceeding with a compensation claim, it can be beneficial to learn about your legal options during a free legal consultation.
This is a good opportunity to cover your bases before talking to an insurer. Your lawyer could help you avoid common pitfalls that could affect the compensation you receive.
Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
If a collision injures you or someone else, call 911 to get an ambulance on the scene. Be sure to move to safety if possible without further injury, or wait for the authorities to arrive for assistance.
Seeking medical attention is always a good idea after a car accident for several reasons:
- To prevent minor injuries from developing into something worse
- Some injuries have ‘delayed’ symptoms that may not become apparent right away (concussions, back pain, difficulty sleeping, etc.)
- Adrenaline can mask injuries in the immediate aftermath of a crash
- Seeking medical treatment demonstrates you were concerned about being injured at the time of the accident
- You will have a record of your evaluations, diagnosis, and treatments necessary for your financial recovery
- A delay in seeking medical attention can allow an insurance company to allege that something else caused your injuries
- Having a medical record of your injuries helps you prove that the accident caused your injuries
To consult with an experienced car accidents lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
Reporting the Accident to the Police Authorities
Florida § Statutes 316.066 requires motorists to report an accident by calling the police from the scene of the crash when:
- Anyone involved in the collision is injured or killed
- If there is property damage above $500
The police report can help you begin documenting how the accident occurred and ensures all of the necessary information about the other driver is recorded. Further, most police authorities require their officers to wear body cameras to capture valuable evidence from the accident scene. Finally, having an official report to give to your insurance company will also benefit your claim.
Collect Evidence From the Scene and Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Unfortunately, forgetting details about the accident occurs easily, so it is important to take pictures and record information that will help you recall them later on.
As well as exchanging information with the other driver, consider the suggestions below for gathering evidence:
- Take photographs of your injuries, damage to the vehicles, and any property damage
- Photograph the surrounding scene as there may be elements here that can be used as evidence later
- Record in detail how the accident happened and its impact on your life
- Keep a record of any medical bills and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident
Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Following an accident, you will need to inform your insurance company. However, you need only provide basic information, such as:
- You were involved in an accident
- The accident involved property damage
- The accident caused injuries
- You exchanged insurance information with the other parties
- Someone notified the police
- The police filed a report
As they operate as a business, an insurance company will seek to pay out as little as possible. Having a lawyer manage subsequent communications and negotiations can help to ensure you are properly compensated, especially in cases where the legal process is complex.
These situations include:
- Accidents involving serious injuries or multiple parties
- Your damages exceed the limits provided under PIP coverage
- Dispute about the at-fault party
- A collision involving a truck or other commercial vehicle
- An accident involving a hit-and-run driver
- You are unsure about the value of your claim
- You received a low settlement offer
Deadlines apply when filing a lawsuit for damages against the other driver per Florida Statutes § 95.11, so you will need to file your claim within four years in most cases.
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Benefit from a Free Legal Consultation With Bogin, Munns & Munns Today
The Bogin, Munns & Munns team can help you understand your legal options and what you can do after getting in a car accident in Florida. Our legal team understands how being injured in an accident caused by someone else can hugely impact how you work and live your life.
We fight for fair compensation; we can help you, too. To discuss your claim in more detail, call our team at (855) 686-6752. Our representatives can inform you of the many practice areas we can help clients with.