We all hope it never happens to us, but unfortunately, accidents happen. Being in a car accident can be a scary and maybe even life changing situation. If you are involved in an auto accident, what should you do immediately after the accident? Today we will go through some of Florida’s law regarding accidents, as well as some tips and good ideas for you to know.
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicle estimates that nearly 250,000 accidents occur in Florida each year; this is an alarming amount of accidents.
Do Not Leave the scene!
If you are involved in an accident, you must immediately stop your vehicle and, if possible, move it safely out of the flow of traffic. Not stopping for an accident or leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit and run; if injuries are involved, you may be charged with a crime. Next, call 911.
Secure Medical Attention
If you are involved in, or witness, an accident that involves injuries, seek medical help for the person immediately. Call 911 or ask someone else to do so. If you are not trained in CPR or other medical techniques, sometimes sitting with the person and keeping them calm is the best thing you can do. Do not attempt to move the person unless they are in harm’s way.
If you are not seriously injured and able to take pictures, take pictures. As an attorney, I can tell you that accident scenes are hard to re-create. If there are many witnesses, a picture can speak 1,000 words. I always advise anyone that is involved in an accident to take as many pictures as possible. Take pictures of where you were driving. Take pictures of where your car stopped. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of your injuries if possible. Take pictures of the inside of your car if airbags were deployed or if there is damage to the inside of your vehicle. Take pictures of the at-fault drivers car or others cars involved in the accident.
Some insurance companies require the accident to be reported to the police and a copy of that report to be filed with the insurance company; not doing this may result in the denial of coverage. If in doubt, it is always best to call the police and report an accident. In some instances, people exchange information then contact each other later. This practice is very risky and the best advice would be to contact law enforcement so there is a report made. A report will prove that there was an accident and someone else at least witnessed the accident scene.
Write It Down
As soon as you are able to do so, write down everything that happed leading up to, during, and after the accident. You want to do this right away so the small details do not get forgotten. Take note of the date, time, weather conditions, road conditions (slick, potholes, dark, not street lights), anything and everything you remember. Sometimes those small details can make all the difference in an insurance claim or when speaking with an attorney.
Maintaining a contact log is another good idea. Write down each time you spoke with the police, insurance companies, or attorneys. If there are witnesses on the scene, attempt to write down their names so that your attorney can contact the witnesses to testify. Many times, law enforcement and EMT personnel will not obtain all the witness contact information. Having a witness on your side can definitely assist your attorney in proving your accident case. Also, keep any written correspondence with the postage date.
Call an Attorney
Contacting an attorney can help with several areas involving an accident:
- Determining liability
- What are the actual damages
- Dealing with insurance companies
Let’s state the obvious, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible for any accident. Attorneys at Koonlegal are experienced with speaking with the insurance company.
Koonlegal has experienced accident attorney’s that can assist you with your case. We have offices in Miami, Gainesville, Lake City, and Live Oak, Florida. Our main office is located in Lake City, Florida. 284 SW Baya Drive, Lake City, Florida 32025. 386-597-0000.