In the state of Florida, there are over 16 million drivers and everyday more than 600 car crashes occur. According to the National Safety Council, an improving economy and lower gas prices are leading to more motorists on the nation’s highways and more fatal car accidents. As a result, the probability of getting into a car accident on your way to your job is increasing by the hour and if this were to happen to you, it is important that you have clear understanding of the steps you should take at the scene of the accident and immediately after in order to insure a speedy physical, emotional and financial recovery.
The following are our recommendations of the steps you most definitely take it you were ever to be involved in a car accident.
STOP! Do not leave the scene of the accident for any reason. There can be serious criminal consequences if you do so.
Try to remain as calm as possible and check the wellbeing of the all the individuals involved in the accident. After an accident, there is a mix of emotions and many thought can be running through the minds of both drivers. A calm composure will facilitate the solution of the dispute and ensure a better communication. Additionally, before checking the property damage, it is fundamental that you check the physical state of you and your passengers, if any, as well as the other driver. If someone is hurt, do not hesitate to call 911 for medical assistance.
Call the police. For legal purposes, it is important that the police be involved. They will document the accident by filling out a police incident report and will help mediate the situation with the other driver. Also, they will obligate an exchange of information between the parties involve. Otherwise, it would be the other driver’s word against yours making the claim against the insurance company more difficult.
Gather as much information as possible. In addition to the exchange of information with the other parties involved, try to get the names, telephone numbers and addresses of all the witnesses to the accident. This will help you out in case there is contradictory story of the facts of how the accident happened and in case there is an issue of who is at fault. REMEMBER, passengers ARE NOT witnesses.
Take pictures of the scene of the accident, property damage, and any personal injuries. These will come in handy and will help your insurance adjuster in determining the amount for which you should be compensated. Likewise, they will serve as evidence for your case in order to recover a more just amount for your damages.
Report the accident to your insurance company. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation.
Seek medical attention. You should consult your family doctor or go to an emergency room as soon as possible—even if you do not think your injuries are severe. Some injuries do not manifest themselves immediately after an accident. Florida has Personal Injury Protection (also called “PIP” or “no fault”) automobile insurance. Under Florida’s PIP laws, drivers are required to carry insurance to cover the driver’s own injuries and lost wages, regardless of whether the accident was the driver’s fault or the fault of the other driver. Under Florida’s new PIP law, an injured driver must seek treatment within 14 days in order to be able to receive PIP benefits. Passengers are also entitled to PIP benefits.
Contact an accident and personal injuries lawyer. If anyone was injured in the car accident, it is wise for you to immediately contact an attorney. They will help you maximize your recovery amount. Attorney Jonathan Friedland and his team handle all types of car accidents cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys today and let our family take care of your family.