Most people drive a vehicle every day, whether it’s to and from work or for running errands; driving is an essential part of life. Unfortunately, even the safest of drivers sometimes get into accidents. If you find yourself in a car accident, it may be a shocking experience, leaving you unsure of what to do next. Despite your unfortunate situation, you should try to stay as clear headed as possible and follow the following steps.
10 Things To Do After An Auto Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident could lead to criminal charges, so it is important to stop your vehicle. In some cases you may be unsure if your vehicle made contact with anything, but it is still important that you stop and check.
Assess The Scene
Safety is a top priority following an auto accident. Take a moment to ensure you and any passengers are ok, and note any injuries. If you are on a busy road or there are hazardous weather conditions, turn on your hazard lights and be careful not to step into traffic. If you feel it is safe to do so, check to see if the other parties involved in the accident are ok.
Seek Medical Attention
If you or anyone else was injured in the accident, call 9-1-1 immediately. They can dispatch emergency medical personnel who can treat and transport any injured parties to the appropriate hospital. Due to the stress of an accident you may think you are fine, only to realize later that you are injured after the adrenaline wears off. Florida law allows you up to two weeks following an accident to seek treatment with a doctor in order to be eligible to receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits (See Florida Statute 627.736). Seek medical attention as soon as you become aware of any injuries, even if they seem minor. Contact us for further details on PIP coverage.
Report The Accident
If the police have not already been called, make sure to do so. If there are any injuries or property damage, it is imperative that a police officer files a report of the accident. Wait for the officer to arrive at the scene and ensure a report is written because it will be extremely helpful to filing a claim.
If possible, collect contact information of all other involved parties. You will want to gather information such as names, phone numbers, drivers licenses and insurance information. If any witnesses are present, try to gather their contact information as well. Remember to keep all interactions to a minimum and do not apologize or make any other admissions of guilt when speaking to anyone. If the police arrive, they will create a form known as a Driver’s Exchange of Information. This form will have the necessary information to get the claim process started. A formal police report will likely not be available at the scene. Typically, it takes a few days for a formal police report to be made available.
If it is safe to do so you should take plenty of photos. Make sure to document any damage, injuries, license plates and the scene as a whole. The more information you have the better.
Write Everything Down
After a traumatic experience like an auto accident it is possible that your memories could fade or become distorted over time. Take the time to write down everything you remember as soon as you can to help document the details more clearly.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
You will need to contact your auto insurance provider to report the accident to ensure you are covered. Make sure you are careful to not make any statements that could be misconstrued as you being at fault. Do not give a formal recorded statement before speaking with an experienced auto accident attorney.
Avoid Social Media
Any posts you make on any social media platform can be used against you. It is important to avoid social media until after your case has been resolved.
Contact Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates
The insurance companies will have their own attorneys and you should too. An experienced auto accident attorney will help to explain your rights and ensure your claim is processed properly. The attorneys here at Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates are here and willing to fight for the best possible outcome.
At Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates, we have more than 44 years of experience handling auto accident cases. We believe in building a personal connection with our clients, and prioritize every case as if it were our own. You have enough on your plate following an auto accident. Let us help you during this difficult time.