Car accidents are one of the leading causes of serious and catastrophic personal injures and death in the state of Florida. Knowing what steps to take after an accident has happened, can lessen the impact and help your personal injury lawyer with your case.
Pull over and call 911.
After stopping your car and, if you can, pulling out of the line of traffic, don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights.
Even if no one is hurt, if there’s real damage and insurance companies will soon do battle, it’s a good idea to call 911. That’s the recommendation from the federal government’s website, 911.gov, which recommends calling after “a car crash, especially if someone is injured.”
Exchange car insurance information.
If you do nothing else, do this. Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company need each other’s contact information to decide who pays for the damages.
But what if you don’t have your car insurance information? Maybe you’ve left the card somewhere on your desk. Don’t panic. However, do not relay this to the other party. Talk to them as little as possible but you can still provide your or your lawyer’s contact information.
Get a police report, take photos and gather witnesses. If you have a smartphone, it can be helpful to take photos of the damages, especially if you know you weren’t at fault and want to prove it. If you can find eyewitnesses and collect their contact information to give to the police and to your insurance company, even better.
You may need to report the accident to the DMV. The fun never ends. Many states require motorists to report car wrecks to the bureau or department of motor vehicles, depending on how much damage was done to the car. Check with your state’s DMV or BMV to see if you need to file a report.
At The McLeod Firm, in St. Augustine, Florida, we concentrate on auto accident cases involving the most serious injuries. As trial lawyers, we prepare every case for trial success, even as we negotiate fair settlements with insurance companies.