Being in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience for many people, especially if they or something they care about was injured. However, it’s important to try to keep your composure if you did not sustain injuries to try to complete these tasks after the accident.
Here are 7 do’s and don’ts after car accidents in Florida (Source: Pixabay)
Report the Accident
If no one sustains injuries in the accident, then you don’t need to call 911, but you need to report the accident if there is at least $500 in damages. Call the appropriate agency, whether it is the police, sheriff’s department or Florida Highway Patrol to report it.
If there were injuries in the accident, call 911 no matter how minor they may seem. Also, you should render aid to the injured parties. In Florida, failure to render responsible aid to someone with injuries can lead to fines and jail time.
Don’t Move the Vehicles
Unless the cars are impeding traffic, don’t attempt to move them. The cars should remain in their positions because the authorities will take measurements and pictures of them to get an accurate idea of how the accident happened.
Get as Much Information as Possible
Use your smartphone to take pictures of your car, the position of the cars involved in the accident, and the damage to the other vehicles. Also, gather insurance information from the other driver(s), including the name of their insurance company and policy number.
You should also get the names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and addresses of the other driver, passengers, and witnesses to the accident. If you need to hire accident attorneys, such as those at All Injuries Law, they will have this information as a starting point for your case.
Ask for Copy of Accident Report
Make sure to ask for a copy of the accident report as well. Even though your insurance agent will probably ask for a copy of it from the agency in charge, you should have a copy as well. It will provide much of the information you gathered in an official record of the accident.
Don’t Reject Medical Treatment
Although you may be tempted to “tough it out” if you think your injuries are minor, that’s a mistake that too many people make. If you refuse treatment at the scene for an injury and the injury worsens, you may not receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills.
Most injuries, including minor ones, respond better to treatment within 72 hours of an accident. Also, if you don’t seek treatment within 14 days of the accident, then you may not be able to claim your Personal Injury Protection, PIP, benefits.
So, seek medical treatment right away after an injury.
Don’t Take Responsibility
Even if the accident was your fault, don’t claim responsibility for it to anyone. Only answer questions regarding your name, address, phone number, and insurance information.
Otherwise, don’t answer any other questions until you speak to law enforcement, and then depending on the circumstances, you may wish to have a lawyer present when you answer their questions.
If you sustain serious injuries in an accident, you may not be able to complete these steps, but try to get them done as soon as possible. If necessary, appoint a relative or friend to take care of these matters while you’re recovering from your injuries.