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7 Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident for a Successful Claim
7 actions that should be taken if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident.
Here are 7 actions that should be taken if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident.
Stay at the scene and move to safety
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. If you leave after a crash, you will likely face penalties for being a hit-and-run driver. You may even face serious criminal penalties if someone was injured or killed. In the state of Florida, it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident that only results in property damage. In either case, fleeing the scene of the car accident will likely result in the forfeiture of your benefits.
- If it is possible to move your vehicle, make sure to move to an area where you will be out of additional harm’s way. If your vehicle cannot be moved, put your hazard lights on so that everyone knows you will not be moving out of the way anytime soon.
- Take a moment to breathe and check that you and any passengers in the vehicle are okay.
Seek medical attention
- If you or a passenger is injured or in pain, seek medical attention. If someone has back or neck pain or is unconscious, do not try to move them unless it is necessary to avoid further or worse injury. Call an ambulance so that qualified medical help can remove and transport the individual to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
- Even if you think your pain or injuries are minimal, it is important to get evaluated by a medical professional since seemingly minor injuries can be serious.
Call the police and file an accident report
- If the car accident has resulted in property damage, physical injury, or fatality, the police need to be called. Once the police have arrived at the scene, request that an accident report be filled out. You should also document the name (s) and badge number(s) of the responding officer(s).
- Be cooperative and respectful but, refrain from apologizing or admitting blame right away. It might not be immediately apparent who was at fault since memories are probably still vague and blurry. You don’t want to admit legal liability without truly understanding what just happened.
Collect as much information as possible
- Try to obtain as much information from the accident scene, including:
- The name, phone number, address, license plate number, drivers’ license number, and insurance information of the driver(s) involved.
- The make and model of the vehicle(s) involved.
- Contact information of any witnesses, including names, phone numbers, and addresses.
- The location of the accident.
- The name and badge number of the police officer(s) at service.
- Pictures of the accident scene.
Report the auto accident to your insurance company
- Call your insurance company and inform them that you have been in an accident. Report the extent of your injuries to your insurance company as well. It is extremely important to be truthful when explaining the facts of the accident. If you are caught lying, you may get into serious trouble, and they will likely forfeit any benefits you may have been eligible to receive.
- Before you accept the offer made to you by your insurance company, confirm that all your injuries have been resolved. If you accept an offer before your injuries have been completely resolved, any treatment you may need in the future will not be compensated for.
Keep record of your medical treatment
- Keep track of all medical professionals that you have visited and/or received treatment from, which may include physicians, chiropractic physicians, or physical therapists. Record the details of the treatments you have received and the medications you may have been prescribed. You should also request copies of all the medical reports as well as medical bills. These documents will need to be kept as proof of your medical expenses to your insurance company.
- You should also keep track of smaller details, such as how your daily life has been impacted by the injuries sustained. Make sure to note of any days you had to miss from work or school due to the injuries as well as any daily activities you can no longer do. This will help to prove your pain and suffering which may also be compensated.
Be careful when talking about the accident
- Do not talk to a representative of another insurance company without guidance from your insurer or car accident attorney. If you are contacted by another insurance company, ask them politely to contact your car accident attorney or insurer.
- Be careful with what you post on social media! Some car insurance companies have been known to look for and use any information you post regarding the incident and your physical recovery against you. It is best to keep the details of the accident and your injuries between you, your auto accident attorney, your insurer, and the police until the case has been settled.
Our attorneys are highly experienced and familiar with Florida’s state laws and handling all aspects of auto accident injury claims. Our team of car accident attorneys is here to inform you and answer any questions you may have regarding the process ahead, what you should and should not do after your accident, and to open a car accident claim if needed. The accident attorney assigned to your case will guide you through the steps above and help to ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled to. The car accident lawyer hired will commit to your case by collecting the evidence necessary and negotiating with the car insurance companies on your behalf.