As a South Florida personal injury attorney I came up with some tips on how to deal with a car, motorcycle, or truck accident. An accident can be a traumatic experience. The steps given below are meant to help a victim through an accident. The information contained herein is meant for information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.
1. Stay at scene
The first thing you must do after an accident is stay at the scene. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in the state of Florida.
2. Make sure nobody is hurt
Check on passengers in your vehicle and passengers in other vehicles. Make sure nobody is hurt. If somebody is hurt, then make sure to get medical attention for that individual(s). Try to not move anybody as this could cause more harm. If a threatening situation presents itself, like the possibility of car exploding, then try to move the person(s) with the utmost care.
3. Get treated at scene if needed
If you feel the slightest pain or discomfort make note of it to the medical personal. Do not try to dismiss any pain or discomfort as this may be a sign of greater injury. It is better to go to the hospital and make sure you are ok then to find out their may be an issue hours or days later.
4. Call police
If the police arrived, then call them. This is especially necessary if there is any property damage and/or physical injury. Make sure police provide you with a legible police report. Many times officers handwriting is illegible. If there is something you do not understand then make sure to have the police officer clarify it if possible. Most important information on the police report is the name of the other driver(s) in accident and the name(s) of the insurance policy that covers them as well as their policy number.
In South Florida, after an accident, the police will either provide you with an incident card that will indicate a case number or a short form police report. If the police provides you with an incident card, then make sure you can understand the officers handwriting. Also, make sure to get the insurance information from other drivers as you will not have that information on the incident card.
Other times the police officer will provide you with a short form report. This shows the drivers and passengers involved in the accident as well as the insurance information. Many times a police officer will note the guilty party on the short form.
5. Exchange information
As noted before many times an officers handwriting may be illegible and also you may not be provided detailed information on an incident card. It is to your benefit to get other drivers names and insurance information.
If you are in high traffic are try to remain within the vehicle if possible. If it is dark put your hazard light on and/or flares if available and wait until police arrives.
6. Take pictures
Make sure to take pictures. If you can take pictures of the scene, cars, and injuries that took place during the accident do so. These pictures may be beneficial to your claim.
7. Get witness information
Take down information of any witnesses who saw the accident and are willing to assist you if their help is needed. If an witness does not seem to be inclined to him then do not persist in requesting his/her help.
8. Call your insurance company
Call your insurance company as soon as you are able. When talking to them relay exactly what happened. A police report may help when explaining the accident to the insurance company.
9. Do not discuss incident
Avoid talking about the accident unless you are talking to your attorney. Do not post any information about your physical well-being or physical activity in any blog or social media. Do not discuss the accident with opposing insurance companies. If you are called by an opposing insurance company, then immediately relay that you are represented by an attorney.
If you become overwhelmed when dealing with the accident call an attorney. You can reach Goldstraj & Associates, LLC at 305.764.9907. If you are in an accident in South Florida there will always be someone at Goldstraj & Associates to help you.