Having a motor vehicle accident can be traumatic. It’s easy to forget what to do immediately following an accident. There are some important things you need to do if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Set up flares or keep your flashers on to warn other vehicles there has been a crash.
Even if there are no serious injuries, you should call the police. If you are not blocking traffic or causing a safety hazard, it is best not to move the vehicles involved until the police arrive. When you speak to the police officer, do not speculate, guess, or misstate any of the facts. You should also make sure statements made by others involved in the accident are accurate.
If you have a camera or a cell phone, you should take pictures of all the vehicles involved and their respective positions after the wreck. You should also take photographs of any visible injuries that you have. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as soon as possible. Be sure to include their name, phone number, and email address if possible. Often police officers fail to interview every witness, or witnesses do not wait at the accident scene until the police arrive.
Florida’s auto insurance no-fault law imposes a deadline for reporting injuries, often called the “14 Day Rule”. This means a crash victim with an injury has 14 days to seek initial medical services after the crash for their auto insurance to pay a portion of their medical bills. Unless you are absolutely 100% certain that you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room, an urgent care center, or with a physician or chiropractor. Make sure you seek medical attention within 14 days after the crash.
In the event the police do not come the scene, you will need to collect the appropriate information from the other party or parties involved in the accident. Take down their name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration number, and auto insurance policy number. Make note of the make and model of their vehicle as well.
Another important detail after an accident is to write it all down while it is still fresh in your mind. Having a written description of the event from the day it took place is a great way to avoid forgetting small details.
Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an auto accident, after you make sure you are safe, is to consult a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is very important that you have received legal advice from an attorney before providing a statement to the insurance company. Contact Carl Reynolds Law to speak with a personal injury lawyer that can help you.