What are the first steps I should take after a car accident?
Car accidents can happen in an instant, but what you do immediately following a motor vehicle collision can have a significant impact on the integrity of your claim or lawsuit. After a car accident in Florida, it’s crucial to take immediate steps to ensure your safety, well-being, and protect your legal rights.
What Are the 10 Correct Steps to Take After An Accident?
Below, you’ll find the six steps you must take following a car accident, to protect your health, your rights, and your claim:
Stay Safe and Check for Injuries
Ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident. Move to a safe location if possible, turn on hazard lights, and set up flares or warning triangles if necessary. Check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately. Even minor injuries should be addressed promptly.
Call the Police
Contact law enforcement to report the accident. The police report will provide important documentation of the incident, which may be vital for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
Exchange contact, insurance, and vehicle information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Gather names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, and vehicle details.
Document the Scene
Use your phone or a camera to take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, street signs, and any relevant road conditions.
Notify Your Insurer
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide accurate and honest details about the accident. However, avoid admitting fault, as this can impact your claim.
Obtain Witness Information
If there are witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Their accounts of the incident could be valuable if disputes arise.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation. Some injuries might not show symptoms immediately and having medical records can be essential for insurance claims.
Keep all documents related to the accident, including medical records, repair estimates, and any communication with insurance companies or the other party.
Contact an Attorney
If you suffered injuries or extensive property damage, consider consulting a car accident lawyer. They can guide you through the claims process, protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Avoid Speaking to Other Insurers
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, avoid discussing the accident without consulting your attorney. They may try to gather information to minimize their liability.
By following these steps, you can set the foundation for a smoother insurance claims process and potential legal actions if necessary.
Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
Dealing with insurance companies can be complex, especially if you’ve sustained injuries. Speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer at Friedland & Associates can provide you with expert guidance and support you need throughout the process. While you are not required to hire legal representation, doing so can significantly increase your chances of a successful settlement or award, while making the entire process as low-stress as possible.
Contact Us Today
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida and need legal assistance, contact Friedland & Associates today. We offer free consultations to discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer who can assess your situation and help you understand your legal options moving forward. Contact us today to learn more.