What to Do After a Car Accident in FloridaGet a Free Consultation
The aftermath of a car accident is stressful and chaotic. It can be overwhelming as a crash victim, especially if you’ve suffered serious injuries. However, it is important to take the correct steps after an automobile accident to lay the groundwork for a car insurance claim. Here’s what to do.
Call the Police for a Serious Collision
Pull over immediately, as close to the scene of the car accident as you can safely. Never flee the scene of an accident. Check to see if anyone is injured and render aid, if so. Using your cell phone, call 911 right away. It is helpful to an insurance claim to notify the police after any type of car accident in Florida. However, state law only requires you to do so if the crash results in injuries, deaths or more than $500 in property damage. Explain what you believe happened to the police and request your police report number before you leave. Don’t admit fault or apologize for the accident.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
While you’re still at the scene, exchange information with the other driver. Section 316.062 of the Florida Statutes requires you to give your name, address and the registration number of the vehicle that you’re driving. If the other driver requests it, you must also show your driver’s license or permit. The other driver should give you all of the same information.
Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Crash
If you physically can, remain at the scene to collect evidence. If you can’t, a friend, family member or the police can do so for you. Try to gather the following:
- Pictures and videos on your cell phone of the crash site and property damage.
- Pictures of any marks or debris on the road.
- Contact information from eyewitnesses.
- Copies of any nearby traffic or surveillance camera footage.
- A written description of the accident in your own words.
The more information that you can collect about your car accident, the easier it will be to go through the insurance claims process later.
Go to the Nearest Hospital
Always seek professional medical care after a car accident in Florida. You should visit a doctor even if you feel fine, as your adrenaline may be masking the symptoms of an injury. An insurance company will look to see if you waited to seek medical care. If so, it may use this against you to try to deny or diminish your payout. Request copies of your medical records from your physician and follow your treatment plan exactly.
Don’t Talk (or Post) About Your Accident
Stay off of social media after a car accident and be careful not to discuss the crash or your injuries with anyone. Anything that you say to others or post online can be used against you by a car insurance company that is searching for ways to reduce your payout.
Contact Your Own Car Insurance Company
After you’ve seen a doctor and have all of the essential information about your crash, call your own car insurance company to file an initial report. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that you will recover benefits from your own car insurance company in most cases, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you have injuries that meet Florida’s threshold, however, you may have grounds to file a claim against the other driver’s insurer. Your insurance representative will let you know your options.
Seek Advice From an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
It is critical not to accept an insurance settlement until you’ve spoken to a Tampa car accident attorney about the value of your case. All car insurance companies, including your own provider, put their profits over the well-being of their clients. This puts you at risk of accepting a settlement that is inadequate for your injuries and losses. An attorney can help you fight for fair and full financial compensation for your car accident claim. For more information about what to do after a car accident in Florida, call (813) 471-4444 to request a free consultation at Vanguard Attorneys.