Most of us don’t think about an auto accident when we buckle up and leave home, nor should we. However, if you are the victim of an auto accident in Florida and don’t know what to do, this blog will discuss simple steps you should take.
7 Steps to Take Following an Auto Accident in Florida:
Step 1- Call 911:
Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience. If you’re involved in an auto accident do your best to stay calm. Stop or pull off the roadway at the scene. If you are not able to stop at the scene of the accident, stop as close as reasonably possible. Once stopped check yourself and your passengers for injuries and then call 911. Stay calm and professional with the 911 operator. They only need specific information such as injuries and / or whether police, an ambulance, or tow truck is needed. Avoid discussing who is at fault or details of the accident with the 911 dispatcher. Stick to- who you are, where you are, injuries, and overall description of the accident scene.
Step 2- Create Your Own Accident Report:
As you wait for police and emergency services, stay in your car unless instructed otherwise by 911. Use this time to create your own “accident report” detailing what you remember from the incident. An iPhone / smartphone voice recorder works best if you don’t have anything to write with. Simply replay the accident. Go over what happened, and use common sense to include any details that would be relevant to your case. Start with basics like: What happened. Where you were. The direction you were traveling. The direction the driver was coming from when they hit you. Anything unusual you noticed about the driver, i.e. swerving, speeding, or using a cellphone.
If the other driver leaves the scene, this is called a hit and run. In this case, list everything you can remember about the vehicle. Start with the license plate number if you were lucky enough to see it, then make, model, color, and year of the vehicle to the best of your estimation.
Step 3- Get Driver Information:
Exchange insurance information with the driver. Make sure to get the make, model, year, VIN, and license plate number. Ask the driver for their name, address, driver’s license number, phone number, and email address. If the driver is not the owner of the car, get the same info on the owner too. Last but not least- ask the responding police officer for their information. Name, contact info, and badge number.
Step 4- Gather Evidence:
Evidence gathered at the scene can help determine which party is held liable for the accident. It can also help ensure you receive maximum compensation for any injury or financial loss suffered. Don’t be afraid to start gathering evidence. Use common sense. Take pictures of anything you think might be relevant to your case. Take photos and videos of the involved vehicles. Document weather and road conditions. As well as street signs, traffic signs, and traffic signals. Video is especially useful because it can capture a person’s state. From being aggressive, to slurred speech, or even admission of guilt, video is powerful evidence that will protect you in the court of law.
Step 5- Get Witness Information:
If witnesses stop at the scene, ask them if they can explain what they saw while you roll video. Additionally, ask for their help in providing said information to law enforcement. Get their basic contact info: name, phone number, email address, home address etc.
Step 6- Seek Treatment
Many auto accident victims don’t feel severely injured after the crash. Shock and subsequent adrenaline after a serious accident often delays the symptoms of a serious injury. Insurance companies don’t play fair. Though you might feel ok now, and simply develop pain later- insurance companies won’t see it that way. An insurer can argue your hesitation to seek treatment, means your injuries “didn’t result from the accident,” or aren’t as “severe as you claim.” With this in mind, seek medical treatment immediately after the accident. A medical professional will properly diagnose any injuries, and document them on record.
Step 7- Contact Insurance Company and Experienced Lawyer
Our law firm, Craig Gibbs Law, specializes in personal injury law. It is all we do. We handle the following types of cases: car wrecks, truck wrecks, motorcycle crashes, crashes caused by DUI drivers, job injuries, wrongful death, workers compensation, medical malpractice, nursing home malpractice and abuse, prescription drug errors, birth injuries, defective product injuries, slip and falls and much more. If you were hurt because of someone’s negligence or carelessness, call us now. Mr. Gibbs has years of experience fighting insurance companies and he will use that experience to get you the compensation you deserve. Best of all, all consultations are free and you pay no fees unless we win your case!