What To Do After an Accident
Fetterman & Associates, PA are Auto Accident Lawyers with Offices in North Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie
Fetterman & Associates, PA handles a wide range of car accidents, representing clients who have suffered major damage to their vehicles and serious injuries to themselves.
In Florida, there are close to 250,000 motor vehicle accidents a year and most can be attributed to careless driving in which one or more vehicle operators are negligent.
When you’re in an accident, it can be an extremely stressful time. If you have not suffered a serious injury, there are various actions that you can take to get help and ensure your safety and the safety of others. Here’s what to do after an accident on a Florida road.
First Things First After a Car Accident
The initial thing to do when you’re in a car accident is to assess the situation. Has anyone been seriously injured? Is the situation still potentially dangerous? Is it clear to oncoming traffic what has happened?
The first steps to take include:
- Call 911 and report the accident and basic information, including injuries.
- Be ready to give 911 the location of the accident.
- Make sure oncoming traffic knows there is a problem by putting flashers on and placing flares along the road.
- Once authorities have been called, if it is possible, move vehicles to the side of the road.
Next Steps After Auto Accident
The next steps are important in terms of documenting the accident. These steps will be used in assessing what parties are responsible for the car accident, and the information you record could influence how damages are paid out.
- Once safety has been established and those with serious injuries have been attended to, have your car insurance card, something to record information with, and driver’s license in in-hand.
- Collect information on those involved, including recording names, driver’s license numbers, vehicle make and model, insurance information, and license plate numbers. If you have a Smartphone, Android, or iPhone much of this information can be recorded using the camera APP. Also, share your information with others in the accident.
- Record the accident scene with your Smartphone, Android, iPhone or another device.
- You will also want to get any names and contact information from witnesses and take a moment to interview them about what they saw. Also, do the same with passengers.
- Offer information about the accident to law enforcement. If they are filing a report, get the report number, as this will save you time later if you want to access it.
What You Should Not Do After an Accident
Now that you know what to do after an accident, here is what Fetterman & Associates, PA informs people not to do. First, and foremost, don’t panic, become belligerent, or get into an argument or physical altercation with anyone. All of these actions will complicate the matter and some can result in fines and jail time. Remain as calm as possible.
Although you’ll share basic insurance information with other drivers who are involved, do not offer any specific details regarding your policy, such as the amount of coverage you carry or your deductibles and do not disclose lien holders.
Law enforcement will want to interview those involved in the accident on a one-on-one basis. This is important in that this is the only way for them to get an accurate picture of what happened. Do not try to intervene in their interview process. They are in charge.
If paramedics are called to the scene, you can be treated if you wish, and if injuries are serious, you should consent to treatment and transport to the hospital.
Even if you do not think your injuries are serious, or even if you do not seem to be hurt at that moment, never sign a statement saying you have not been. Pain and serious injury may become apparent hours after the crash, and you will have to seek medical care at that time.
Car Accident FAQs:
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Do I Have To Call Law Enforcement?
In the state of Florida, you must call law enforcement if the property damages and injuries together are over $500. A fender bender usually does not require the police, but many accidents, according to state law, must involve law enforcement.
Depending on the jurisdiction, you are required to call one of the following: the locale police department, sheriff, or the Florida Highway Patrol. If 911 has been alerted, then law enforcement would have been informed of the accident.
When to Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer
The seasoned Port St Lucie auto accident attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, PA recommend that if you have any questions concerning an accident in which you have been involved, that you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
If the car accident involves serious property damage and injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in the area of motor vehicle accidents as soon as possible.
Remember, what you should do after an accident includes immediately ensuring help is on the way and safety has been established, collecting and sharing information about the accident with those involved, and contacting an attorney if there are any injuries or damages.
Doing these things will make the most out of what is a bad situation. If you have questions or require legal representation in relationship to a car accident, call auto accident lawyers West Palm Beach at Fetterman & Associates, PA at 561-845-2510. We are ready to help you.