Essential Steps After a Car Accident in Miami
A Miami based car accident can leave you in distress. You might not know what steps to take after the traumatic event. Because car accidents are so stressful, it is better to know what procedure to follow before it happens. There are several important steps you can take at the scene of the accident to protect your legal rights.
1) Stay at the Scene
Always stay in a safe place following your accident, but be sure to stay at the scene. Even if you have been in a minor accident with seemingly little damage at the time of the event, it is critical to remain present until further steps are taken. Leaving an accident scene can lead to criminal charges, such as a hit-and-run, which could leave you with serious legal penalties that could include jail time, license suspension, and fines.
2) Make Sure Everyone Is Safe and Call 911
Calling 911 to notify authorities is the most important step to take after an accident. Medical professionals will ensure that you and any others involved are receiving medical attention, and police officers can gather important information so that a comprehensive police report is available for insurance claims purposes.
3) Exchange Information
The police will collect information from drivers, passengers, and witnesses and comply with the officer to provide any information regarding what happened is expected. If you are able to recount what happened, it is in your best interest to not admit fault and stick to factual details about what happened. The police report will be developed based on the officer’s questions to the driver, passengers, witnesses, and any other investigation that the officer deems necessary.
4) Document the Scene
Taking pictures or videos of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles, the intersection, street signs, and road conditions can be helpful evidence for insurance companies and personal injury attorneys. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information and see whether they might make a statement about what happened. This additional evidence could be used to support your claim with the insurance company.
5) Seek Medical Attention
Car accidents, even seemingly minor ones at lower speeds, can lead to debilitating physical effects over time. Soft tissue injuries are not typically apparent for days, so it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible and go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center to be evaluated.
6) Follow Insurance and Legal Requirements
In Florida, you will need to notify your insurance company about the accident. Insurance companies want statements from all parties involved. These statements will be used in the claims process and could be used in court should your claim not settle and need litigation. If you are unsure about what to say to your insurance company, it could be beneficial to your claim to speak with an attorney in Miami who can help you navigate the insurance claims process.
7) Consult with a Miami Attorney
Car accidents with serious injuries, liabilities, and damages will likely need an attorney so that the injured person(s) can focus on recovery while the stress of the insurance claims process is taken care of by a legal professional. At Clayton Trial Lawyers, we specialize in taking care of our clients so that they can focus on their recovery from the trauma of a car accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, don’t wait, call the experienced Miami attorneys at Clayton Trial Lawyers today to explore your legal rights to seek compensation for your injuries.