What to do and What not to do After a Car Accident

What to do and What not to do After a Car Accident

What to do after a car accident

Car accidents are extremely stressful events, and they can leave a driver unsure of what steps they should, or can, take next. However, the most important step that a driver can take after a car accident is to seek medical attention.

After seeking medical care, the following steps may be taken:

  • Check on all involved in the accident to see if they are “okay” or injured;
  • If anyone is injured, call 911 right away;
  • Protect your rights by contacting your attorney;
  • Wait for the police to arrive, unless you feel you need to go in an emergency vehicle to the hospital
  • Give your report on the accident to the police or trooper; and
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible, and most certainly within 14 days from the date of the accident

Documenting what happened after a car accident is a critical step for law enforcement and auto insurance companies. Drivers should never leave the scene of an accident without contacting law enforcement. In Florida, drivers are legally required to report an accident with over $500 in property damage or injuries. Because it can be unclear the extent of someone’s injuries at the time of an accident (such as whiplash), the safest and best option is to call 911 and report the accident. Additionally, if possible, you will want to gather evidence about what happened. Once you have reported the accident, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Photographs may be used as evidence in the event the insurance company needs further details, or you file a legal claim against the at-fault driver.

Even if you and the other driver agree to not call law enforcement and leave the scene, you may still be liable for any damages later on. For example, if you suffer an injury that is not apparent until the next day and do not exchange information with the other driver, you might be unable to hold the driver liable for your injuries. If you had an opportunity to take pictures and fail to do so, you will have lost the opportunity to provide proof of the accident.

Once the accident is reported to the police or state trooper, the auto insurance company will be notified of the accident and contact you about what happened. It is extremely important to not admit fault to the insurance company because you may not be aware of all the details regarding the other driver. For instance, the other driver might have been speeding or distracted by a cell phone, which contributed to the wreck. Therefore, stick to the facts about what happened, such as what road you were on, what direction you were driving in, the weather and traffic conditions, what you were doing prior to the crash and how the other driver entered into view.

Finally, do not neglect the aftermath of the accident. You might think you are no longer injured after one week or do not need treatment for back pain, for instance, but you must continue to follow up with medical providers about your injuries to protect your body. Also, if you need to sue the at-fault driver to recover damages, you will want to document the extent of your medical expenses and show that you needed and continued to receive treatment in order to recover and return your body to as normal as possible. If you miss work during this time, do not take it lightly: document your lost wages. You will also want to keep in contact with the insurance company handling your claim, and if you are not sure about any legal portion of your claim, and have yet to contact an attorney, please do so to protect your health and finances. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legality of your insurance claim and advise you on whether you need to file a lawsuit or not to recover compensation.

Why should I hire Clayton Trial Lawyers, LP after a car accident?

Clayton Trial Lawyers, LP is committed to representing your best interests when you are hurt and most vulnerable. We promise to be your trusted advisor. We will listen closely to your story. We will bring compassion, legal knowledge, resources and expertise to your case. We will work around the clock to provide you with compassionate legal counsel to make sure that you recover the maximum compensation available after an injury. We know that finding the right personal injury attorney and law firm is important. We are different than other firms. We pride ourselves in providing you with individual attention, guidance and care. We are proud to stand up for the rights of our clients in the face of powerful adversaries. We are privileged to represent you and will stand by your side.

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