Five Steps To Take After A Car Accident
In 2012, there were 2,430 deaths and 198,029 injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents in Florida. The previous year, there were 2,403 deaths and 181,701 injuries. If 2013 proves to be even more dangerous for motorists, then the trend to expect for 2014 is that there will be even more motor vehicle crashes on the road, and the likelihood that you might find yourself in a crash would be increased.
Being involved in a car accident can be frightening, and dealing with police officers and insurance companies can be intimidating, but there are steps you can take to make the process smoother and less daunting. Following are some tips for what to do after an accident:
File a police report
Regardless of how severe or minor your injuries or vehicle damages are, call the police, and don’t leave until they show up and permit you to leave. Leaving before a police report is completed may make your claim process harder. Damages and injuries often aren’t discovered until days or weeks after the incident, so having a report of initial observations is a good starting point.
Record as much information as possible
While the aftermath of an accident may be a confusing and fast-paced time, it is important to record as many details as possible for use during a lawsuit or as evidence for insurance adjusters. Be sure to record the following information:
- The date, location and time of the accident
- Information from all involved parties, including witnesses, such as names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance companies
- Damages to all vehicles and the make, model and year of all vehicles
- Your injuries that are apparent at the time
Taking pictures, in addition to writing down information is an added source of evidence.
Get medical attention
If a medical professional suggests you take an ambulance to the hospital, do it. Don’t downplay your injuries, because your health is the most important factor in this case and, in addition, doing so may make your claim for damages weaker. Be sure to discuss all your injuries with a licensed physician.
Don’t admit fault
Don’t give any official statements to police officers or insurance companies on the scene. Even saying you are sorry can be taken as an admission of guilt and used against you in your claim for compensation.
Talk to a lawyer
Before filing a claim, talk to an experienced Tampa auto accident lawyer to determine your best legal options.