What to Do After a Florida Car Accident
Almost everyone experiences at least one auto accident during their lives and those who commute long distances to work each day can expect more fender-benders than others. Yet as common as these collisions are, most of us fail to prepare ourselves for the next time we may see a car or truck veer wildly into our path on the road.
As your Florida auto accident attorney will tell you, we all have certain legal duties we must uphold once we’re in a car crash. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a list of these duties in your glove compartment so you’ll be ready to act the next time someone hits your car.
Here’s a list of the most basic tasks you must handle when you find yourself in a car accident in a Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood or South Florida.
Each Car Driver’s Responsibilities Following an Accident
- Pull Over Out of Traffic and Stop Your Vehicle. Remember, hit-and-run accidents s are not only morally wrong, they’re against the law can lead to serious criminal charges being brought against you if you fail to stop after you’re in a car collision;
- Contact the Highway Patrol or Nearest Police Department. Even though some police departments may only respond if someone has been seriously injured, you must still contact them and tell them what you know about the accident. Once they arrive, be cooperative – even though you do not necessarily have to provide any theories about how it all happened or seriously endanger your own legal rights;
- Obtain Medical Help for Any Injured Parties. If you are physically able, you must contact 9-1-1 and request an ambulance if anyone appears to be seriously injured. Be sure to speak with all of your passengers to see how they’re doing and help everyone exit the vehicle quickly — while carefully avoiding oncoming traffic;
- Share Your Contact and Insurance Coverage Information. Be ready to show the other drivers your driver’s license card, your car insurance coverage information and your license plate number. Make sure you write down all of their information as well;
- Look Around for Possible Witnesses. It’s extremely important to get contact information from any drivers who passed by during the accident (or pedestrian witnesses) who are willing to give a statement to the police on your behalf. You may need to call upon these people to testify for you at a later date;
- Never Sign Anything But a Ticket. Make sure you do not sign another driver’s written statement about the accident events. However, you must respond to basic law enforcement questions. If an officer insists that you sign a ticket, carefully read over what’s been written and then sign it;
- Always Keep a Camera in Your Car for Such Occasions. Although you should carefully respect the privacy of any seriously injured accident victims, it’s wise to take a photo of where all of the vehicles ended up shortly after the collision. You may also want to take photos of your passenger’s injuries and have someone else take pictures of your injuries;
- Contact Your Insurance Company Right Away. While you can be a bit more open with your insurance agent if you choose, avoid making any extreme accusations or confessions during your phone call. Ask how soon someone can come appraise the damage done to your car;
- Head Over to the Nearest Hospital – Unless Your Injuries Are Very Minor. Far too many accident victims fail to go to a hospital emergency room to obtain useful diagnostic X-rays and other tests that may prove critical if a lawsuit must be filed.
To make sure all of your legal rights are preserved following a Florida auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Joseph M. Maus in Pompano Beach, Florida today to set up an appointment. Please call this toll free number: (855) 999-LAWS or (954) 784-6310.
If you have serious injuries, we can meet with you in your hospital room or at home. Let us explain all of your legal rights to you so you concentrate on healing from your injuries. Our firm stands ready to fully investigate your accident and negotiate the best outcome we can on your behalf with the other drivers’ insurance companies.