10 Things to Do After a Car Accident
The following 10 things may help you protect your rights, your health, and your safety after a car accident:
1: Stop and Call 911
In Florida, you must stop and exchange information with other drivers after any car accident that causes injuries or property damage. According to the Florida Statutes § 316.065, you must report any accident that results in injuries, death, or over $500 of apparent damage to the police.
If the vehicle accident caused injuries to anyone, make sure to tell the 911 operator so that they can dispatch an ambulance to your accident scene.
2: Move to a Safe Location
If possible, you should move your vehicle to a safe area, such as the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot. If it is not safe to do so, wait until the police arrive to receive further instructions. Please contact our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer for more legal help.
3: Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s)
You should exchange the following information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident:
- Names and addresses
- Contact information
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance information
4: Photograph the Accident Scene
If you have a smartphone or a camera on you, take pictures or video footage of the accident scene. Try to document:
- The positions of the vehicles and their damage
- The intersection or area where the accident occurred
- Your injuries
These photos or videos may become useful evidence later on in your personal injury case. If you are unable to take photos at the accident scene, see if a witness can help you do so.
5: Collect Witness Contact Information
If anyone saw the accident, collect their personal contact information. You or your lawyer may be able to call on them later to provide witness testimony in your defense.
6: Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you are not entirely sure how the accident happened, do not admit fault to the other drivers. Furthermore, do not admit fault to the other driver’s insurance company if they contact you after the accident. You or your lawyer may want to investigate the cause of the accident to determine who is at fault before discussing these matters.
7: Get Treatment for Your Injuries
If you did not leave the scene of the accident for emergency medical treatment, it is a smart idea to see a doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible after a car accident injury.
A doctor can help you by diagnosing and treating any of your accident-related injuries. Keep in mind that certain injury types might not show symptoms until a few hours or days after the accident and that some injuries, like whiplash, may persist without treatment.
A doctor may also help you by creating proof in your medical record that your car accident caused your injuries and not something else. This evidence may help strengthen your case. You can contact our Fort Myers personal injury attorney for your legal assistance.
8: Get a Copy of Your Crash Report
If the police did not respond to your accident and create a crash report, you must contact the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and file a report yourself within 10 days of the accident.
If the police did create a crash report, you should request a copy of your report from the DMV. You may be able to use this report as evidence in your personal injury case. It might contain the responding officer’s assessment of fault, any citations issued to other drivers, and other useful information.
9: Preserve Evidence
Make sure to retain and preserve any evidence related to your injuries or expenses, such as:
- Medical bills and records
- Car repair or replacement invoices
- Pay stubs for time missed at work
This evidence might help you prove the value of your damages in your personal injury case.
10: Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for a Free Case Review
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato represents car accident victims in South Florida.
To discuss what to do after a car accident caused by someone else, call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270. A member of our team is standing by to provide you with a free, no-obligation case review.
We also help the victims of a car accident in the following cities: