Tips to Follow After a Car Accident
As more people travel on the roads, the likelihood for a car accident is greater. With this in mind, we have put together a set of tips to consider should you have the unfortunate luck of getting into a car accident.
Stop and Pull Over. Make sure that you are safe. Check on the health and well being of your passengers. Call 911 immediately for medical assistance if you or any passengers are injured.
Exchange Information. Be sure to request the driver’s name, address, and phone number. Write down the make and model of the other vehicle(s) as well as the license plate number(s). In your interactions with the other driver(s), be calm, reasonable, and respectful as you never know whether the other driver is recording you on a dashboard camera or similar electronic device.
Call the Police. If an accident has occurred, you should call the police and request an accident report. An accident report will include details of the accident according to all parties involved, any witness statements given to the officer, and the extent of the damages or injuries stemming from the accident. Often times, insurance companies will require a police accident report in processing claims even if neither party sustained physical injuries. You should also make sure to take down the police officer’s contact information in the event you might need to contact him or her later. Police officers also act as peacekeepers on the scene in the event that tensions escalate between parties.
Take Notes and Gather Evidence. Use your cell phone or personal camera or recorder to take pictures of the accident scene including the damage to your car and any other vehicles that may have been involved. This evidence will be crucial to your case in the event that the case is litigated. You should also record your personal observations at that time of the accident like the other driver’s demeanor, the weather conditions on the road, whether there were any passengers in the car, and any other facts that might not be immediately apparent from the photographs alone.
Talk to Witnesses. Having eyewitness observations can be crucial to your case. Ask what they may have seen, heard, or observed in the moments before, during, and after that accident. If possible, get the names and contact information of any person who may have seen the accident.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer. You should immediately contact your own car insurance company to report the accident and any property damage or personal injury suffered. Be sure to answer the insurer’s questions to the best of your ability.
Maintain Records of the Accident. Maintain records of any receipts for medical bills, towing fees, rental cars, time off from work, or other expenses as a result of the accident. Keep track of any pain you experience, and how any injuries may have affected your daily quality of life and prevented you from engaging in routine activities.
Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations. A statute of limitations sets a deadline for the amount of time you have to file your claim in civil court. According to Florida Statutes Annotated section 95.11, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is generally four years from the date of the accident. In certain circumstances, the statute of limitations clock may be extended if the suffered harm is discovered after the incident that caused the injury. Failure to file your claim within this time window can result in the disqualification of your suit.
Don’t Accept a Settlement for Less. You may have incurred injuries that will take time to fully develop. Do not accept any settlement until you’ve consulted with an attorney and competent healthcare provider. A lawyer can advise you on what steps to take to protect your rights to any full and fair compensation.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident in Florida, contact the Romero Law Firm to discuss your options. Auto insurance agents offering compensation are interested in settling for the smallest amount possible and may not be in your best interest. We are ready to fight on your behalf to help you recover what’s due to you. Don’t hesitate; call 877-ROMERO-1 today for your free, no-obligation consultation.