Knowing what to do after a car accident in Florida could make a huge difference even if you’re the driver at fault. Unfortunately, many car accident insurance claims get thrown out simply because the claimant missed an important step or made a costly mistake right after the accident. Car accidents can be traumatizing, and in the heat of the moment, you may not know what to do next. However, learning these tips well in advance increases your level of preparedness in the event of such an accident.
Call 911 right after the car accident, even if you’re not visibly injured. In some cases, due to shock, drivers involved in car accidents don’t usually feel pain until moments later.
When you call 911, inform the operator about the location of the accident, description of the scenes, and whether you’ve suffered any injuries. Do not tell the operator who caused the accident even if you have reason to believe the other driver is at fault. Calling 911 also means there’ll be a police report explaining the accident scene, which could be used in court if needed.
If the other driver stops their vehicle after the accident, exchange your phone number, address, insurance information, etc. Don’t apologize for the accident or say anything that would be considered an admission of guilt.
However, if it’s a hit-and-run case, try to remember any details about the other driver. For example, think about their license plate number, any unique feature about their vehicle, the color of the vehicle, the driver’s description if you saw them moments before the accident, what they were doing before the accident occurred, or any other relevant information.
If possible, take pictures of the scene clearly showing the extent of the damage and any injuries you may have sustained.
Seek witness accounts
Witnesses can help describe the accident in detail, and the jury will most likely believe their version of the story. Take their contact information if possible and ask them if they’d be willing to testify if the need arises.
Inform your insurance company
Your insurance company needs to know about the accident whether or not you were at fault. When talking to your insurance company, don’t take responsibility for the accident. Instead, provide an honest account of what happened.
This is because Florida practices the comparative negligence system, which determines the party responsible for the accident and to what extent. So if both parties were at fault, they would share the financial responsibility between them on a percentage-based system as per the jury’s directions.
Contact an Orlando car accident attorney
A car accident lawyer in Orlando can help fight for your rights in and out of court and also negotiate a reasonable settlement. This is especially important if you or somebody else was injured in the accident. Such an attorney helps you focus on healing as they deal with the complex legal process of proving that the other party was at fault and how much compensation you deserve.
Stay quiet on social media
Avoid discussing the accident on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media. Anything you say on these platforms could be used against you during litigation. Also, avoid sharing pictures, videos, or any other materials relating to the accident.
Don’t accept initial offers
The insurance company representing the other driver might contact you with an offer if their client was at fault. Don’t accept the offer unless instructed by an experienced car accident attorney. Additionally, if their claims adjusters contact you to collect more information about the accident, don’t provide more than what’s required. Instead, stick to the basics of the accident, explaining what happened.
Florida car accident laws can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. After a car accident, the most important thing is to ensure that you and anyone else in the vehicle are safe. Next, call 911, and then contact a car accident attorney after that. This legal representative will fight for your rights while you recover from the emotional and physical effects of the accident.