5 Tips Immediately After a Car Accident
Each year, millions of Americans become affected from car accidents, with physical and emotional damages varying from minor to severe. Car accidents occur in a split second, often making the involved parties feel scared, confused, and angry. When an accident occurs, the cause of the accident and the party at fault may seem unclear. Car accidents occur as a result of countless factors, including failure to follow road rules, running red lights, running stop signs, unsafe lane changes, inadequate following distance, tailgating, speeding, road hazards, inclement weather, dangerous riding conditions (i.e. flying debris), and defective car parts. Whether you have or have not been involved in a car accident before, various safety steps must be taken immediately after the auto accident occurs.
Tip #1: Call 911 immediately
Most states legally require that a police report is completed, even for the most minimal fender benders. To comply with the law, and ensure the other party does not flee the scene of the accident, call the police. Even if you believe you were at fault for the accident, leaving the scene of the accident without informing police may cause you significantly more severe consequences.
Tip #2: Gather information
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, there are various forms of information you should collect. When communicating with other parties involved, remain calm and courteous. Regardless of if you believe you caused the accident or not, never admit fault. Admitting fault will hurt you in court, and there are various factors that may have contributed to the accident, outside of your knowledge. Collect the names, contact information, and car insurance information for any drivers involved. Also collect the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Tip #3: Documenting the accident
If possible, use your cellphone to take pictures of the license plates of involved vehicles, damage to your vehicle, damage to other vehicles, damages to property other than vehicles, objects at the scene (i.e. debris, skid marks, fallen branches), street signs, and any additional factors that could have contributed to the accident.
Tip #4: Be careful what information you provide
When exchanging information with the other driver, be careful about the information you provide. Provide your name, your vehicle’s make, model, year, and color, your insurance company name, your agent’s name, you’re agent’s phone and policy numbers. DO NOT allow your license or registration to be photographed. DO NOT provide your address or contact information to other drivers, passengers, or witnesses.
Tip #5: Go to the hospital
After an auto accident occurs, it is essential that you go to the hospital. Some avoid going to the hospital if they do not appear to be hurt at first, if they want to avoid medical bills, or if they feel the accident was their fault. Regardless of these factors, go to the hospital to get assessed by a medical professional. In addition to obtaining a professional’s opinion, going to the hospital proves to insurance companies that you have considerable injuries. If you fail to go to the hospital, insurance companies may claim they do not have to pay for your injuries, because if you were truly injured, you would have visited the hospital. Another reason to go to the hospital is that many injuries appear and worsen over time. Severe injuries that may not be evident at first include a fractured skull and internal bleeding.
Car accidents are typically sudden, surprising, scary experiences for all parties involved. Because car accidents occur for various reasons, and multiple drivers may be involved, some become frozen immediately after an accident. If you become involved in an auto accident, call 911 immediately, collect information from the other driver and witnesses, document by taking pictures, be careful about what information you provide, and go to the hospital. Following each and every one of these safety procedures immediately after an accident serve various purposes, medically and legally. If you become involved in an auto accident, seek a personal injury attorney to help you obtain the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an accident, don’t forget to call the Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. by dialing 1-800-586-5555. If you live in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Naples or any other city in Florida, The Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. can help you get your life back on track if you’ve been injured after a car accident. Make sure to follow The Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga P.A. on Twitter (@KPAttorney) and Facebook.