If you have been involved in a car accident in the state of Florida, you could be entitled to receive damages for your injuries and property damage from the other party’s insurance company. The advanced safety features in modern cars today make them much safer to drive than before. Unfortunately, no amount of safety features can completely prevent the possibility of an accident.
Considering the fact that there are 6 million car accidents in the US per year, it is not unlikely that you may find yourself involved in a Florida car accident at some point in your life. Florida deals with a fair amount of car accidents each year itself. Anyone involved in a car accident has to deal with a wide range of issues, including legal matters, police reports, medical bills, attorneys, car repairs, and insurance companies. Fortunately, the damages you can receive due to the accident can compensate you for the financial losses you might have incurred due to the accident.
Knowing what to do immediately in the aftermath of a car accident can be crucial to ensure that you can successfully seek an adequate settlement to compensate for your losses. This post will highlight some of the most important steps that you should take immediately after an accident in Florida to ensure that you are prepared if you are ever involved in this predicament.
6 Crucial Steps to Take After a Florida Car Accident
Before we take a look at the steps you should take immediately after a car accident in Florida, we will give you a quick overview of the state laws concerning automotive accidents.
The State of Florida requires all vehicle owners to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, providing coverage of at least $10,000. The PIP is designed to pay for lost wages and medical bills in case of auto accidents in Florida. Motorists in the state should also carry property damage liability that provides coverage of at least $10,000 to compensate for any property damage caused by the accident.
If you get into a car accident, your PIP and property damage liability insurance will cover your medical bills and property damage costs regardless of who was at fault. However, these policies are designed to protect the vehicle owner and not the other party that was part of the accident.
In case the accident was caused by the other motorist’s negligence, you can sue the at-fault driver. Here are the steps you should take in case of a car accident in Florida.
1. Check for injuries and call 911 immediately
Checking for injuries and calling 911 is the first thing you should do when you have just been in an accident. You will likely be shocked following a collision, and you might not realize if you have suffered serious injuries right away.
Inform the operator about the exact location of the crash to help emergency services reach the site of the accident as soon as possible. In case your car is not blocking the traffic, it would be better to not move the car.
You should not worry about telling who is at fault when you call 911. The primary concern should be to tell the emergency services where they need to arrive, if anyone has suffered injuries, and a description of the accident site.
2. File an accident report with the police
In case of minor accidents, it is not necessary to have the police involved. However, if the accident is serious, is a hit-and-run, or has caused severe injuries or property damage, you should call the police. The 911 operator will most likely notify the police if the accident is serious.
Contacting the police is important because you should file a report, even if it is a minor fender bender. If the accident is more severe, it is crucial to file a report. The report could be vital in your case if it was caused by the other driver’s negligence.
3. List down all the details of the accident that you can remember
While you wait for the police to arrive, you should list down everything that you can remember before the accident. For instance, you should write down where you were coming from before the accident happened, if you were at a traffic signal or stop, and/or was the traffic light green, yellow, or red. Write down any other details that are relevant to the accident.
In case you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, make sure you write down everything you can remember about the other car. The model, make, color, and license plate number are important details. Any minor details such as stickers, where the other party’s car was damaged, or other details can be useful because they can help the police identify the perpetrator.
4. Gather any evidence and witness accounts
If you are not seriously injured and can move, take videos and pictures of the crash site from different angles. The documentation can be essential evidence for the case and identify more things about the accident than you might be able to remember later on.
Take a look around to see if there were any witnesses to the accident. If any of them are willing to cooperate, ask them for their contact information and if they can recount what they saw. Your insurance company might reach out to them for more information when you file your claim.
5. Contact your insurance company
You will want to contact your insurance company as soon as you can following the car accident. Your insurance company’s representatives will review your claim to determine the extent of the damage and whose fault it was. Gathering the evidence listed above as well as witness accounts can help you file a stronger claim. Preferably, have your attorney speak with your insurance company on your behalf.
6. Contact your personal injury lawyer
Filing a claim for a car accident in Florida can be a pretty straightforward affair since Florida is a no-fault state. However, it does not mean that you will not face a fair share of challenges and the possibility of an unfair settlement if you take on the claim without adequate legal representation. Working with the right personal injury firm can make a world of difference in helping you win a fair settlement in your Florida car accident case.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida due to the negligence of the other driver and you would like to seek a fair settlement for the injuries you have suffered, consider asking the professionals at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers to receive the help you need during the legal process.
The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have years of experience working with clients to help them pursue the compensation they deserve in their personal injury claims, including Florida car accident cases. The experienced lawyers from the firm have an excellent track record, work on a contingency fee basis, and will go to court to fight the case for you, if needed.
If you’re looking for an experienced and qualified Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer who will go the distance to help you seek fair compensation for your personal injury case, working with Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can be ideal for you (by appointment only).