What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Accident
Being involved in an automobile accident is a traumatic event, regardless of whether it’s a major collision or a minor fender bender. We know these types of incidents occur with unfortunate regularity; we see them on the news, hear about them on the radio, even witness the aftermath on the roads we travel frequently. While we know car accidents happen, we don’t expect them to happen to us. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do. In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, the things you do or say can have long-term, lasting impacts.
Legal Obligations of Drivers Involved in Car Accidents
Under Florida law, drivers have certain responsibilities in the event of a crash or collision. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, you must:
- Not leave the scene – If someone has been hurt or injured, Florida Statute Section 316.027 requires any drivers involved to stop as close as possible to the scene of the accident and remain there until help arrives. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in felony charges.
- Report the accident – Under Section 316.066 of the state statutes, any car accident involving injuries to people or damage to property needs to be reported to the local police or Florida Highway Patrol immediately. Even if you think someone else probably reported it, call anyway. Don’t leave the scene until an officer arrives and gets your personal information, such as name, address, and driver’s license number.
- Not block traffic – Move your car to the side of the ride, in a safe location. If you are unable to move your car yourself you are obligated to get help or have it towed.
- Render aid to victims – If anyone is injured, take any reasonable steps to help. If there are serious injuries, call an ambulance.
What To Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident
The Florida Department of Highway Safety offers the following tips for drivers injured in car accidents:
- If your injuries don’t prevent you from doing so, exchange driver’s license numbers and insurance information with other drivers at the scene.
- Never confront an at-fault party in an accident directly.
- Be careful to not make any statements to anyone incriminating yourself in the accident.
- Report the accident immediately to your insurance company.
- Obtain a police report as soon as possible.
In addition to the above, get the medical help you need, and be sure to have any medical providers document your condition. Also, use caution when dealing with the other driver’s insurance carrier. Speak to a qualified lawyer before answering any insurance company questions or settling any claims.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we’ll review your case, and help you to get the compensation you deserve. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, our lawyers and staff understand the serious and often ongoing nature of injuries related to car accidents. We have experience in dealing with insurance companies, and can help you get the maximum amount of damages to cover your losses. Call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation today.