There were 227,998 car accidents in Florida in 2011. That comes out to nearly 625 crashes every day. If you live in Florida, the chances that you will be in a motor vehicle accident someday are very real.
Whether you have been in a fender-bender or a collision resulting in serous injures, you have rights after a car accident that you should act to protect. How you act immediately following a car accident may have a lasting impact on your ability to obtain compensation for property damage, personal injury, pain and suffering and other losses caused by the crash.
The Disparti Law Group, P.A., is available to help you through the aftermath of a crash. Our lawyers promise to work hard to protect your rights and seek compensation you need and deserve after a car accident.
To help us to help you, we suggest you take the following steps:
1. Check for injuries
Determine whether you are in pain and whether you have been injured. Ask your passengers whether they are hurt. Approach the other vehicle if you can and ask whether its occupants are OK. If anyone has been injured, phone 911 immediately for emergency medical assistance.
Regardless of how you feel, you should see a doctor soon. Sometimes, symptoms of serious injuries appear later. Having records of receiving medical treatment will also be helpful if you make a legal claim later.
2. Document the accident scene
Use your cell phone or a camera to document the crash with photographs. Get pictures of the cars and their impact points (where they hit each other or other objects), body damage, interior damage, skid marks and broken glass. Photograph any injuries. Get names of the other people involved in the accident and of witnesses. Make sure to collect their contact information. If the circumstances of your crash were complicated or unique, write or record notes about it while your memory is fresh and accurate.
As you move forward, keep any and all documents pertaining to your accident. You particularly want to keep a file of medical records and bills, including prescription drug costs and receipts for any other expenses you encounter due to the accident.
3. Get driver information ready
Gather your registration card, insurance card, driver’s license, license plate number and car’s make and model. You should be ready to exchange this information with the other driver or to provide it to police. In some cases, police will not respond to a minor accident. When they do respond, the police officer will likely gather this information and share it with all parties involved in the wreck.
4. Call police
If police respond to your accident, answer their questions honestly and politely but succinctly. Do not volunteer information. Do not make accusations about the other drivers. Do not admit fault. Ask how to get a copy of the police report and obtain one as soon as you can.
5. Call your insurance company
You’ll need to report the accident to your car insurance company to obtain a settlement. Follow their instructions, such as getting multiple repair estimates. However, don’t provide information they may use against you to minimize your settlement. Do not downplay the extent of your injuries. Do not sign anything or agree to record a statement. Don’t agree to any settlement offer at this point in time. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, tell them they should contact your insurance carrier.
6. Contact a car accident lawyer
An experienced Florida car accident lawyer can help you obtain a proper settlement from your insurance carrier after a crash or help you seek compensation from the other driver’s carrier. Florida’s no-fault insurance and comparative negligence laws are complex. It is important to speak with a car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
If you have been in a car accident in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Holiday or anywhere in Florida, contact the Disparti Law Group, P.A., through our toll-free number or online form. We can provide a free consultation. Our car accident attorneys are committed to helping you to get the money you need to rebuild your life.