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What Steps Do I Need to Take After A Motor Vehicle Accident?

— May 14, 2024

Taking the right steps to protect yourself from the financial burden that arises from a vehicular accident is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future.

Getting into a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. In that moment, everything seems to happen so fast you may not know exactly what to do or who to call. As the victim of the accident, you may be left in the dark about your rights to receive compensation from the at-fault party. However, filing a claim may be a daunting process if you don’t know where to start. This is where enlisting the services of reputable personal injury attorneys comes in.

A motor vehicle accident can change the trajectory of your life in the blink of an eye. While not all accidents are serious, the ones that are can adversely affect you for the rest of your life. While every situation differs, there are a few important steps you need to take, if you can, once you are in an accident.

1) Stay At The Scene 

Under Florida vehicular accident laws, you need to remain at the scene of an incident. An accident will need to be reported, especially if the damage is above a certain threshold, involves a driver who is under the influence, or if the accident was a hit-and-run. Keep in mind that even minor scratches to your car could hide significant damage that will impact your car’s performance. The same applies to injuries, it may not be visible now, but the aftereffects could impact you later.

2) Call The Police 

This is a step that often gets overlooked as the victim may listen to the at-fault driver and not involve the police. However, this can impact your ability to file an insurance claim or receive compensation. If you can move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, it is best to stay as near to the scene as possible and provide police with all relevant information. This includes the location, time, and nature of the accident.

3) Getting Information

It would help if you did not put yourself in danger to obtain information. Try to get the other drivers’ details including but not limited to their name, license number & license plate as well as their insurance information. Speak to witnesses and obtain their contact information, someone may even have a dashcam recording of the incident. Make sure to note down the officers as well as the incident number for your case and if you can, take photos of all damage to your vehicle as well as the other vehicle. Ensure to document any injuries you may have sustained during the accident.

4) Remain Calm and Silent 

After an accident, everything can become blurry. It’s best to remain calm and wait until the police arrive before you make your statement. Avoid accepting blame for the incident if you are not 100% certain as to what happened and avoid engaging in conversation with the other driver beyond getting the required information. Memories can be distorted during the aftermath of an accident and anything you say could be held against you. Make your statement to the police, including all relevant facts and information.

5) Call Your Insurance Provider

Please let your insurance provider know as soon as possible when an accident happens. You don’t need to provide them with all the information at once and can advise that you will contact them again as soon as possible. Do this once you have accurate information at hand to provide to them.

6) Visit Your Healthcare Professional

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In cases where you aren’t severely injured, you may decide to skip a check-up at your local doctor’s office. Even if you do feel 100% fine initially, it’s always good to get a check-up post-accident to ensure that nothing is wrong, not all injuries will be immediately visible in the aftermath of an accident. Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage ensures that your medical expenses can be reimbursed. On the off chance something does crop up after the accident, if you aren’t checked out immediately the at-fault party could claim your injury has nothing to do with the accident.

7) Enlist The Services of Personal Injury Attorneys 

Seeking legal advice from licensed attorneys is one of the best things you can do after a motor vehicle accident. Some may say you should hire an attorney before contacting your insurance company. Getting sound legal advice will help you decide how you wish to proceed after your accident, especially if the damage caused during the accident will increase the financial burdens you have to shoulder.

Tip: Avoid social media after an accident – Don’t post anything that could potentially later be used against you by the other party or your insurance company.

How Can A Personal Injury Attorney Help Me? 

A motor vehicle accident can leave you with more than just psychological damage, you may have to deal with other financial losses in the process. Having a licensed personal injury attorney to handle the matter for you can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and any additional damage caused by the accident. 

Keep in mind that there is no way to safeguard yourself from motor vehicle accidents. A combination of bad luck, timing, and other bad drivers could lead to an accident that you have no control over. Taking the right steps to protect yourself from the financial burden that arises from a vehicular accident is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future. Your chosen attorney will not only ensure that you are fairly compensated for the accident, but they can also interact with your insurance company on your behalf. Giving you one less thing to worry about when you’re trying to get your life in order after an accident.

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