Car accidents happen quickly, with little to no warning. One minute you can be driving along, the next either you or another driver is involved in a wreck. Regardless of whether it’s a fender bender or a major collision, there are some things you need to be aware of in order to protect yourself. If you’re a witness to an accident, you’ll want to know what is expected of you. If you or someone you love is injured as the result of a car accident, what you say and do in the aftermath can seriously affect your ability to get compensation for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. Review our list of do’s and don’ts so that you’ll be prepared in the event the unexpected happens.
Your Legal Obligation
According to Florida law, drivers have a number of legal obligations if they are either involved in or witness a car accident. In either scenario, follow these guidelines from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles:
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident. Drivers are required by law to stop as close as safely possible to the scene of an accident. If anyone has been injured, remain at the scene until help arrives.
- Always report a car accident to the local police or Highway Patrol if there are injuries involved. Wait until an officer arrives, and give them your personal information, including your name, address, and driver’s license number.
- Move your car to the side of the road and out of the way of any traffic.
- If anyone is injured, you are legally obligated to offer aid and assistance. In the case of serious injuries, call an ambulance.
Do’s and Don’ts If You Are Involved In An Accident
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety, there are several things you should do if you are involved in a car accident. These include:
- Get information such as driver’s license numbers and insurance information from other drivers involved. Be sure to give them your information also.
- If you’re able, get the names of witnesses to the accident.
- Be sure and report the accident immediately to your insurance company.
- Get the police report from the accident as soon as possible.
- If possible, take pictures of your car, and make notes regarding the damage done.
- Get statements from medical providers, and keep copies of any bills.
Sometimes what you don’t do can be just as important. In the event of an accident, make sure to heed the following:
- Don’t confront an at-fault driver. Let the police handle it.
- Don’t make any statements regarding how you think the accident happened, or who was at fault. In statement required by police, be careful not to incriminate or blame yourself.
- Don’t make any statements to the insurance company, or accept any claim offers, until speaking with an attorney.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or damages, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys immediately. At Hogan Frick, we can help defend your interests with the insurance company, and help you recover damages for the injuries you’ve suffered. With offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, our attorneys are on your side, and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.