Car accidents are terrible but not rare incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 5 million police-reported car accidents in the United States per year. Florida is one of the top ten states in the United States in terms of fatal car accidents.
Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but what should you do if you are? You may be too injured, shocked, or traumatized to properly account for what is happening around you. However, it is always prudent to retain minute details after the accident to prepare for any legal action or claim compensation from the party at fault later.
If you are unsure about the proper precautionary measures to take in the event of an auto accident, we have compiled a step-by-step guide recommended by legal professionals to help you prepare for any such incident.
Get to a Safe Location
First and foremost, if you are not seriously injured and are capable of independent movement, do not remain at the crash site after the accident. You must go to a safe location away from the traffic. Otherwise, you risk being bludgeoned by oncoming traffic in the worst-case scenario.
Check for Injury
After you’ve reached a safe location, look for any signs of injury on your body or that of your passenger.
Inform Local Law Enforcement
Immediately afterward, call the local law enforcement officer and wait for them there. Do not leave the scene until they arrive and take account of the accident.
Collect Evidence from the Crash Scene
In the meantime, you can collect any and all available information at the crash scene. Because you will need as much information as possible for any subsequent legal and insurance processes. Try to take pictures of any injuries to your body or damage to your vehicle or surrounding private property. Video evidence of the post-crash scenario is also an important component of any legal defense case.
Obtain Information from All Involved Parties
While photo or video evidence is useful, it does not guarantee an insurance payout or legal protection. You will need more circumstantial evidence like involved drivers’ and passengers’ names, license plate numbers, types of vehicles, parties involved, and insurance details. If the parties involved refuse to exchange the aforementioned information, it is always preferable to obtain license plate numbers and vehicle types.
Another important thing to have is witness testimonials. You can exchange information like names and contact numbers with any witness present at the scene. Witness testimony can certainly strengthen your case.
Last but not least, when the police arrive, request the names and contact information of any responding police officers, as well as a copy of the accident report if possible.
Contact Your Insurance Agency
Next, contact your insurance agent. Do not accept help from unidentified solicitors to tow your car, as you may face a potential scam. They may hold your car hostage and demand an exorbitant release fee. It is preferable to wait for your insurance company to take action regarding towing the vehicle to an authorized body shop.
Do Not Discard Any Bill Related To the Accident
Do not discard any bill that you incurred from hospitalization, transportation, or rehabilitation in case you plan on claiming the cost from the party at fault.
Be Mindful of Exchanging Information
Be cautious when sharing data about the accident with others. While discussing the specifics of any car accident, especially with the other insurance company, proceed with caution because they will always try to get you to settle for a lower price than the desired amount.
Accidents can happen at anytime, leaving the involved parties injured and too shocked to do anything properly. But these steps are necessary in case you are planning to do everything on your own.
If you require legal expertise to build your cost settlement case or take on any legal challenge on your behalf in Riverview, contact Calandro Law legal experts. You can reach us at (813) 563-6463 or use our online form to request a free legal consultation today.