On average, there are over 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. Car crashes can be violent, loud, and very scary. In the moments after an accident, you and your passengers may be in shock, but remaining calm after an accident is key to minimizing your losses from a car accident. That’s why we’ve prepared this checklist for you to refer to in the event of an accident.
- Make sure you and your passengers are ok.
Check yourself for potential injuries. Move slowly while doing this, as serious injuries may not be felt immediately. If you are seriously injured, do your best to remain in place until help arrives. Check on your passengers. If someone in your vehicle is injured, call emergency services as soon as possible.
- Stay at the scene.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. However, Florida law requires you to move your car out of traffic and to a safe location while waiting for the authorities. If your vehicle will not run, call a tow truck immediately for assistance. If you are injured, or if moving the vehicle would cause more risk of injury or secondary crashes, you do not have to move the vehicle. Remember to turn on your hazard lights.
- Call 911.
If you or anyone else involved with the accident is injured or there is property damage (this may include damage to other vehicles, road signs, and buildings), call 911 and ensure a police report is filed. Be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records.
- Exchange information with the other parties.
Be sure to collect the information on the insurance card of the other driver. This includes the policyholder’s name, vehicle information, the insurance company’s name, the agent’s name and phone number, and the policy number. Acquire contact information of the driver, every passenger involved and any witnesses. Also, record the name and badge numbers of the police officers that arrive at the scene.
- DO NOT:-DO NOT discuss the accident with anyone other than your insurance agent or the police. It is very important that you —DO NOT apologize, express guilt, or admit fault for the accident.
-DO NOT sign any documents that are not provided by the police or your insurance agent.
-DO NOT agree to any settlements without first consulting an attorney.
-DO NOT allow other parties to photograph your driver’s license.
- Prepare your case.
Take detailed pictures of the accident. These pictures should include: vehicle placements at the moment of collision (if possible), any damages and debris, and location markers such as street signs, traffic lights and addresses.
If you or someone else is injured, or if there is considerable property damage, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Call Cohen & Cohen at 800-33-COHEN for a free consultation. Our team of experienced lawyers will meet with you, answer your questions, and discuss next steps with you.