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What To Do In Case Of An Accident

What To Do In Case Of An AccidentLet’s face it – it happens. You were just in an automobile crash. It may have been your fault, and it may not have. Being prepared and knowing what to do before an accident occurs can help you in terms of your safety and preparedness for potential issues after the fact.

The Initial Accident

Once the accident occurs, you must stop your vehicle immediately. Try to position your vehicle in a way that won’t impact other motorists, if possible. If another person is injured, you are required by law to immediately secure medical help.

You should insist that the accident be reported to law enforcement, so that the officer can complete the necessary forms. This should be done regardless of the type of accident. However, accidents involving an injury or death, a hit-and-run or intoxicated driver, or property damage over $500 need to be reported immediately. Be sure to be cooperative on the scene, providing any information that is requested of you.

It is recommended that you avoid negotiating any payment with any other parties involved in the accident. Not only could this person be injured, but they could be hostile or aggressive. Trying to negotiate can also greatly impact your ability to collect damages in the future. The law enforcement officer should obtain both parties’ insurance information, and record that on the crash report. It is the insurance companies who will work toward settling.

It is worth noting that although this information seems to be focused on accidents that involve other parties, it is possible to be in an accident with an unoccupied vehicle. If this were to occur, you are required to notify the owner. Leave your contact information if necessary, and report the accident to law enforcement.

Seek Medical Treatment

If necessary, you should get medical attention immediately. Not only is it imperative to your health, but it is also important for insurance and legal reasons. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible will allow a licensed professional to properly diagnose and document any injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident. This should not matter if you were the driver or a passenger in the vehicle.

Florida Personal Injury Protection law requires an injured driver to seek treatment within fourteen days in order to receive benefits. Even if you do not think your injuries are severe, it is better to go to a doctor and be cleared, rather than wait to see a doctor until it is too late, thereby impacting the amount in benefits that you can receive.

After the fact, you should immediately report the crash to your insurance company. They should keep you informed in regard to the next steps required. Although there is no law in Florida that mandates reporting accidents to your insurance company, most insurance companies have a policy that does in fact require you to do so. Not reporting in a timely fashion could put you at risk of voiding your insurance for the accident. If necessary, you should also report the accident to the Bureau of Motorist Compliance.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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