5 things to do after a traffic accident
1. CALL THE POLICE.
Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.
2. TAKE PICTURES.
If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.
3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION.
Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.
4. KEEP A FILE.
Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
5. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.
Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash or truck accident and are in need of an accident attorney in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Ft. Myers or any other city in Florida –remember after 911, call 411! 1-800-411-PAIN can put you in touch with an experienced, aggressive network attorney who will fight for your rights and get the maximum compensation you deserve. Don’t forget to follow 411 PAIN on Twitter (@411PAIN), keep up with the conversation at #411PAIN and check out the 411 PAIN event gallery 411painevents.com!