Most people don’t go about their day planning to be involved in an auto accident. However, there are over six million car accidents each year in the United States. It is important to know what to do in the event you are involved in an auto accident.
1. STOP. It is against the law to flee the scene of an accident. Make sure you stop at the nearest practical location.
2. Check If Anyone Needs Immediate Medical Attention. If you are able, check on the passengers in your vehicle and any other vehicle involved in the accident. Call 911 immediately if there are serious injuries.
3. Call the Police. It is good to create a clear record regarding what happened and the police can help with that by creating an accident report. Although accident reports are considered privileged and therefore not allowed as evidence in a trial, the police can still testify to their observations of the accident scene.
4. Exchange Insurance Information. The police should assist in this process, but make sure you get everyone’s insurance who was involved in the accident. If there are multiple vehicles, make sure to get the insurance information of the driver from each vehicle.
5. Take Pictures. This includes more than just photos of the vehicles involved in the accident, although those are very important. Also take pictures of the area where the accident occurred, including stop signs or other traffic markers. Include any skid marks from any of the vehicles caused by either swerving or applying the brakes. It is important to photograph any bumps or bruises you suffered as well.
6. Report the Accident. To make sure your vehicle gets fixed and you are able to use your personal injury protection coverage, make sure to report the accident to your insurance company. Have a pen and paper handy when you call as they will give you a claim number associated with your accident. Also ensure you have the other vehicles’ insurance information handy as you will need to provide that information to your insurance carrier.
7. Seek Medical Attention. If in the hours or days following the accident you begin feeling pain, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or other symptoms, make sure to seek medical attention. It is not uncommon for symptoms to arise days after the accident. Every Florida driver is required to carry personal injury protection as part of their auto insurance. Personal injury protection, or PIP, can cover up to $10,000.00 in medical bills related to the auto accident, but in order to use it you need to seek medical attention within fourteen days of the accident.
8. Call Pilka Adams & Reed, P.A. With Any Questions. Call an experienced auto accident attorney at Pilka Adams & Reed, P.A. with any other questions you may have. Consultations for auto accidents are free of charge and if you plan on bringing a claim it is important to have an attorney help protect your rights.