Steps To Take Right After A Florida Car Crash
In the minutes and hours immediately following a Florida car accident, it can feel absolutely overwhelming to have to move past your immediate shock and pain. However, there is a procedure that must be followed in order to give you the best chance at having your medical bills taken care of, and having a chance to ensure that your other losses do not have to be paid out of your own pocket. The more information you possess, the better your case will look.
Always Contact Law Enforcement. Florida law only requires that police be called if (1) the accident involved injury, death, or substance abuse by one or more drivers; (2) a driver fled the scene after the crash; or (3) the accident involved a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler. However, many drivers choose to contact law enforcement even if only property damage occurred. The rationale is that a police report can be valuable evidence when trying to make an insurance claim, especially when one is using personal injury protection (PIP).
Check For Injuries. It is crucial to ensure that you are aware of any injuries that might have been caused in the accident. For yourself, seeking medical treatment is vital – if you do not seek treatment within 14 days, you are not entitled to avail yourself of personal injury protection benefits. For others, it is important to be aware of any potential claims that might result from this accident, especially if someone tries to allege that you were somehow at fault.
Document Everything. Insurers look for as much detail as possible in a claim, so any kind of photographs or other documentation of what happened in the accident are important pieces of evidence. In addition, Florida does allow some lawsuits to be filed in personal injury cases (normally, Florida is a no-fault state, so anyone injured in a car crash will usually file a claim with their insurer to collect) – if your have documentation of the accident, it can be of real help at trial.
Do Not Make Admissions. After an auto accident, it can be very tempting to apologize or otherwise make statements that might imply your guilt or liability in the accident. These types of statements can lead to actual liability under Florida law, which is a surprise to many people. Stay calm, remain factual, and do not speak on anything that might be construed as an admission of liability.
Contact A Tampa Car Crash Attorney
An auto accident is always going to create upheaval in a person’s life. Immediately following a crash, it can be hard to focus on what you need to do, but if you are able to stay calm, it can be helpful in your case. A Tampa car accident lawyer from the Rinaldo Law Group can sit down with you and help try to answer your questions. Call our office today for a free consultation; we are happy to try and assist.