10 Things To Do When In A Car Accident
Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyers
Top 10 Car Accident To-Dos:
Over 6 million car accidents occur each year in the U.S. While most of them involve only property damage, damage to the vehicle as opposed to the occupants, 1/3rd of auto accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests.
1. STOP. Never drive away from or leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one.
2. PROTECT THE SCENE. Set up flares or keeping your flashers on. If it is dark and your lights don’t work, you should have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.
3. CALL THE POLICE. 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.
4. MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do NOT guess. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure then say you are not sure rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision.
5. 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. These are the most helpful pieces of evidence when negotiating with insurance companies to prove certain facts and conditions regarding the car accident and liability/negligence of the other driver.
6. 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.
7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. Once medpay benefits are exhausted, private health insurance becomes your primary insurer. Medpay benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle. Your insurance rates should not increase as a result of submitting claims for medpay coverage.
8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.
9. 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.
10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult our Boca Raton car accident lawyers. Our car crash attorneys can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident; you should NOT do so until calling our office and seeking legal representation. The insurance company is not your friend and not in the business of paying out claims. Our auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless we cover compensation for your injuries.
Contact us TODAY if you have been in a car crash anywhere in South Florida at 754-900-1529, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the form to the right of this page.