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What do I do if I am involved a car accident?

In Miami-Dade, car accidents are not just daily occurrences, they are often life-altering situations. If you are ever involved in a car accident, the steps you take immediately afterward can help to minimize the impact the situation has on your life.

Peking Insurance states that confusion is often at its highest immediately after a car accident occurs. It is a good idea for you to see to your own personal safety first. Avoid getting out of your car right away. Take a few moments to switch on your car’s hazard lights, gather your thoughts and if possible, move your vehicle out of harm’s way. You should inspect your passengers and yourself for injuries, and call the proper authorities right away. You should also contact your insurer.

When relaying information about what occurred during the car accident to the police or any other interested party, avoid incriminating yourself. Do not accept responsibility for what has transpired or you could end up making the consequences of the situation much worse.

If the other driver asks you not to contact the police or they inform you that they want to settle everything without insurance, remember you need to protect yourself. Even though you may both be genuinely concerned about insurance rate hikes, you cannot fully protect yourself from the aftermath of a car accident if you do not file a police report. Do not forget to capture the names and contact information of everyone you speak with on the scene, including any police and emergency personnel.

Exchange information with the other drivers. You need to get their name, address, license plate number and insurance policy information. Get this information from their legal driving documents. If you have your cellphone, you can capture the proper details faster by taking a picture of them. If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene and of all vehicles that are involved only if it is safe enough for you to do so. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses, such as the make, model, color and year of their cars, their names and phone numbers.

Car accidents can happen to anyone. Your ability to deal with the aftermath depends on how well you manage the situation once it occurs. This information is only intended as educational material and should not be used as legal advice.

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