Do you know what to do if you are involved in a car accident? If not, don’t worry – many people don’t know the steps to take in the event of a car wreck. As a result, they may end up doing things that aren’t in their own best interest or for their own safety. This can cause them to be blamed for the accident, and potentially lose out on recovering compensation—money needed to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
What to Do in the Event of a Car Accident in Miami
After a crash, the first thing to do is to remain calm and make sure you and your passengers are ok. Turn on your hazards to let other motorists know you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Assess the situation and check for hazards around you. Dial 911 immediately. Wait for emergency responders to arrive and help you, and cooperate with police when they arrive.
Gathering information from the other party is very important. You should make every effort to get the person’s name, insurance information and license information. Other information such as make and model of vehicle, the location of the accident and the name and badge number of police officers you communicate with can help later on. This information will help you file a claim with your insurance company (or file an accident report at your local DMV if no police are involved).
Documenting the scene is a good idea. Take photos of the damage and surrounding areas. Jot down notes about the location, time and weather. This will help bolster your claim.
If you are uninjured, you might talk to witnesses asking them what they saw. Get their names, numbers or addresses if possible.
File a claim with your insurance company shortly after the accident. Be honest and clear in your descriptions of what happened.
Keep detailed records of medical treatment, time off work and list any routine activities you can’t undertake due to the injuries. Ask yourself how the injuries you sustained (if any) have affected your life.
What Not to Do
Don’t ever flee an accident scene. If you hit someone and take off, you could be charged with hit and run. Always stop and check on the other party. Exchange insurance information and wait for police. You should not leave anytime before then, even if you think you may be at fault. So be patient.
Avoid saying anything that could be used against you to authorities or to your insurance company. Let the police make a report and begin sorting out liability issues. They will look at as many facts as possible and objectively determine fault. The other party will need your name, license plate number and insurance information – but that’s it. Do not give them your address, phone number or other personal information.
One of the top personal injury mistakes people make is providing a recorded statement about the accident to insurance companies. Should your insurance company contact you asking for a statement, decline and talk to an attorney. You should never provide a recorded statement about the accident.
Do not accept a settlement offer without consulting a qualified accident attorney.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Our Team Today
Car accidents happen when you least expect. By knowing what you should do and not do, you can protect yourself and ensure that you are treated fairly, and when appropriate, compensation.
Have you been injured by the negligence of a motorist? If so, the Miami car accident lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP can help. Discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer so you can get your life back on track. Contact us today at 305-371-2692 to schedule your free consultation.