Driving in Florida is a risky proposition. Whenever you are in your car, there’s always a chance that you may be involved in an accident. Knowing the steps to take if the unfortunate happens can help you avoid costly mistakes.
It’s natural to panic or become confused after an accident, but it’s important to try to stay calm. Every decision you make can affect your insurance compensation or the outcome of the civil lawsuit if you or the other driver decide to go to court. If you let emotions get in the way, you could make a decision that will hurt your case.
Call the police
In Florida, people involved in motor vehicle accidents are legally required to report the accident to the police. This is especially important if there are injuries or property damages.
If you are able, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles as well as any injuries that you or your passengers have sustained. It’s also important to get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident. These will all be essential pieces of evidence if you decide to take legal action against the other driver or when your insurance company is trying to lowball you on a settlement.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver
Florida is a no-fault state car insurance state. This means every driver must carry their own insurance to pay for their own damages and injuries in an accident, regardless of who caused it. However, if your vehicular damages or injuries are severe, you may be able to pursue compensation from the other driver through a claim against their liability insurance. To do this, you will need their contact and insurance information.
Watch what you say
Anything you say after the accident can be used against you in court. In fact, even the noble act of saying “sorry” to the other driver can be taken as an admission of fault. So, if the police or other drivers ask you questions about what happened, politely decline to answer and tell them that your lawyer will be handling all communication.
Accidents can leave even the most seasoned drivers feeling shaken up. But, by approaching the situation correctly, you may get the compensation you need for your medical bills, car repair, as well as pain and suffering and lost wages.