Nearly 4.5 million people are injured in car crashes in the United States each year, according to the National Safety Council. Thousands more escape injuries but suffer damage to their vehicles as a result of their own or someone else’s negligence.
If you are involved in a crash here in Florida, there are steps you should take to make sure everyone is safe and that the collision and other vital information are documented so emergency responders can do their jobs as efficiently as possible.
Steps to take after a crash
No one expects to be in a car crash but being prepared can save lives and protect you during the process. Here are some essential steps:
- Assess injuries: If you are injured, immediately call 911. If you believe the injuries are severe, try not to move and wait for the ambulance to arrive.
- Check on others: If you are not seriously injured, check on your passengers and call 911 if anyone is hurt, or enlist the aid of a bystander to contact authorities.
- Find a safe place: If your car is operable, try to move it out of the way of traffic. If not, leave it where it is and get away from the wreckage.
- Call 911: Even if no one appears to be injured or damage to vehicles is minimal, Florida law requires drivers to report any accidents where more than $500 in property damage occurs.
- Exchange information: While waiting for police to arrive, drivers can exchange contact and insurance information. Document the other driver’s license and plate numbers, the vehicles involved and the location of the accident.
- Don’t admit fault: Never tell anyone at the scene that you believe the crash was your fault. The shock of an accident can often skew the thinking process.
- Document the accident: Get the names of the officers who respond, a copy of the accident report, take down the names of any witnesses and take pictures of the scene from different angles.
- Notify insurer: Calling your insurance company from the scene is helpful as they can make sure you have all the information necessary to process your claim.
Seek legal advice if you are injured
Millions of people are injured each year in the U.S. by the negligence of others. Whether you are critically injured and face long-lasting or permanent medical conditions from the actions of a careless driver or suffer less serious conditions, crashes can take a financial as well as a physical toll. Massive medical expenses, lost wages and related costs can result. An experienced personal injury attorney here in Florida can help you recover the compensation you deserve.