Whenever you have an accident in Florida you must act responsibly in accordance with the state law. There are instructions and guides which every Florida resident must follow if they want to obtain a proper claim. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger you shouldn’t leave the accident scene, leaving the accident scene without a genuine reason will result in revoking of all your driving privileges, your coverage will be turned down, and can even have your license suspended or worst of all can lead you to be charged with 3rd or 2nd degree Felony.
As the car driver, you should stop the car and park closer to the accident scene in a way that you’re not obstructing the traffic. Don’t panic or try to start arguing the party involved, just remain calm even if it’s not your fault, at this point, you should take note of the traffic and any potential danger that can arise like fire outbreak.
If there are passengers in your car who’re injured severely you should do what you can to give them immediate assistance, the best way to deal with it if there are multiple casualties is to call 911 for medical assistance. If there are no any serious injuries you should call local Florida police. As the driver if you’re severely injured and can’t move, you shouldn’t try to do so, just make sure that you’re not in danger and you’re not interrupting with the traffic.
The next thing to do now is exchange contact information with the other party, this is required by law to do so, any person involved in the accident should share their contact details, this includes the passengers, fellow motorists and pedestrians, get the contact details of all possible witnesses. Here are the important details you should exchange with all the parties that are involved; Name, Address, Phone number, License, and plate number of all the vehicles involved.
Take photos of the accident scene; take a picture of the entire accident scene in one single frame, and then the different parts of the car that was damaged. If the accident also resulted in damaging other people’s property that’s not around, you should try to find out their contact details, if you can’t get their info, you should leave your details at the front of their shop or wherever they might possibly notice so that they can call you later.
Report To The Florida High Way Patrol
It’s required by law to report accident scenes to the Florida highway patrol. The following cases should be reported immediately;
- Injury or death.
- The accident was caused by the intoxicated driver.
- If there is property damage that is worth $500.
There is no need to file a crash report if the investigating officer has already done so. If however, they’ve overlooked the situation you can file the crash report within 10 days. You can also inform your insurance company, but don’t try to make any claim; your personal injury lawyer will deal with that. Don’t answer any question they might ask, you’ll get trapped, let your attorney deal with them.
Before you proceed with anything else, you should get yourself a professional personal injury attorney to deal with your case, especially the insurance company. Most of the times if you try to resolve the situation with your insurance company they’re going to reject most of your claims, they’ll trap you with complex questions that can be used to deny your claims, allow your lawyer to answer any question they ask.
When the police arrive at the scene, you should request some information from them as well;
- Ask for their names.
- Their badge numbers.
- How to get a police report.
You should cooperate with any investigating officer that arrives at the accident scene, describe fully to them what happened, and tell the truth even if it’s your fault. Your job is to describe what happened and not to admit fault, don’t tell them your insurance policy even if they asked.
If you’re not at fault make sure that you have all the necessary evidence that can be used to defend your case and the best way to do that is by taking pictures, taking photos isn’t difficult since almost everyone carries a smartphone with them. You should also take note if there are traffic cameras around, this will even provide more evidence on the accident scene since everything will be seen live and things are going to be easier in the court to prove yourself innocent.
Document everything and the get a good lawyer that handle your case, if you ever ran into an auto accident in Florida, contact Massey & Duffy for proper guidance on how to deal with your claims.