When you have an accident in Florida, you must act responsibly following the state law. There are instructions and guides which every Florida resident should follow if they want to file 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 may result in the suspension or revoking of your driving privileges. Your insurance coverage may be canceled, and worst of all, you may be charged with a 3rd or 2nd-degree Felony.
As the car driver, you should stop the car and park close to the accident scene in a way that you’re not obstructing the traffic. Don’t panic or try to start arguing with 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 a fire outbreak.
If there are passengers in your car, who are 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 not any severe injuries, you should call the local Florida police. As the driver, if you’re severely injured and can’t move, you shouldn’t try to do so. Be sure you’re not in danger, and you’re not interrupting the traffic.
The next thing to do is exchange contact information with the other party as required by law to do so. Each 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 is the critical information you should exchange with all the parties that are involved; Name, Address, Phone number, License, Plate number, and Insurance coverage 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 were damaged. If the accident also resulted in ruining other people’s property when they are not around, you should leave your information on their car or home in a prominent place so that they can contact you later.
Report To The Florida High Way Patrol
It’s required by law to report accident scenes to the Florida highway patrol. I
- Injury or death.
- An intoxicated driver caused the accident.
- $500 worth of property damage.
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 submit the crash report within ten days. You can also inform your insurance company, but don’t try to make any claim; your injury lawyer will deal with that. Let your attorney deal with them and don’t answer any questions.
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 time, if you try to resolve the situation with your insurance company, they may reject your claim. They may try to trap you with complex questions to try to deny your claim. Refer the claims adjuster to your lawyer to answer any questions they may have.
When the police arrive at the scene, you should request some information from them as well. Ask for the responding officer’s name, badge number, and how to get the 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 explain what happened and not to admit guilt.
If you’re not at fault, make sure that you have all the necessary evidence to defend your case. 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. Cameras will even provide more evidence on the accident scene since they may give the actual video of the accident. Things are going to be more comfortable in the court to prove yourself innocent.
Document everything and get a good lawyer that will handle your case. If you have an auto accident in Florida, contact Massey & Duffy for proper guidance on how to deal with your claims.