Accidents are never anticipated or they wouldn’t be accidents. If you’re reading this, you’re either preparing for the inevitable — everyone has accidents eventually — or you’ve gotten into an accident and you’re wondering what your next move is. If it’s the latter, you may be too late to follow a few of these suggestions, but there are still things you can do to secure your physical and financial wellbeing.
1. Get to a Position of Safety
In the moments after an accident, you may be dazed or disoriented. It’s important that you don’t exit your vehicle unless it’s safe to do so. Check for traffic. If you have to stay in your car due to injuries, but it’s not safe, you can move it to safety if it will drive. Never stand in the roadway.
2. Call 911
The dispatcher will want to know the location, direction of travel, vehicle descriptions, the number of cars involved, and whether anyone was hurt. If you don’t have all of the information, the most important thing is the location. If you’re not sure, look for a street sign or a business that can help them determine where you are.
3. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Your health is the first priority. Many people resist going to the hospital or doctor because they think that they should speak to an attorney or it will hurt their case. If were injured and you haven’t had yourself checked out, go to a doctor or a walk-in clinic and discuss what happened. This will not hurt your case. Retain records of visits.
4. Take Photographs or Videos of the Scene
If you’re physically able to, take photographs and videos of the scene. This will help your attorney know exactly what happened at the time of the accident. Your images and video should include the street, geographic markers, damage to vehicles, injuries, debris on the ground, and the position of the cars. Get as much detail as possible. You don’t know what might be important down the road.
5. Talk to Potential Witnesses, Get Contact Info
There are many people who will stop to help after witnessing an accident. A much smaller group of them will stick around after they determine that everyone is relatively safe. Try to talk to the people who saw the crash. Ask them to stay, but if they can’t, get their name, phone number, and address. You can give this information to the police for the report.
Contacting a Lawyer After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to a settlement from the insurance company. Most initial settlements come in low, so don’t let the adjuster pressure you before you’ve spoken to your own lawyer.
Attorneys in Florida work on a contingency basis. What that means is that they don’t accept payment until after you either receive a settlement or jury award. Because insurance settlement offers are usually significantly lower than what you would get using an attorney, the money you get after the contingency fee is still higher than what you would typically get by taking the insurance company’s offer.
1800injured.care is a company that matches injury victims with attorneys who handle cases in their area. All of the lawyers associated with this referral network work on a contingency basis.