An average of 646 car accidents occurred each day on Florida roads last year, and more than half of those resulted in injury or death. If these numbers seem high, that’s because they are: Florida’s rate of traffic fatalities per capita has hovered around 30 percent above the national average for years. While careful driving can go a long way toward keeping you safe on the road, there is always a chance that another driver’s recklessness may cause you to crash. Listed below are some basic steps to follow if that happens.
If you have been in an accident, exchange the following information with every other driver involved in the crash, even if you do not think you have been injured — many injuries do not appear until days after an accident, or even later.
- Phone number
- Insurance provider and policy number
- Driver’s license number and description of the vehicle
Document the Accident
Write down exactly where and how the accident occurred. It is a good idea to carry an inexpensive camera in your car to take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle. You also may want to record the contact information of any witnesses who saw what happened.
File an Accident Report
An accident report can help the insurance company process your claim more quickly, but police do not always respond to accidents unless someone has been injured. Fortunately, you can file an accident report yourself by visiting a police station after the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After you have been in an accident, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know what happened and to give them your side of the story. It is essential, however, to seek legal counsel before providing any kind of statement. And never speak to the adverse insurance company directly or provide them information about potential injuries or witnesses.
Even if the other driver has offered to pay for your repairs out of pocket, you never know for sure if he or she will follow through. If you wait too long to get your insurance company involved, it will be more difficult to gather the information they need to process your claim.
Nobody likes to think about being in a car accident, but it is something that most drivers have to deal with sooner or later. Following these steps after a crash will help protect your rights and make it easier to get the compensation you need.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano for a free consultation. For more information, visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.