Five important steps from a Florida auto accident attorney
Getting into an auto accident can be scary and very upsetting. As emotions run high, it is easy to forget vital information. These five important steps to take after an auto accident in Florida will cover all of your bases and help you stay organized.
This is a stage of observation and triage. This is the first level of response to the accident.
- Take safety measures. First, check to see if anyone is injured. If you are on a busy street or intersection, move the vehicles off of the roadway if possible. If the vehicles cannot be moved, set out flares to warn other motorists.
- Contact police and emergency services. Call the police. If there are injuries, request an ambulance. If you do not have an ambulance or paramedics on the scene of the accident, you need to go to your doctor or to the hospital to get checked out—even if you don’t have any complaints at the time. Because of the high emotions and stress, your body may not immediately register pain or injury. In fact, injuries may take days to actually show up.
Data Collection Stage
Though you may be rattled by the accident, it is vital that you maintain a cool head and collect the necessary information. This information may be used in legal proceedings and by your insurance company, so do your due diligence and document all that you can.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Write down the information on each person who was involved in the accident—the driver and the passengers, including:
- Full name
- Phone numbers (Cell & Home)
- Email address
- Make, model, year and color of the car
- License plate number of the car
- The insurance company and the policy number
- Make notes, take photos, draw diagrams. Make notes about how the accident happened. Write down everything that you remember. If possible, take photos of these things in particular:
- The damage to the vehicles
- The accident location, including the position of the vehicles as well as the surrounding area
- The names of the people who were involved in the accident
Draw diagrams of the accident, including anything relevant that you may need to recall later. If a witness leaves the scene before the police arrive, write down a description of the person and the vehicle, including the license plate number.
In this stage, you begin to take action to move toward recovery. Sometimes this is simply settled with the insurance company; sometimes it is necessary to obtain legal counsel.
- Contact your insurance company and an attorney. As soon as possible, contact your insurance company and report the accident to them. They will likely want you to bring your notes and photos to their office or mail or email them. Be honest with your claims representative and be as thorough and detailed as possible. In some cases, such as when there is injury to your or the other party, you should speak to an attorney.
By knowing these five important steps to take after an auto accident and completing them the very best that you can, you will make your case go much smoother. Just remember to keep your head and don’t get rattled.
Were you involved in an auto accident and need legal help? Contact us today.
John F. Greene is an auto accident attorney in the Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida area. He has years of experience helping people with post-auto-accident legal resolutions, so contact John online or call his office (850) 424-6833 for a consultation.