What To Do When You've Been In a Car Accident?

When you've been involved in a car accident it's crucial to do the following: stop the vehicle and get out of the car, call the police, gather as much information as you can, document the scene by taking photos of important details or by writing down the names of everyone involved, including the witnesses. If you believe someone else's negligence caused your injuries, call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to recover compensation for your damages.

Car accidents are, unfortunately, common in Miami. According to recent statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Miami, Broward and Orange County had the highest Florida traffic collisions. But getting into a car accident can be jarring, even if it’s a small fender bender. Because information is the most vital piece of any car accident claim, you need a guide to increase your chances of recovering your damages.

If you realized you had no idea what to do when the situation arose and it seems like you missed different steps, here is a checklist to help you know what you should do after a car accident:

What to DO After a Car Accident in Miami

  • Check if anyone is injured and call 911. Try to stay calm. Make sure you and anyone else involved get proper medical care. Don't leave the scene of the accident and mark the place of the crash to avoid additional collisions.
  • Call the police and get them to create a crash report. If the other driver involved in the accident receives a ticket at the scene of the accident, your chances of you recovering damages increase considerably. However, the driver might be at fault even if no ticket is given. With or without a ticket, you will still need to present evidence to sustain your case. Make sure to get the police officer's information:
    • Name
    • Police department
    • Badge number
    • Phone number
    • Police report number
  • Take as many photos as possible at the car accident scene. Almost all of us have smartphones, so we have a camera close at hand. Gather information about the circumstances of the accident, including damage from multiple angles, scene of the accident, road conditions, weather conditions skid marks, accident scene location identifiers, other party's insurance cards, license plate, etc.
  • Get the other driver's - and other people involved or potential witnesses - information. Also, only give the same information about yourself:
    • Driver's name
    • License plate number
    • Phone number
    • License number
    • Home address
    • Email address
    • Car year
    • Insurance policy company
    • Insurance policy's phone number
    • Insurance policy ID number
    • VIN number - it's on a black strip on the dash
    • Other passengers in the car's names and phone numbers
    • Witnesses' names and phone numbers
  • Document the accident. Write down a description of the crash:
    • Time of the accident
    • Location
    • Weather
    • Road conditions
  • Go see a doctor as soon as you possibly can - Ideally the day of the accident - if you feel you might be injured, even if you feel fine. Even if the doctor can't find anything, the fact that you went to see a doctor will make an eventual negotiating with an insurance company much, much easier.
  • Document your injuries. Keep all your medical bills.
  • Call a car accident lawyer.
  • Call your insurance company, but stick only to the facts of the accident.

Things You Should NOT Do After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you could be overwhelmed and inadvertently provide the other driver and opposing adjuster an unfair advantage against you. Pay attention to the things that can compromise your case. For example:

  • Do NOT discuss the accident with other parties. Never admit to being at fault, because you may later realize your accident could have been avoided if a third party had acted differently.
  • Do NOT sign anything from the other parties.
  • Do NOT disclose your policy limits.
  • Do NOT let the insurance company trick you into saying you are okay. The pain may not set in until later. When your insurance company calls you they'll probably try to get you to say you're ok or that your injuries were minor. However, they can use that later on to deny or limit your coverage. So don't do that.
  • Do NOT sign any statements. Don't make any agreements with insurance companies.
  • Do NOT fail to gather crucial evidence to support your case.
  • Do NOT miss the statute of limitations to file your claim - 4 years of the date of the car accident.

With the support of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can recover different types of damages such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Call our Miami car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.