5 Essential Actions to Take Following a Florida Car Accident

Encountering a car accident can disrupt your sense of calm and order, plunging you into a world of chaos and stress. Nevertheless, maintaining your composure and executing informed decisions are pivotal in safeguarding your health and protecting your legal situation. Here, at the Law Office of Todd C. Passman, we have extensive experience litigating all types of vehicle accidents that have caused personal injuries, property damage and sometimes, loss of wages.  If you find yourself involved in a Florida car accident, familiarizing yourself with the immediate and necessary steps you should take can significantly impact and improve your situation when it’s time to determine what compensation you may be entitled to.  Below, we discuss five critical things you should do immediately following a car collision in the Sunshine State.

Safety Check Everyone Involved

In the immediate aftermath of a collision, the well-being of every driver and passenger takes precedence. If the situation allows, move your vehicle to a safe location, away from other continuing traffic, to avoid additional potential problems.  Turn on your hazard lights to warn following drivers and improve your visibility. In the event anyone appears injured, it’s imperative to dial 911 right away to get medical help to the scene immediately.

Exchange Pertinent Information

Once everyone has physically been checked over and attended to, it’s time to exchange essential contact and insurance information with all the parties involved in the accident. This includes other drivers, passengers, as well as any potential witnesses who might have seen what happened at the time of the incident.  Make sure you get full name, contact number, home address, driver’s license identification, vehicle registration details, and insurance policy information. You must also provide yours as well. This allows for the future processing of any claims you may have to go more smoothly.

Meticulously Document the Scene

Given that there are now more mobile phones than people in the world, you have every opportunity to make sure you document the entire scene of the accident in great detail, thanks to the camera on your mobile phone. This includes images of all the vehicles involved, any visible damage, current road conditions, traffic signage, and any significant landmarks that might help identify the incident location. If there are any witnesses present at the accident scene, make sure you also get their contact information as well. Additional accounts of what happened that led to the accident could be instrumental in supporting your later claims.

Initiate an Official Report

Florida law requires that you report any vehicle accident to the police if it results in injuries, fatalities, or property damage greater than $500. Absent the smallest scratch, it’s likely that most accidents will result in damage greater than $500, so be on the safe side and report it, right then and there.  Having police come to the scene and document the incident provides an additional record, created by someone not involved in the accident, that may prove invaluable, in the event you need to pursue a claim for injury and/or damages.

Alert Your Insurance Provider

After all this, it’s time to notify your insurance company about the accident without further delay. Provide them with a detailed account of the incident and cooperate with their investigative efforts. It’s helpful to keep an organized record of any and all correspondences you have with your insurer, including claim reference numbers and contacts of adjusters involved.

Some Things to Consider in the Aftermath of an Accident

If you believe you have been injured, and remember, soft tissue injuries resulting from jolts or bumps or impact sometimes appear days after the actual accident, so seek medical attention for your own injuries as soon as possible. In Florida, if you don’t seek medical care within fourteen (14) days you risk your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurer denying your claim.

Florida’s adoption of the “no-fault” insurance framework means that your insurer typically covers medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, if you should suffer severe injuries or extensive damage, you may still be able to make a claim against the responsible party.  With our twenty plus years of specializing in representing people who have been injured in vehicle accidents, the Law Office of Todd C. Passman stands ready to protect your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Florida Car Accident Lawyer Todd C. Passman

If you or a family member have suffered a personal injury in a Florida car accident, or have any questions, please contact personal injury lawyer Todd Passman today at (772) 465-9806. Our office is conveniently located on S. Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce, Florida.