What to Do if You’re Involved in a Car Accident
Statistics indicate that there are more than 200,000 car accidents each year in Florida – and most of them are the result of negligence. The single most common cause for car accidents in Florida is careless driving.
In other words, one or more of the parties involved in the accident was negligent, not paying attention, or failed to drive according to road and weather conditions.
If you have been hurt in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, your local “Attorney Big Al” will fight for your rights – and you will not have to pay a dime out of pocket unless funds are recovered for you.
The purpose of this article, however, is to first review what to do immediately after the car accident occurs.
Accidents happen more often than you think, so it is smart to know in advance what you are legally required to do.
For example, you are legally mandated to stop after a collision has occurred. If anyone is hurt, it is your responsibility to get help – no matter who was responsible for the accident.
You are also legally required to provide the other parties involved with your full name, address, and your vehicle registration number.
It is also a legal requirement that you…
1. Do Not Flee the Scene
The penalty for failing to provide your personal details to other parties involved may include losing your license. This will most likely be the case if the collision involved injuries, regardless of who was at fault.
No matter your reason for attempting to leave the scene of an accident, the penalties for doing so will far outweigh any possible benefits. In fact, drivers who attempt to flee are almost always caught.
2. Ensure the Accident Gets Reported
It is your legal responsibility to report an accident if:
- There were injuries to any party involved.
- Property damage is greater than or equal to $500.
This is not the time for you to assess how bad the injuries actually are. For instance, if you feel a mild soreness in your neck, you may be tempted to dismiss it.
In so doing, you may have difficult later trying to prove in court that you should be compensated for your injuries.
In the same way, you might be tempted to downplay the severity of the damage done to property, including vehicles. Believe it or not, a few scratches and scrapes to a paint job can easily exceed $500 in repairs, so do not risk it.
In order for your Florida “Attorney Big Al” to recover the largest settlement possible, be sure to obey this law in every respect.
Accidents in which either of the two conditions listed above apply must be reported to police or the Florida Highway Patrol immediately.
3. Do Not Obstruct the Flow of Traffic
If your car is obstructing other vehicles from passing, you are legally required to move it out of the way.
If your vehicle has been damaged and you are not able to move it, you are then responsible for calling a towing service to do it for you.
At no time is your vehicle permitted to block traffic.
4. Take Responsibility for Accidents with Unattended Vehicles
In some unfortunate cases, you may accidentally hit a parked and unattended vehicle. If this happens, you are legally required to inform the owner by leaving a note with your personal information.
You also have the option to report the incident to police or Florida Highway Patrol.
Failing to do either is the equivalent of fleeing the scene, and the penalties for doing so are severe.
5. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Once you have satisfied all the legal requirements, your very next step should be to call 1-800-HURT-123.
Florida’s “Attorney Big Al” has years of experience handling personal injury claims in Florida, especially as they relate to car accidents. Experience matters – which is why you need a personal injury attorney with a proven track record of recovering the most compensation possible.
In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation even if you caused the accident. Consultations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by calling.