If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you’re likely nervous and confused about what to do next. It can be hard, but it’s important to stay level-headed during this difficult time. There are some critical things you should not do after a car accident.
Leave the Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident that involves property damage, bodily injury, or death is illegal in Florida. Regardless of how harmless the accident appears, it’s important to check on the health of the other driver.
Failing to Call the Police
No matter how the accident occurred, it’s important to contact the police as soon as possible. A police officer will document that the accident occurred and how it occurred. Without this information, it may be difficult to prove what happened. Having a police report on file can speed up the claims process and create crucial documentation.
Failing to Gather Proper Documentation
Having the proper documentation is important if you decide to file a personal injury claim. After the accident, you should make sure to take photos of the vehicles and the scene. You should also get the name, address, and phone number of the drivers involved. Get a picture of the drivers’ license and insurance information. In addition, gather any information you can about potential witnesses at the scene.
Admitting fault or that you contributed in some way to the accident, either at the scene or in a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, puts you at a distinct disadvantage. It can be tempting to apologize in the heat of the moment after a crash, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. It isn’t your job to assign fault. Leave it to the professionals.
Denying You Have an Injury
You should never claim at the scene of the accident that you have not been injured because you may be injured and not know it. The adrenaline caused by the crash can mask any pain or symptoms of an injury. In addition, some injuries, such as whiplash, don’t present right away and can develop with time. You should always seek medical treatment after an accident to ensure that you’re not injured.
Giving a Statement to an Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster either from your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company may try to get you to give a statement about what happened. It’s important to realize that you do not have to give a statement and that you may want to wait until you’ve spoken with an attorney before you do give a statement.
Not Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may want to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping Floridians injured in car accidents for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.