No matter how careful or diligent you are on the roadway, chances are, you might still get into an auto accident in Miami. The average number of times a driver experiences an auto collision in their lifetime is once. When this happens, your action or inaction would determine whether you’ll face a civil lawsuit or be able to recover compensation.
We prepared this article to show you what you should do following a auto accident in Miami, Florida. A car accident attorney would come in handy following a car crash, as you’ll see shortly.
Steps To Take Following a Car Accident
If you find yourself in an auto accident in Miami, you should take the following steps immediately:
Remain at the Scene
A motor vehicle accident is an unexpected occurrence that leaves those involved shaken. Most people have a flight or fight response, meaning they take a moment to decide whether to stay or flee the crash scene. Under Florida laws, a motorist must stop at the scene of a car accident.
If there is no parking at the crash site, they must look for the nearest possible place where traffic won’t get impeded. Then, the driver must return to the scene and remain there until the authorities arrive. Failure to comply with this rule amounts to a hit-and-run.
A hit-and-run is a misdemeanor of the second degree, and violators are liable to pay a fine. If there were severe injuries of one of the parties involved, the person would face a personal injury lawsuit in addition to a criminal charge. If there’s a death, the driver will face a wrongful death action.
Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
Once you return to the crash scene, the next thing to do is check for injuries. Once you’ve ascertained that there is a wound, call 911 and request an ambulance. Common injuries sustained in car accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
Note that under Florida Injury Protection Law, all drivers must carry insurance covering injuries from car accidents. As a victim, if you want to receive a settlement from your insurer, you must report your wound to them within two weeks. Thus, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think your injuries are minor.
Report the Accident to the Police
Once you’ve done the first two steps, the next thing to do is report the accident to the police. If you’re unable to alert the authorities of the car accident for any reason, you must do so within ten days from when the incident occurred. Remember that you’re not required to file a second report if the police already took your statement at the crash scene.
Exchange Contact Information With the Other Parties
If the other party involved in the crash is coherent and not severely injured, you should exchange contact information with them. This includes their phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. While interacting with the other party, avoid apologizing or accepting blame until you’ve spoken with an auto accident attorney.
Get Contact Information From Witnesses
Car accidents occur so fast that those involved are unable to piece together what happened by themselves. This is where witnesses come in, as they most likely saw everything that occurred in the collision. Speak to as many witnesses as you can and get their contact information. You need their details as you might have to call them if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Gather Evidence and Contact Your Insurance Provider
After talking to witnesses, gather as much evidence as possible from the crash scene. Take pictures of the car and other property damages. The sooner you take the photos, the better the chance you have to protect the accident site’s integrity.
Once you’ve done all this, contact your insurance provider. Doing this on time will erase any doubt that you were actually in an accident. It would also help you quicken the insurance company investigation and get your benefits timeously.
Avoid Social Media
Firstly, this does not mean that you should completely stay away from social media. What it means is that you should not discuss your accident or share photos of it. Like in criminal trials, anything you say or do can be used against you. Thus, avoid sharing the crash details on social media.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer at Miami Lawyers 360
Most people wait until they hit a roadblock before seeking the advice of an attorney. Don’t let that be your case. Contact us today at Miami Lawyers 360 for a free case review.