Imagine that you are driving along, listening to music, and concentrating on the road. Then suddenly, your motor vehicle gets hit from behind. You have just been involved in a rear-end collision.
It is important that you have a clear understanding of your legal rights following a car crash, and you should know what to do at the accident scene. A car accident lawyer will help to guide you through the legal system and make sure that justice is served for your case.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience when it comes to helping clients who have been involved in car accidents throughout the State of Florida. Our team of car accident lawyers is skilled at helping people to determine the at-fault party and pursue the compensation that they deserve.
Our law firm will put you first and prioritize your case above all else. If you choose us to represent you, then our first order of business will be to collect all pieces of evidence surrounding your case and prove who was negligent.
Call our office to speak to a car accident lawyer now. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We will be ready to help you at any time of the day.
Contact The Law Place at (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
What You Need to Do at the Scene of an Accident
It is important that you are prepared in the event that a car accident happens. There are a few steps that you can take to make sure that you are prepared.
- Keep your motor vehicle registration and auto insurance information, along with medical information about you and your family, in the motor vehicle.
- Make sure the above information is stored in a binder or paper clip and kept in a convenient place.
- Storing a pad and pen in the glovebox, as well as a charger or a battery pack for your mobile phone in the event that the battery is low at the accident scene.
- Have the right amount of auto insurance coverage to fit your motor vehicle.
You must stop when an accident has occurred, regardless of whether the crash involved a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or even a pedestrian or an animal. If you can move your motor vehicle, then you should pull over to the side of the road so that you are out of the way of danger. Turn on your hazard or emergency lights.
Once you are safely out of the way of danger, then you should assess the accident scene. Check yourself, your passengers, and the people in the other motor vehicles who were involved in an accident. It is important that you call an ambulance to the scene of a car accident as soon as possible, even if the accident seems minor.
Call the Police
You have a responsibility to call the police to the scene of a car accident immediately under Florida Statute 316.062. You have to tell the police officers the following information:
- The location of your motor vehicle (if you had to move it slightly away).
- Your name.
- The address of your location or the nearest intersection.
- Your driver’s license and motor vehicle registration.
- Explain what happened to them.
When the police officers arrive at the scene of a car accident, you should ask them to tell or show you:
- Their names.
- Their badge numbers.
- Where you can obtain a copy of their police report of the accident.
If you plan to file a personal injury claim later, then you should collect evidence at the scene of a car accident – once everyone is safe and the police are on their way. You should take notes and take photographs and videos of the following:
- Personal information – The names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and physical descriptions of the people involved.
- Vehicle information – The motor vehicle tag information, registrations, makes and models, color, and year. If the motor vehicle is a commercial one, then you should record the business name and other relevant information.
- Insurance company information – Including policy numbers, dates, carriers, and other relevant information.
- Witnesses – If there were people who witnessed the accident, then you should ask for their name and contact information.
- Location – Take notes of the location and important details like (tuning lane on this particular road, heading in this direction). You should also write down the time of day and the weather and road conditions.
- Damage – Write descriptions of the damage to the motor vehicles, property, and any injuries.
- Other details – You should take note of other details like the road signs, markings or signals, estimated speed, direction of travel, road signs, traffic conditions, whether the headlights or turn signals were on, the number of passengers, and anything else that is relevant.
Take photographs of the scene of a car accident and the motor vehicles involved. For example:
- Take photographs of all the motor vehicles before they are towed or driven away. Remember to catch the points of impact, the damaged areas, and pre-existing damage.
- Take photographs of the road conditions and the location surrounding the motor vehicles, including tire marks, hazards, and other conditions that could have caused the serious car accident.
- Take photographs of the debris on the road and the parts that might have fallen off the motor vehicles.
- Take photographs of the weather and nearby business offices.
Remember to be observant and look around for traffic cameras or nearby business offices with security cameras at the accident scene. Surveillance camera footage is crucial when it comes to proving an insurance claim. You might even be able to find out that the other driver was acting suspicious or maybe there was a hazard in the road.
Do Not Leave
If you were involved in a car accident where the other person was not present, then you cannot leave the scene of the car crash. For example, you might have hit someone else’s motor vehicle while they were absent, or you stuck a pole or someone’s mailbox.
If you hit an unattended car, then you should try to find the owner. If you cannot locate the owner, then you should leave a note with your name, phone number, and address.
Go to the Hospital
You will lose your right to recover compensation for injuries if you do not seek medical assistance within 14 days following an accident under Florida Statute 627.736. Our law firm highly recommends that you go to the hospital as soon as possible after an auto accident, even if you believe that you are fine. You might have suffered an injury that will not reveal signs until much later.
Speak to Your Insurance Company
You have an obligation to inform your insurance company about an auto accident. However, your policy will explain the exact amount of time that you have to let them know. Avoid telling your insurance company about the car accident in detail and stick to the basic facts. Insurance companies are notorious for using statements against you as a way to pay you less compensation.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
When you have been injured in a car accident, you should call a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A car accident lawyer from The Law Place will be your strongest advocate, and they will fight for your legal rights against all odds. We will negotiate with your insurance company and file an insurance claim to recover the compensation that you deserve. Call our office to schedule a free consultation today.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
We have already discussed what you should do at the scene of an accident, but there are also a couple of things that you should not do in a car crash. For instance:
- Do not admit fault or apologize – You should never apologize or make a statement of guilt following a car accident. The insurance companies or other drivers involved in the car crash could use your words against you.
- Do not sign paperwork – You should never sign paperwork given to you by an insurance company without letting a car accident lawyer look it over first.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents
The statute of limitations clearly states that you have four years from the time of a car accident to file a personal injury claim in the State of Florida. However, if a loved one was killed in a car accident, then you have two years from the time of their death to file a wrongful death claim.
Florida Statue 95.11 explains the statute of limitations in more detail.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you were involved in a car accident, then you should know what to do at the accident scene. It is also important that you understand your legal rights under Florida law.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge in guiding clients through the legal system in the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth knowledge of traffic law, and we will explain the process of filing an insurance claim to you.
If you have questions or concerns about a car accident, then you should get in touch with a car accident lawyer now. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so that we can be there for you all of the time.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.