Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if you’re not sure what to do next. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in the immediate aftermath of an accident in Tampa, Florida, that will help protect you, your passengers, and your property.
What to Do Right After an Accident
There are many things to do right after an accident, all of which are beneficial to you:
1. Find Safety
Staying safe is a priority when traveling along Dale Mabry Highway. It’s important to be aware of the extra traffic and turning lanes that can lead to accidents. It’s especially important to drive cautiously during the morning and afternoon rush hours when the highway is at its most congested. Taking the proper precautions can help ensure your safety.
2. Call 911
If you are involved in an accident in Florida, it is important to contact the police or emergency services. The law requires that a written report be filed for every accident. Even if it seems unnecessary, informing law enforcement can help protect you legally.
3. Get Information
If you’re capable, it is important to take note of relevant details while waiting for police to show up at the scene.
As to what information you should be gathering, they include the name and contact details of the drivers involved, the contact information for any witnesses that may be around, and the specifics of what happened at the scene. You should also be taking pictures of the scene if you can, including any injuries you may have incurred. This is because such a traumatic experience can easily cause you to forget what happened, and such pieces of evidence can help you remember and prove what happened.
4. Tell the Police the Specifics
When the police show up, give them a clear and accurate account of what happened. However, stay as composed as you can and try not to get upset or blame anyone.
There are a couple of things you should not do, however, when talking to the police. First, do not say that you’re sorry. This could indicate to them that you were the fault for the accident. Second, do not elaborate any more than required. This might cause you to blow things out of proportion and lead to false accusations. In other words, only share the facts. Third and finally, do not speculate about your injuries. For example, do not say that you’re fine when, in reality, you’re not.
Law enforcement officers are responsible for speaking to everyone involved in an accident and gathering information to determine what happened. They will not usually accuse anyone of being to blame for the accident. If you want to know more details about the accident, you can ask the officer who takes your statement about the procedure for getting a written report about the incident and how to request it.
5. Seek Medical Treatment
After being involved in a car accident in Tampa, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional, even if you don’t think you have been seriously hurt. This is due to the fact that some injuries may not be immediately apparent. The adrenaline that is released during the crash can mask the pain from soft tissue damage, as well as internal damage from airbags and seatbelts, as well as head injuries. Getting checked out by a doctor can help ensure that any potential injuries are discovered and treated.
Be sure to inform your doctor that you were in an auto accident if you are getting physical. This is especially important if you are not being taken to a hospital that is specified to treat emergency and trauma cases.
6. Contact Your Insurance ASAP
If you are involved in a car accident in Tampa, Florida, you will need to make a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who is responsible for the accident. This is a result of Florida’s no-fault system, meaning that all drivers must turn to their own insurance provider for compensation.
Also, it’s important to let your insurance company know as soon as possible. If you don’t, you risk missing important deadlines, which could have a negative impact on any legal rights you may have. So make sure to contact your insurer promptly after an accident.
7. Reach Out to a Car Accident Lawyer
Although it may seem appealing to file an insurance claim with your insurer, it may not be the best choice. You may be losing out on the potential for financial compensation if you do not go outside of the no-fault system. Consequently, if you have been injured or had your vehicle damaged, you should explore the possibility of pursuing a claim outside the insurance system to ensure you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to.
To make a claim beyond the scope of the no-fault system, you must demonstrate that the costs incurred from the Tampa car accident exceed your coverage limits or that you have suffered a serious injury as defined by Florida’s laws.
Mistakes to Avoid
Apart from knowing what to do after a car accident, you must also be aware of the mistakes you must avoid to ensure you have the highest chances of succeeding in claiming your insurance and more:
1. Don’t Leave the Scene
After a car accident, it’s important to stay at the scene and exchange information with the other driver. It’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident without providing your information to the other driver, and it can result in serious legal consequences.
2. Don’t Admit Fault
After a car accident, it’s important not to admit fault. Even if you believe you are at fault, you should wait to speak with a lawyer before admitting fault. Admitting fault could result in you being held liable for the damages.
3. Don’t Refuse Medical Treatment
After a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention if you’re injured. Even if you don’t feel like you’re injured, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional. Refusing medical treatment could result in you not receiving the medical care you need and could result in more serious medical issues down the line.
4. Don’t Neglect to Document the Accident
After a car accident, it’s important to document the accident. Take pictures of the scene, get contact information from any witnesses, and keep any paperwork related to the accident. This will help your lawyer prepare your case and will help you receive the compensation you deserve.
5. Don’t Delay in Calling a Lawyer
After a car accident, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Delaying contacting a lawyer could result in you not receiving the compensation you deserve.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve and that you protect your legal right!
All in all, these are the things you need to know should you get in a car accident in Tampa, FL. While we never hope you have to do any of these things, accidents are called accidents for a reason. Regardless, stay as calm as possible throughout the event, carefully follow the tips and avoid the mistakes we’ve shared today. That way, your post-accident experience will be a far smoother one, allowing you to make the necessary claims and focus on recovering.
CDB Injury Law offers experienced attorneys to help individuals seek and get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. If you are looking for the best car accident lawyers in Tampa, work with us today!