Even the most minor of car accidents can be very jarring and stressful. The shock of this experience can cause everything that happens immediately afterward to feel like a blur, especially if you have been injured or if you have never been in an automobile accident before. For this reason, it’s a good idea for all drivers to take the time to review what their legal responsibilities following an accident well before something like this ever occurs. This knowledge will be helpful in general if you are the first to arrive at the scene of an accident, but may even be crucial in the event you are in an accident yourself.
Below, we have highlighted the important basic procedures that apply to any drivers involved following an auto accident in the state of Florida. By taking a few minutes of your time to familiarize yourself with this information now, you might also be taking a valuable precaution for your future.
Contact law enforcement and stay where you are
It is very important that you and anyone else involved remain at the scene. You are required to contact local law enforcement and if needed, emergency medical services and then stay at the scene until they arrive and any further obligations you might have are fulfilled. Leaving the scene of an accident can have serious legal consequences, which can include having your driver’s license suspended or revoked. Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, leaving the scene may even result in second or third degree felony charges.
Assess your situation and respond appropriately
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you should try to remain calm and assess the situation around you. Try to identify any immediate causes for concern, such your own or injuries or those of other drivers or passengers. Take note of any traffic-related dangers around the scene and if possible, move your vehicle to a less obstructive area. It may be beneficial to take pictures of the scene and any damage to vehicles at this time.
You should also exchange the following with all other parties involved:
● Name, address and contact information
● Drivers license and license plate numbers
● Auto insurance details
When others are injured
If another involved party has been injured and you are able to do so, you should assist them to the best of your ability, regardless of who was at fault. Ask about the nature of their injuries and call for medical assistance as soon as possible. Injured parties should stay where they are unless there is an immediate danger. If you must move someone who is injured, do so as carefully as possible and then wait for help.
If you have been injured
When you have been injured in a car accident, your best course of action is to remain where you are if at all possible and wait for emergency services to arrive and assist you. It is also important to get prompt medical treatment after an accident, even if you don’t feel that your injuries are significant. In situations like this, it is better to be safe than sorry – delaying treatment can be dangerous, allowing injuries that may not be immediately apparent to become serious, and may also be problematic if you need to file an insurance claim related to your injuries afterward. You should also keep copies of any medical expenses that you incur while being treated and if necessary, contact an attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases to advise you.
If you have recently been involved in or injured in a car accident and would like to speak an attorney about your legal rights, please contact our offices today to schedule a free evaluation of your case. We are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the knowledgeable and compassionate legal assistance that they deserve.