Getting into a vehicle accident is a confusing experience, particularly in Florida. The state’s no-fault insurance laws can complicate the process, particularly if you are unsure about exactly what this means. Here, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers want to discuss some important steps you should take after a car accident occurs so that you have the best chance of receiving the medical treatment you need and obtaining compensation for property damage.
Dial 911 and Get the Police to the Scene
As soon as a vehicle accident occurs, you need to make sure law enforcement officials and any other emergency personnel needed are on the way. Somebody needs to dial 911 and report the incident, even if the crash seems relatively minor. Florida law requires that any accident involving an injury, fatality, or significant property damage be reported.
Seek Medical Care
Any individual involved in a vehicle accident needs to seek some sort of medical care the same day the incident occurred. Obviously, for serious injuries, individuals will need to take an ambulance to the hospital or have someone get them to an emergency room immediately. However, it is not uncommon for the signs and symptoms of an accident to be delayed. We encourage crash victims to go to the doctor for an evaluation to possibly spot these hidden injuries before they become a bigger problem.
Seeking prompt medical care also helps establish a solid timeline between the incident and any injuries that arise.
Take Notes and Gather Evidence
At the scene of the crash, we encourage individuals to write down as much information as possible. This includes information related to the other drivers, vehicles, and conditions leading up to the incident. If you have a phone, you can use the camera on the phone to take photographs of everything at the scene, including injuries, property damage, skid marks or debris, traffic conditions, weather, and more.
Please write down the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the incident, as these individuals can be contacted later on to give a statement about what they saw.
Report the Incident to Your Insurance Carrier
You should report the vehicle accident to your insurance carrier the day it occurred, but we say this with caution. Florida operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means most individuals will only need to go to their own insurance carrier to receive compensation. However, there are specific tort thresholds written into state law that allow individuals to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in certain circumstances.
When you make your initial report to the insurance carrier, you may not know the total extent of the damage caused by the incident. You do not need to go into much detail. Simply report the incident, give basic information, and let the insurance carrier know you are seeking medical care for your injuries.
Call a West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney
We encourage you to reach out to a West Palm Beach motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible, particularly if you receive any trouble from the insurance carriers involved in the case or if you have sustained a severe injury. A Florida personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case and work to help you recover the compensation you need.