What to Do After Getting Into an Auto Accident in Floridaadmin
No matter where you are or when you hear it, we all cringe when we hear that awful metal crunch of an auto accident. Your mind immediately goes to the headache ahead of you, from accident reports to expensive repairs.
Traffic collisions are never fun, but you can make them less stressful. Get all your ducks in a row by following these clear steps after an accident.
1. Make the Scene Safe
You know the saying: “safety first.” Always take essential safety tips after your accident before you do anything else.
If any vehicles involved in the accident are still on the roadway, move them to a safe place. Don’t get out of your vehicle when there is active traffic around you, because this can cause a more dangerous crash.
There are a few exceptions. If anyone is injured, be careful not to move them until the paramedics arrive. If you move them, it could cause further injuries.
You also shouldn’t move the vehicles if they’re already out of the path of traffic.
2. Call the Authorities
Now that everyone is as safe as possible, call the authorities. If you call 911, they can dispatch any services you need depending on your circumstances: police, paramedics, and the fire department.
3. Snap Pictures
As anxious as you may be after an accident, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to capture valuable evidence.
Start by taking pictures of all the damage. That includes damage to the other driver’s car because this can help investigators if the other driver has a different story about what happened.
Take pictures of the area where the accident happened, too. Don’t forget photos of anything that may have contributed to the crash, like the weather, road conditions, lighting issues, and more.
4. Exchange Information
To complete the post-crash paperwork, you’ll need the other driver’s information. Be sure to record this data:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- License plate
Keep your conversation to those essentials, though. Don’t make any statements that the driver could interpret as admitting guilt or waiving their responsibility. Simple statements like “I didn’t even see you” or “it’s okay” can have serious consequences.
You also want to minimize the conversation because you don’t want to risk getting into an argument with the other driver. In fact, some emergency dispatchers will instruct you not to speak with the other driver at all. They prefer to get the driver’s information for you so a fight doesn’t break out.
5. Check for Witnesses
You don’t want your accident to be a matter of your word against the other driver’s word. If there are any third parties who can report what they saw, it helps to have them available.
Look around to see if anyone may have witnessed what happened. If so, ask them to stay and give their report to the police. If they can’t stay, ask for their contact information so the police or your insurance company can reach out.
Look for technological witnesses too. Are there any surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident? If so, take pictures of their locations so the police or your insurance carrier can check them.
6. Be Thorough With Your Police Report
Each police department has its own policies, and sometimes these policies vary based on the circumstances like how busy the department is. Because of this, you won’t know exactly how the police will handle your accident.
The police may come to the crash scene and fill out an independent report. If they do, be thorough as you explain to them what happened. Be sure to ask how you can get a copy of the report.
In other cases, the police may not come to the scene at all. They may direct you to fill out your own accident report. In this case, be as detailed as possible.
Let’s say the police direct you to their website to fill out an accident report. You may not have time to do that for several hours, though.
In this case, write down as many details about the crash as possible right away to make sure you don’t forget anything. You can use these notes when you fill out your official report later.
7. Make Arrangements for Your Car Repair
You have the other driver’s information, you’ve spoken with the authorities, and now you have to figure out what to do with your vehicle.
If your car isn’t driveable, have it towed to a repair shop directly. This way, you’ll pay less than you would if the tow truck takes it to their storage yard.
If your car is driveable, take it to a repair shop right away. If you wait before you get repairs and the other driver is at fault, the driver can cast doubt that their accident caused all the damage.
8. Contact Your Insurance Carrier
Now that you have the immediate necessities done, it’s time to report the crash to your car insurance carrier. You will be able to give your report about what happened. Our team will then discuss the next steps you can expect in the process.
9. Get Medical Attention
In a car crash, it’s easy to get injured without realizing it. There are a lot of moving parts and ways to get injured, and thanks to the adrenaline of the accident, you might not feel the pain.
Even if you think you only have minor bruises, get a medical exam. You might have more injuries than you realize and treating them right away will make a difference in your recovery.
Your Essential Auto Accident Checklist
Between the potential costs, injuries, and excessive paperwork, an auto accident is something we all dread. It’s less stressful, though, if you have a clear idea of what you need to do.
The nine steps in the checklist above can help you stay in control and stay calm after a crash. Just as importantly, they can minimize your financial losses too.
To keep yourself safe before an accident happens, find out more about our high-risk auto insurance in Florida.