According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there are about 400,000 motor vehicle collisions in the Sunshine State every year. But even as common as car accidents are, most people have no idea how to proceed if they’re injured in a car crash. As Jacksonville car accident lawyers, our goal is for everyone to be informed about what steps they should take after a car accident.
What You Should do Immediately After a Car Accident
When you’re first in a car crash, you may be hurt, confused, and shaken up. Knowing what to do could save your life or the life of another driver or passenger. Remember the following guidelines.
Remember that your safety should be the first concern
You may be injured or disoriented. Do not exit your vehicle unless the area around your door is safe. If you do exit your car, stand off to the side of the road where there isn’t any traffic. Don’t move if your injuries don’t allow you to move, wait where you are for rescue to arrive.
Call 911 and Request Emergency Services
When you call 911, you’ll speak to a dispatcher who will be asking you for information that you may not have readily available. Be patient and maintain your composure. If you don’t know, tell them so they can move onto the next item. The dispatcher will want to know your location, direction of travel, descriptions of the vehicles involved, and any known injuries. If you don’t know where you’re at, look for a landmark like a business or an exit sign.
Assess the Situation
After you meet an accident on the road, you should ensure to very well assess the situation. Who all are injured, and what is the intensity in which one is injured. Calm yourself down, and also move aside from the road if you observe that you are blocking the road. Take your vehicle off the street, so that it is not slotted by other passing vehicles. Don’t hold yourself responsible for what happened, and move away from the road.
Exchange available information with the other driver
Police, after getting information about an accident, usually ask others and gather information from them. This is because they cannot always turn up at the spot, and their arrival can get delayed. Ask for the insurance details from another driver and also make sure that the insurance is valid and has not expired. Police usually compile all available information under one report and also documents the incident.
In such a situation, your dash cam can come handy. Dashcams are anticipated to work round the clock, and they will also capture every moment. You can use a dashcam to capture the overall view of the accident spot, but your mobile will help to take zoomed images of the portions that are damaged.
If you record a video of the entire scene, it is a great idea. After you hang up with rescue, use your phone to take pictures and video of the area from a safe vantage point. It would help if you tried to get images of the location, street signs, vehicle damage, and apparent injuries. Do not wander into the roadway or take risks to gather your images.
Gather witness information
Identify anyone who may have seen the accident. If they took a video, see if they will forward it to you. Ask for their contact information.
There are possibilities that you may or may not face any injuries. It is also probable that some injuries are not visible just after it occurred, but they will be visible after two to three days. You can also choose to call a person and seek first aid. In case, if someone is injured intensely, make sure that they attain medical help urgently. It would help if you tried to provide them with first aid so that they get cured by the time they are shifted to the hospital.
Seek medical attention
If you were hurt in the accident or suspect that you were hurt, allow rescue workers to examine you. If they recommend that you go to the hospital, follow their advice. If not, follow up with your own medical care provider.
Seek Legal Advice
Before you provide information and statement of the other driver and its insurance company, you should consider taking legal advice. Before they ask you to sign any document or ask you to take any step, always consider that you speak with an attorney who is an injury attorney.
These tips are extremely beneficial when you meet an accident on the road. You should take good care of yourself, and others if they were also involved in the incident. If you have faced any injury, then seek the attention of a doctor at the earliest. You should also file a police report since it is an ideal decision. If your vehicle was damaged, you should file a report too. Everyone can be aware of state laws. Hence, you should call the police to seek help.
If you feel even the slightest that you were at fault, then you should take responsibility. Tell the truth, and do whatever is required to calm down the situation.
Filing an Accident Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may accumulate medical bills, lose money from missing work, and be tremendously inconvenienced. You deserve compensation. Insurance companies will often offer you a rapid payment for your bills and property damage, but this sum may not come close to the amount you’re owed.
Personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. They make their money by getting you a much bigger settlement or jury award and then collecting their fee once your case is finished. They offer free advice, and most Florida personal injury lawyers are happy to answer your questions free of charge.
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