What to do After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be scary and confusing, and you need to know what to do in the aftermath. Florida residents are no strangers to accidents. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) says that there were over 400,000 total crashes reported during the latest year of available data. While most vehicle accidents result in only property damage, many are injury-causing crashes. During that reporting year, vehicle crashes caused:
- 3,116 total fatalities
- 254,310 total injuries
- 20,380 incapacitating injuries
Our Jacksonville car accident lawyers want to discuss some steps you can take immediately after a crash as well as the ongoing issues you will be dealing with.
Seek Medical Treatment
The most important thing for anyone involved in a car accident is to get treatment for any injuries. If there are serious injuries, call 911 and make sure EMS is on the way. Even if you think you feel okay at first, you still need to make sure police are on their way.
Although your injuries may seem minor, you need to seek medical care from a doctor. The full extent of many car crash injuries is often not fully understood until hours or even days after the crash occurs. Let your doctor examine you and determine the extent of your injuries. Your health is the most important thing to keep in mind.
By seeking immediate medical treatment after a crash, you are establishing that the incident was the likely cause of your injuries. This will be important when it comes to insurance issues or a potential personal injury claim.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
If you are not seriously injured, you can start gathering evidence at the scene of the crash. This should include:
- Using your smartphone or another camera to take photographs. You should take as many photos as possible of damage to the vehicles, possible causes of the crash, traffic patterns, weather conditions, and more.
- Speak to any eyewitnesses at the scene. Get their account of what happened. Secure their contact information so they can be used later for insurance or potential lawsuit witnesses.
- Make sure the police are involved in any car accident. You want the police to complete an investigation of the crash. Ask how to get an official copy of the accident report.
Be Careful with Insurance Companies
You should report the accident to your insurance company but be wary about what you say to any insurance company employee or claims adjusters. Please understand that insurance companies are not your friends and they will do anything they can to minimize the amount of money they pay you, including using anything you say against you.
Follow up with all doctor’s orders
Your medical care for car accident injuries does not stop after one visit. You need to follow all courses of treatment prescribed by your doctor. This could include:
- Visiting a physical therapist
- Seeing your doctor for follow up visits
- Get x-rays or MRIs
- Limiting physical activity
- Visiting a medical specialist
By following your doctor’s orders, you are doing two things: ensuring that you put your health first and establishing evidence that will be used for your injury claims.
Consider Securing an Attorney
In order to secure the compensation you truly deserve for your accident-related expenses, you should consider securing an injury attorney at Farah & Farah. An attorney will advise you about your best options and can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and other parties involved.