After getting into a car accident, you will likely be scared, shaken up and confused. What you do after a car accident is absolutely critical; however, many people do not know the correct steps they should be taking. Follow these steps to make the unpleasant experience go as smoothly as possible.
Get injuries treated
Of course, treating any injuries you may have sustained is always the first thing you should do in the event of an accident. REMEMBER due to the changes in Florida No Fault Laws, you now have only 14 days to seek initial treatment. If treatment is sought after two weeks, nothing will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Further, policyholders may be eligible for only $2,500 in coverage, as opposed to the previous limit of $10,000. Only those with serious injuries are eligible for the higher limit, while those with less severe injuries will receive only up to $2,500. Patients will need certification by a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner corroborating that the injury required immediate medical attention.
File a police report
It is important to get the police involved in all car accidents. The police will collect statements from all parties involved, including key witnesses. Afterward, the police will construct a police report with all the facts they gathered. This report will aid in the determination of who caused the crash.
It is important to take as many photographs as you can of the accident scene and especially your injuries. Make sure you take photographs of the damage done to both vehicles, any skid marks on the pavement, as well as the direction of glass or other car parts on the road. All of these photographs will help insurance companies determine the cause of the accident. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes in these cases, thousands of dollars.
Get the names of witnesses
If at all possible get the name and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Insurance companies are more likely to believe an uninvolved third party than the two biased drivers.
Exchange insurance information
This is the most important thing to do after getting into an accident. If you do not get the other person’s insurance information, your insurance company may end up making you pay out of pocket for the damages, even if the other driver was at fault.
Protect Your Rights
Many insurance companies want to take statements immediately following an accident, but sometimes it is best to seek legal advice before providing one. NEVER SPEAK TO THE OTHER PERSON’S INSURANCE COMPANY ABOUT YOUR INJURIES. An attorney can advise you on a variety of issues including how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment or that you may be fully compensated for the problems caused by the accident.
If you have been in an accident and would like more information about your rights, contact us.