What should I do after a car accident? I often have to answer this question for friends, family and curious strangers who find out that I am a lawyer. I answer it so often I decided to make a quick outline:
- Call the Police: By calling the police you can get help to the scene and the officer will conduct a crash investigation where he will write a report and give a ticket to the at-fault driver. In addition, depending on the seriousness of the accident fire rescue may be called.
- Take Pictures of the Scene: This is where some cases that are debatable may be won because the at fault driver might be telling one story but the evidence (the pictures) are showing something else. Take pictures of everything because you never know what is important. Take pictures of the other car as well.
- Seek Medical Treatment: I cannot stress enough the importance of getting medical attention in case of an accident because the sooner you get some medical treatment the sooner you can prevent further injury.
- Get the other driver’s information: If the other driver is not ranting and raving you should discuss trading insurance and contact information with each other. However, if they are upset or seem unreasonable wait for the police to get there and let them handle it.
- Locate and Identify Witnesses: Witnesses are often time the best kind of evidence because they can explain what they saw and heard to a jury (should your case get to that point). Get their names and phone numbers if possible.
- Hire a Lawyer: This statement may be a little self-serving but hire a lawyer. Trying to settle a case by yourself absolutely can be done but with that approach comes risk. You could say the wrong thing or not be aware of a certain provision or clause and ruin your case.
These are just a few things to consider should you find yourself in a car accident in South Florida. Every accident is unique and may require a different set of guidelines which makes it important you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.
If you have been in a car accident or if you have any questions, please feel to give me a call 954-982-2124 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Houson R. Lafrance